Hue Travel Guide
This mysterious city was once the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty, the last dynasty in the country. It served as the capital for more than 140 years from 1802-1945. It is located on the Perfume River, with its many dragon boats, houseboats, and long-tail vessels. Scattered all around Hue, are ancient temples, imperial buildings, vast tombs and French-style edifices.
The Citadel, constructed during the early nineteenth century, dominates the city. Surrounded by a moat and two-meter thick walls, it contains several layers of inner and outer courtyards along with the Old Imperial City. Most of the site is comprised of crumbling stone buildings and walls overtaken by trees and plants. The natural disrepair gives the place an authentic, ancient feeling.
Old Imperial City
Located in the heart of Hue, it was built in the 19th century and was designed after the Forbidden City of Peking. The former home of the royal family, this is in fact, a citadel within a citadel. Within the city are numerous palaces, temples and libraries and it also contains the Forbidden Purple City, which was reserved solely for use by the emperor and his concubines.
The Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty
Located to the south of Hue along the Perfume River, each of these tombs contains a series of graceful courtyards and lotus ponds interspersed with temples and pavilions. Many also include a steel pavilion recording the deeds and virtues of the dead emperor.
Thien My Pagoda
A traditionally constructed octagonal tower, this seven-storey pagoda set on the bank of the Perfume River has become one of Vietnam's most familiar landmarks. Construction started in 1601 and each of its seven tiers is dedicated to either one of the human forms taken by Buddha or the seven steps to enlightenment.
Thai Hoa Palace
Built in 1803 and also known as the Palace of Supreme Harmony, it was used as the throne room where the emperor celebrated festivals and received courtiers. The magnificently decorated room still has the original throne and an ornate timber roof supported by 80 carved and lacquered columns.
Dien Tho Residence
The stunning, partially ruined palace built in 1804 once comprised the apartments and audience hall of the Queen Mothers of the Nguyen dynasty.