For generations, Hue (Vietnam) has been associated with the dreamy, ancient charm of the imperial land, even though it has now become one of the central cities of Vietnam. If you want to escape noisy urban areas, it would be better to spend your time in Hue City and enjoy the rich cultural life on every street corner. So, let’s explore Hue Travel Guide below together with Asia Legend Travel and get ready for your upcoming trip right away!
Hue Travel Guide: Overview of Hue (Vietnam)
The city of Hue is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles inland from the East Sea. It is approximately 700 km (430 mi) south of Hanoi and 1,100 km (680 mi) north of Ho Chi Minh City. As of 2021, the city has a total area of 265.99 km2 (102.70 sq mi) and is home to over 600,000 residents following a territorial expansion.
As regards historical aspects, Hue was the capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945, the last and longest dynasty in Vietnam’s feudal period. This prolonged period of history has left the city with innumerable temples, pagodas, tombs, and palaces that still exhibit the splendor of an entire dynasty, such as The Imperial Enclosure, the Tombs of Nguyen Dynasty Kings, Thien Mu Pagoda, and Trang Tien Bridge.
In addition to its historical significance, the ancient capital is famous for its delectable local cuisine, which has enriched Vietnamese culinary art. Hue’s specialties, such as mussel rice and Hue beef noodle soup, are worth trying. The city is also known as a festival city while its biennial cultural festival has become a particular cultural affair and the pride of Hue’s residents, providing tourists with many memorable experiences since its inception in 2000.
Hue Travel Guide: Must-Visit Tourist Spots
Below is a list of top tourist attractions in Hue. Remember, this list curated by Hue Travel Guide only scratches the surface, as there are many more fascinating tourist spots in Hue city just waiting for you to explore!
The Imperial Enclosure
As the most sought-after attraction in Hue, the Imperial Enclosure is worth visiting due to its historical significance as a venue for court ceremonies, ancestor worship, and the residence of royal families. With immense value in terms of history, culture, and architecture, this landmark has deservedly been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2010.
Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the most well-known temples in Hue, possessing ancient architectural features, unparalleled sacredness, and many hidden stories that contain numerous mysterious historical elements. Visitors to Thien Mu Pagoda will be amazed by the temple’s beauty, the tranquility of the Perfume River, and the opportunity to delve deeper into the enigmatic tales surrounding this iconic landmark.
Perfume River is a source of pride for the people of the ancient capital, with its mild climate and natural beauty that never fails to impress visitors. Its central location in the city of Hue makes it easily accessible, so tourists can enjoy its scenic beauty at any time of the day while also experiencing the vibrant tourism scene of the city.
Trang Tien Bridge
Trang Tien Bridge is an iconic symbol of Hue, spanning the Huong River. It has witnessed the country’s ups and downs throughout history. With its serene and elegant beauty, the Trang Tien Bridge never fails to leave a lasting impression on the hearts of both locals and visitors to Hue.
Dong Ba Market
Dong Ba Market is a must-visit for any tourist in Hue. It is the most famous traditional market in the ancient capital with immense cultural and historical significance. Visitors to the market have the chance to explore the rich history and culture of the market as well as purchase a wide variety of specialties and souvenirs to take home to loved ones and friends.
Tombs of Nguyen Dynasty Kings
The tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty Kings are an outstanding collection of architectural structures that showcase the peak of artistic construction during the Nguyen Dynasty. Although there were 13 reigning kings during the Nguyen Dynasty, only seven tombs were constructed, each with its distinctive characteristics. They are a historical relic and an iconic symbol of Hue, attracting a large number of tourists to the ancient capital.
Thuan An Beach
As a small beach near Hue, Thuan An beach is an ideal attraction for beach-lovers. The beach stretches for more than 1 km, making a strong impression with its spectacular sunset and sunrise sceneries.
Lang Co Gulf
Regarded as one of the most beautiful bays in the world in 2009, Lang Co Bay is famous for its tranquil natural sites, converging rivers, mountains, sea, and lagoons. This place is an ideal tourist destination for its peaceful and poetic beauty of winding sand beaches and clear crystal blue sea, which helps relax after stressful working days and escape from bustling city life.
