The poetic and beautiful Hue of Vietnam where is located in Central Vietnam on the bank of the Perfume River, just a few miles inland from the East Sea was chosen to be the capital of the Southern Kingdom under Nguyen Lords’ Dynasty from 1802 to 1945.
Where to go in Hue?
Famously being one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The very first stop-over is the exterior circle, the Hue capital citadel, which started constructing in 1805 and completed in 1832. Over the past 200 years, it has still maintained original structure with nearly 140 small and large constructions. The square-shaped citadel is almost 10m in circumference, 6m high, 21m thick with 10 entrance gates. The second circle, the Royal citadel is the most important part of the Citadel, which was built in 1804 but totally completed in 1833, under King Ming Mang’s reign.
PERFUME RIVER is a river that crosses the city of Hue. Hue is a very romantic city, in the autumn, flowers from orchards upriver from Hue fall into the water, giving the river a perfume-like aroma, a visit to Hue would not be completed without a boat trip on the poetic Perfume River.
A number of French-style buildings lie along the South bank of the river. Among them are Quoc Hoc High School, the oldest high school in Vietnam. Lying along the river are many monuments, including the tombs of Nguyen’s emperors: Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, Tu Duc and the official symbol of the city: Thien Mu Pagoda (Heavenly Lady Pagoda) – the largest pagoda in Hue.
HAI VAN PASS (Ocean Cloud Pass) is an approximately 21 km-long mountain pass on the border of Da Nang City and Thua Thien Hue Province. Since the completion of Hai Van Tunnel in 2005 – the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia, traffic flow and safety on the pass have been improved.
At an elevation of 496 m (1,627 ft) above the sea level, the pass is described as a deserted ribbon of perfection. The Guardian, has listed Hai Van Pass among the top 10 great scenic drives in the world. Travellers can hire motorbikes or cars to ride the pass as part of a one-day loop. On the top of the pass, you can enjoy a breath-taking bird’s eye view of Da Nang City below. On clear days, the picturesque scenery of imposing mountains on one side and the turquoise sea on the other side could make you forget to come back home.
Hue is famous for its Imperial cuisine, originally prepared for the emperors and his retinue. Although the emphasis is more on presentation than taste, an imperial banquet is well worth trying. If you’re a vegetarian, Vietnam is not the best place but Hue is a bit of exception. Several all-vegetarian restaurants are scattered throughout the city to serve Buddhists who have a tradition of eating vegetarian four times a month. A feature of Hue dishes that sets them different from other regional cuisines in Vietnam is the relatively small serving size with refined presentation, a vestige of its royal cuisine. Especially, make sure that you are a fan of spicy food as fresh chilli is one of the most important ingredients of Hue Cuisine.
If you are interested in history, or simply love discovering exotic cultures, Hue – house of the last dynasty in Viet Nam is definitely on the top list of your travel plan.