Hue is the must-visit tourist destination in Vietnam. There are many things to do in Vietnam that appeal to all kinds of travelers. This ancient capital has a rich history and is home to seven imperial tombs. The city is mostly renowned for the Imperial City of Hue. The major attractions of the city are mostly about its history, Buddhism culture, and natural environment. Here are some of the things you can do on your stay in Hue.
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The Imperial City is the most famous attraction of Hue. Gia Long built it back in the early 1800s and served for a long time as the Imperial Seat of Government. Today, it is the most popular place to visit in Hue and is a great place to learn about the city’s history. This walled fortress was once the home of Vietnam’s emperors and is also called The Citadel. Much of the structures of this fortress got destroyed in the war, but lots of them has been restored. The Imperial City opens from 8 am to 10 pm. The city is very packed during the summer months. To enter The Imperial City, one has to follow a strict dress code. Both men and women should wear clothes that cover their shoulders and knees. One should not wear any offensive or rude clothing. The displays of affection are also prohibited inside The Imperial City.
There are two options to reach Hue from Da Nang; Hai Van Tunnel and the Hai Van Pass. The Hai Van Tunnel is the longest in Southeast Asia. The length of the tunnel is 6.28km. Hai Van Pass is a mountain road that heads to the coastline. The views throughout the road are incredible and very popular among both locals and tourists. The best way to explore the area is to hop on a bike and ride around the area, enjoying the view, greenery, and fresh air. If you are traveling in a bus, they stop at the highest point of the peak. From there, you can get a stunning view of the surrounding area. If you are riding the bike on the Hai Van Pass, you have to be aware of the sharp curves and thick fog that fills the road.
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A great way to move away from the crowds in Hue is to visit the Hue Provincial Museum. It is just a little down the street from the Imperial City. The museum is not maintained properly in recent times. Still, you will get to see photos and artifacts and learn the history of the country. for those interested in the history of the country and the battles that took place, you should visit this place. The entry fee is only about 1USD.
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Perfume River is a great place to spend some romantic time. This river flows through the center of Hue, and many tourists take a boat tour along the river. You can enjoy the surrounding views and have a meal, and also visit some major tourist sites that are accessible by boat. Or, you can also stroll along the river’s edge. In the morning, you can go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air. There are also shops and restaurants lined along the edge of the river. This might be the most romantic thing you can do in the whole of Vietnam.
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Thien Mu Pagoda lies on Ha Khe Hill, overlooking the Perfume River. The pagoda lies 5km west of Hue city, and you can take a motorbike or a boat to reach the pagoda. With the seven-story, it is the tallest religious building in Vietnam. The temple was built in 1601, but the tower was later established in 1844. The temple's ground is stunningly beautiful, and it is also a site of political significance. The most important one of the pagoda is Phuoc Duyen Tower, where you will see images and paintings that appears in many photos of Hue Imperial City. On each floor of the tower lies Buddha statues, and there is a spiral staircase inside that leads to the top floor. In front of Phuoc Duyen Tower lies Huong Nguyen Shrines with Dharma wheel, placed on the roof that turns when the wind blows. This place is great to enjoy some serene time.
The last imperial tombs of Vietnam, Khai Din Tomb, is one of the best places you can visit in Hue. This tomb took eleven years to build. It is a recent tourist attraction but is one of the most popular ones in the area. The tomb is a blend of Eastern and Western design as Emperor Khai Dinh loved the France architecture. After climbing 127 steps up, you will reach the temple fortified by statue guards. Inside, you will see the walls decorated with images inlaid in glass and porcelain. From here, you will also get spectacular views of the city.
Another more popular tomb in Hue is the Minh Mang Tomb. Unlike the Khai Din Tomb, this tomb took only three years to complete. However, this tomb is no less beautiful that the Khai Din Tomb that took more than a decade to complete. The beautiful architecture of the tomb includes gorgeous lakes, gardens, and canals. Visitors can freely explore most of the sites of the ground, but the gates to the tomb only open once a year on the anniversary of Emperor Minh Mang’s death.
This abandoned water park was one of the earliest and the unique places you can visit in Hue. This waterpark was built and opened in 2004. But after just a few weeks, it got shut down. After that, this park is abandoned until now. It is hard to believe that this park did not succeed. Still, if you want to capture shop great pictures, you can visit the park.
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Ho Quyen, a Tiger Fighting Arena, lies just three kilometers outside of Hue. Although no fight takes place right now, you will get to see cages and tiger’s claw marks. Tigers were left to fight with elephants with their claws removed to show that rebellion had to be crushed.
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Located about 7km from the Hue city center, Huyen Tran Princess temple is a beautiful temple. From here, you will get gorgeous panoramic views of Hue.