Tam Giang Lagoon
As the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia, Tam Giang lagoon, along with the Thai Duong Ha fishing village, is an isolated oasis amidst beautiful natural landscapes. This lagoon, one of Hue’s most beautiful sunset spots, is the meeting place of the O Lau, Bo, and Perfume rivers before flowing into Thuan An Beach.
Besides the majestic pristine nature, exploring the daily life of local people in the fishing village is also a valuable experience to visitors. The local life is quite lively in the morning but sometimes peaceful.
Hue Travel Guide: Must-Try Local Food in Hue
Not only is Hue a popular destination for architectural enthusiasts, but it is also well-known for its exceptional and diverse cuisine, which is influenced by the expertise of royal chefs. Let’s find out some must-try dishes in Hue that you should try during your visit:
Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup)
Considered the most renowned dish in Hue, this delightful and flavorful beef noodle soup is a culinary masterpiece. It is prepared with thick rice vermicelli and a variety of delectable toppings in a savory broth, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.
Banh Ram It (Fried sticky rice dumplings)
While exploring the culinary scene in Hue, make sure to taste Banh Ram It. This dish is a combination of steamed sticky rice dumplings and a crunchy patty, which has become widely popular across the nation.
Nem Lui (Lemongrass skewers)
Nem Lui is a dish similar to kebab that consists of marinated meat, typically pork or beef, wrapped in lemongrass stalks and grilled over charcoal. It’s a delicious and aromatic dish commonly enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
Banh Khoai (Vietnamese crepe)
Banh Khoai is a delightful snack in Hue known for its distinctive appearance with a turmeric yellow color and a crispy crust that is 2-3 cm thick. You can easily find it at roadside stalls, local eateries, and markets. This open-faced crepe is traditionally topped with pork, shrimp, scallions, and bean sprouts, and is served with a variety of fresh herbs and dipping sauces, making it a truly mouthwatering treat.
Banh Beo (Steamed rice cakes)
This traditional Vietnamese dish consists of a small bowl of steamed rice cake topped with dried shrimp, crispy pork rind, and shallots. It is commonly served with a flavorful dipping sauce made from fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and red chilies. A variety of fresh herbs are also served alongside to enhance the taste and texture of the dish.
These are just a few examples of the must-try local foods in Hue, Vietnam. Exploring the local cuisine will give you a taste of the unique flavors and culinary traditions of the region. Enjoy your gastronomic adventure!
Hue Travel Guide: Best Things to Do
There are plenty of exciting and unforgettable activities in Hue that await you, making it the perfect destination for an amazing trip. Check out some of them with Hue Travel Guide right away! Firstly, you can step back in time and explore the ancient citadel and imperial tombs, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The intricate architecture of the Nguyen dynasty not only possesses immense aesthetic value but also carries a profound historical significance, attracting history enthusiasts to explore and experience it.
Taking a boat trip along the Perfume River is also a must for all visitors. You’ll have the wonderful opportunity to marvel at the picturesque landscapes of the tranquil river while being delighted by captivating traditional art performances that showcase the artistic heritage passed down from ancient times.
Of course, no trip to Hue would be complete without immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of the bustling local markets. One of the most renowned markets in Hue is Dong Ba Market, where you can not only experience the daily life of the people of Hue but also savor the unique cuisine that is characteristic of the Central region.
These are just a few examples of the amazing things to do in Hue! Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking to unwind, Hue has a variety of attractions that will truly captivate and inspire you during your visit.
Best Time to Visit Hue City
Hue experiences two distinct seasons: the dry season (March to August) and the rainy season (August to January). The former is characterized by scorching weather, while the latter brings heavy rains and occasional storms to the city.
Travelers visit Hue at different times throughout the year. Domestic visitors tend to go to Hue from May to September, while many foreigners choose to visit between October and April.
How Long to Spend in Hue City
So, what is the ideal duration for visiting Hue, Vietnam? It depends on your plan. However, it usually takes 1 to 3 days to fully experience this city. If you plan to visit neighboring provinces like Quang Binh, Hoi An, or Da Nang, your stay may need to be extended.
Hopefully, the information in the Hue Travel Guide above is helpful for you. Hue (Vietnam) is an amazing city that never fails to captivate visitors with its perfect blend of vibrant history, rich cultural heritage, delicious local cuisine, and stunning natural beauty. So, let’s embark on an unforgettable journey right now and let ourselves be amazed by the countless wonders that await us in this charming city!