Hue Travel Guide
Best Things to do in Hue
- Forbidden City: Built from 1804 by King Gia Long and finished in 1833 by King Minh Mang. At the entrance of the Ngan gate into the Imperial Citadel are the Nine Holy Cannons cast from melted down bronze wares from the Tay Son dynasty. The cannons are named after the four seasons and five elements (metal, earth, wood, water and fire) and are known as the “Holy Invincible Generals”. They have never been used for military purposes and are the guardian spirits of the Hue Citadel.
- Thien Mu Pagoda: Also on the north shore of the Perfume River about 3km from the Imperial Citadel. You can get there by dragon boat along the Perfume River, or for those feeling more energetic, a pleasant bicycle ride. The Thien Mu pagoda is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. Today it is the home of the Austin motor vehicle which drove Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem regime. It is still home to many monks and a holy site visited by many everyday.
- Royal Tombs: 7 royal tombs in all scatter the countryside around Hue and are monuments to 9 of the 13 rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty, usually built and designed during the emperor’s lifetime. The 3 most visited tombs in Hue are Minh Mang Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb and Khai Dinh Tomb. The remaining 4 are less visited but still have interesting features, with Duc Duc, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan being housed in the same tomb.
- Thanh Toan Covered Bridge: Named because of its resemblence to the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An. Its construction was initiated by Tran Thi Dao, the wife of a high ranking Mandarin in the court of Emperor Le Hien Tong, sometime between 1740 and 1746. Originally it was built to offer better transportation and communication for the village that lines either side of the canal. In 1925 Emperor Khai Dinh ordered the villagers to erect an altar dedicated to Tran Thi Dao on the bridge. Many locals still travel to the town to visit her tomb.
- Dong Ba Markets: The largest market place in central Vietnam, this is definitely a place to visit to immerse yourself in the local culture. Tourists can see all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as, the sampan landing, the bus station and the bazaars. Dong Ba market is considered a paradise for snapshots of daily activities as well as for shopping with everything from souvenir items to bronze goods, Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical poem hats, just to name a few. Should you find interest in Vietnamese food or culture, you’d better come here to explore.
- Tiger Arena: Ho Quyen, Tiger - Elephant Fighting Arena - One of the most interesting sights in Hue 8/10 3km out of Hue Blurb. This is probably the most interesting site in Hue, and it is all too often overlooked by visitors. It was built in 1830 during the reign of Emporer Minh Mang to stage yearly battles between an elephant and a tiger.
- Bach Ma National Park: Bach Ma National Park is an old French Hill station stretching out over some 40,000 unspoilt hectares and offering great hiking trails, waterfalls, slightly odd and very basic lodgings, a camp site and plenty of wildlife (keep that tent zipped up). It’s home to one of the most stunning stretches of jungle walk and mountain ranges.
- Elephant Hot Spring: The Elephant Springs (Elephant Waterfall), some 60 kilometres from Hue, is an excellent natural spring that is well worth a visit. Particularly on a hot day, the natural pool below a small waterfall makes for a very refreshing dip. You can sluice yourself down the smooth rocks at the base of the falls, and there are plenty more spots upstream to explore.
- Thuan An Beach: About 14 kilometres from City Center is the nearest beach in Hue, Thuan An. Though it's one of Central Vietnam's most beautiful beaches, it's ridiculously undeveloped with just a scattering of shacks in various stages of decline. The recent addition of Beach Bar Hue may start to change the scene, as this shabby chic spot is well on the way to being one of the most popular day trips from Hue.
- Dam Chuon Lagoon: Located in An Truyen Village, 12km away from Hue City. But Dam Chuon is considered like untouched place by tourist flow. Place can be reached on Motorbike, Bike and Car. The best way to visit is to be on Hue Motorbike Tours or Hue Bicycle Tours to visit beautiful local villages and do fishing with local before you enjoy local seafood lunch here. Also you can join Hue Car Rental Service to get there. Worth a visit!