An ancient capital once ruled by Nguyen emperors, today Hue is a UNESCO-acclaimed city dotted with crumbling architectural treasures – a must-see on any tour of Vietnam.
Straddling the banks of the picturesque Perfume River, Hue is littered with relics from its days as an imperial city. The Nguyen dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945 and left behind a rich regal history alongside royal tombs, majestic palaces and intricate temples.
Built along the lines of Beijing’s Forbidden City, the iconic citadel is a major attraction for anyone looking to get an insight into Hue’s imperial history. If you venture to the heart of the citadel you will find the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, a once-splendid monument reserved for the Emperor’s use.
You can also explore the striking Thien Mu Pagoda and its seven-storey tower set within a quiet courtyard, or spend a day visiting the elaborate Tombs of the Emperors that line the Perfume River. The most remarkable of the mausoleums is the Tomb of Tu Duc, which was designed by the Emperor himself before his death.
A great way to see the architecture of the city is by hopping on board a traditional junk boat and drifting along the river. You can also head out on a scenic bike tour of the surrounding countryside to really appreciate Hue’s rural tranquillity.
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