Hue is a medium sized city in Central Vietnam with around 450,000 permanent residents. Hue is a popular destination for tourists because of its many interesting historical sites, scenic location on the Perfume River and great facilities for visitors including a range of hotels, restaurants and bar catering for foreign visitors. Hue was the capital city of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 during the time of the Nguyen Dynasty, and the site of a major permanent settlement since the 4th Century. Culturally and historically Hue is one of the most important cities in Vietnam. Unfortunately, much of the city was destroyed during the Battle of Hue in 1968 although enough was left intact, and has been reconstructed since, to make the area one of Vietnam’s ‘must visit’ destinations.
Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue
If you are short on time then the three places which you should definitely visit first in Hue are:
The Imperial Citadel: The Imperial Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering an area of approximately 10 square kilometres. Construction of the citadel began in 1804 and from then until 1945 it was the home of the Nguyen Emperors of Vietnam. The Imperial Citadel features lots of interesting buildings the most photogenic of which are its brightly painted gates.
The Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh: Located on a hillside just outside Hue town this fantastic Imperial tomb features an opulently decorated crypt which cost so much to build that the Emperor imposed an additional 30% tax on his subjects to fund the construction.
Thien Mu Pagoda: Also known as the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, this 7 storey ornamental pagoda, located on the banks of the Perfume River, was constructed in 1601. The pagoda is closely associated with many important local legends as well as many more recent political and social events.