Located in central Vietnam, Hue was once the capital and seat of the Nguyen Emperors. Perched on the banks of the Perfume River, its ancient temples and tombs make it a magnet for history lovers.
To discover the core of Hue’s history, head for the Imperial Enclosure where the former government held their seat. This tranquil complex of temples, pavilions and palaces was badly damaged during the French and American Wars, but still offers at least half a day’s worth of sites to explore. You’ll also find museums and galleries where you can observe traditional Vietnamese outfits, art and textiles. Another top draw for tourists is the tombs of the ancient emperors. Each tomb portrays the story of a Buddhist legend and can be best explored using a guided tour.
Hue is famous for its traditional Imperial-style banquets which offer up multiple courses fit for an emperor. Popular local dishes include ‘kẹo mè xửng’, a sweet sesame candy, and ‘bún bò’ which consists of a tasty broth filled with rice noodles and sliced beef.
This charming Vietnamese city offers lots to see and do away from its historical sights. The Perfume River features a waterfront promenade which makes for a relaxing walk at any time of the day. Cycling is also a great option for exploring the city, with Hue having far less traffic than other Vietnamese cities. For day trips, head to the hot springs of Alba Thanh or the waterfalls and lush landscapes of Bach Ma National Park.