The city of Hue is testament to the strength and endurance of the Vietnamese people. It’s an iconic city with a turbulent past. But, despite their cultural centres being torn apart by foreign militaries, the Vietnamese population has adapted to make the most of what it has. What’s more is that during these troubled times, the people of Hue have remained true to their cultural roots. This means that there’s plenty for you to see, both old and new, during your stay.
Many of Hue’s finest buildings were destroyed during the war with America, although a few remain after being preserved by locals. In this city of old and new, some may think that the crumbling 19th century citadel might be dwarfed by looming tower blocks. However, if you’ve been to Vietnam before, you’ll know they’re mistaken. These emblems of imperial Vietnam stand tall next to their modern counterparts, and command respect and admiration from all who pass them.
You probably already know a bit about Hue’s history, but to understand its cultural significance you should visit the Imperial Enclosure. Several historic buildings, including the Emperor’s residence, temple and palaces, stand behind these walls. Only 20 of the 148 original buildings survived the war, but there’s still plenty to see. Emperor Minh Mang’s Mausoleum can be found here, guarded by stone mandarins, lotus ponds and bonsai trees. See if you can spot the pastel-coloured dragons on the roof!
These are not the only tombs to visit in Hue; the resting places of Tu Duc and Khai Din are also worth seeing. And, for the best view in Hue, you should make a trip to the Thien Mu Pagoda. It’s perched on a hill overlooking the Song Huong (Perfume River). This river spans the city of Hue. It got its name when locals noticed that flowers from the orchards gave it a perfume-like aroma when they fell into the water.
As with most tourist spots, you’ll have a few touts to contend with in Hue. However, if you go to the right areas you’ll find it a tranquil and conservative place, with just the right amount of nightlife for a peaceful holiday. Although it was ravaged by the war, Hue is still a stunning destination where you can enjoy the best of old and new Vietnam.
Plan your trip to Hue today.