Referring to Hue, people often think of palaces, king’s tombs and ancient temples with interesting old stories about the ancient emperors. Once in the life, each Vietnamese wish to travel to Hue to see the vivid evidence of the last feudal dynasty. Beside that, the relaxed and gentle beauty or slow life styles here are also loved by many tourists.The ancient Hue Imperial City, unique Trang Tien Bridge, sacred Thien Mu Pagoda or romantic Huong River are tourists spots that always attract visitors in and out of the country.
How to go to Hue city?
There are many means of transportation to Hue such as coaches, airplanes, trains… You can freely choose one of them depending on your financial ability and time fund.
Phu Bai Airport has just reopened after after the downtime to renovate for tourism purpose. Everyday, there are a lot of flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other cities to Hue with different airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, VietjetAir, Jetstar with fares from 900,000 VND / one way ticket.
Coaches from other cities to Hue are north – south sleeping buses. Ticket prices and quality are not much different between bus companies; you can book the ticket of Hoang Long bus, Phuong Trang bus, The SinhTourist bus….
In Hanoi, you can take the bus to Hue from Giap Bat bus station, Nuoc Ngam bus station, or Luong Yen bus station with ticket price from 300,000 VND.
In Saigon, you can buy bus tickets at Mien Dong Bus Station, with fares from 450,000 VND.
Note: You should book bus ticket in advance to avoid the status of no more ticket or getting crammed seats in the bus.
From Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, there are daily trains to Hue. For those who have plenty of time and want to experience beautiful scenery along the way, they should choose this mean.
Train tickets from Hanoi to Hue are 350,000 VND – 800,000 VND depending on the type of seats.
Train tickets from Saigon to Hue from: 400,000 VND – 1,200,000 VND depending on the type of seat.
Transportation inside Hue
Motorbikes for rent or cyclo
You can rent a motorbike to travel and explore Hue. Price of renting a motorbike is from 100,000 VND – 150,000 VND / motorbike / day. You can try cyclo to feel the rustic and simple beauty here.
Taxi companies: Mai Linh, Thanh Cong, Vang Taxi, Huong Giang…. In my experience, Thanh Cong taxi is the cheapest company with the quality always goes along with modern car and service. Tel: 023126.96.36.199
Mai Linh: 0234.389.89.89
Vang Taxi: 023188.8.131.52
Gili Taxi: 02343.828282
Huong Giang Taxi: 023184.108.40.206
Boat trip for sightseeing on the Perfume (Huong) River
Seating on the boating, floating on the river, enjoying Hue traditional music and dropping flower lanterns on the water, visitors can gradually feel the flavor and tone of Hue. If you want to rent a boat to visit the Perfume River, you can contact the boat station’s management board. Prices depend on which type of boat you choose.
Hue tourist attractions
Famous tourist spots in Hue city center
The Imperial City
The Imperial City is located inside Hue citadel of the city is the first place you should visit when traveling Hue. After more than 100 years, massive architectures in The Imperial City are only less than half of the original quantity, but it still carry the gorgeous beauty of a feudal dynasty. The Imperial City is quite large; you should spend about a half-day or a day to discover all area.
Enjoy Ca Tru tradition music on the Perfume River
Ca Tru is an ancient genre of chamber music featuring female vocalists, with origins in northern Vietnam. Dream Perfume River is also a pride of Hue tourism. In the evening, when it is cool, you can buy a ticket, about 50,000 VND, get on a boat to see the ancient city during the night and listen to the tunes that bring you back to the past hundreds of years ago.
Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts
Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts (located in Long An Palace, the most beautiful palace in the Nguyen Dynasty’s palace system) is a place to display collections of ancient items, royal costumes and belongings of Nguyen’s King. The architecture is remained in royal and traditional style.
Tourist attractions near the city center
The king tombs
Travelling to Hue, you should not miss visiting the palatial ancient architectures. The tombs of the kings in Hue have their own characteristics and interesting historical stories. However, the mausoleums are far apart and are not located in the center of the city. You should take time to rent a taxi or rent a car (about 300,000 VND) for a tour of the mausoleums such as Tu Duc Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb, and Khai Dinh Tomb.
Hon Chen Temple
The relics of Hue tourism include about 10 different architectural works are located in the middle of Ngoc Tran Mountain, facing to the Huong River, hidden under the trees. Hon Chen Temple has an important role in the spiritual life of the Hue people; the only place in Hue has a combination of royal ceremony and folk beliefs. This is also the place, where fine art decoration reached its peak in the late 19th century.
Thien Mu Pagoda
This spot cannot be missed in Hue trip. Built in the year 1,600 and restored over many times, Thien Mu pagoda attracts many visitors by the magnificent and palatial but equally peaceful and poetic. To come to Thien Mu Pagoda, you can go by boat along the Perfume River, extremely romantic.
Vong Canh Hill
It is located about 7 km from Hue city center. From Vong Canh Hill, you can see the poetic view of Hue city, especially the tombs of the Nguyen Kings and the Perfume River flows across the city.
Ngu Binh Mountain
Along with the Perfume River, Ngu Binh Mountain is the second gift of The Creatorto make up the charming nature of Hue tourism. Long ago, this beautiful mountain along with the Perfume River has become a symbol of Hue nature. From the mountaintop, you can see the landscape of famous landmarks and romantic natural scenery around.
Tourist attractions away from Hue city
Bach Ma Mountain
60 km from Hue City, Bach Ma Mountain is famous for its streams and many spectacular waterfalls. Do Quyen waterfall is 400 m high, on summer days, two sides of the waterfall, bloomed azalea flowers like two giant flower carpets. In the center of the spot, there is Bac waterfall of 10 m high and 40 m wide. Standing on top of Bach Ma Mountain, visitors can also take in the panoramic views of Hai Van Pass, Tuy Van Mountain, Cau Hai Lagoon and the shimmering light of Hue City at night.
Lang Co Beach, Thuan An Beach and Canh Duong Beach
Peaceful beaches of Hue are always in the top of the most beautiful beaches in Central Vietnam, where many tourists relax.
Lap An Lagoon
It is 70 km south of Hue, lying at the foot of Hai Van pass; nature has given Lap An lagoon a winding road running around the lagoon as “a soft silk”. Here, there is a species called specialty: “pearl of heaven”… it is oysters. People here use the damaged rubber tires to catch oysters. Lap An Lagoon is most beautiful in the afternoon, has made many visitors dumbfounded and looking forward to capture many beautiful moments of creativity.
Cau Hai Lagoon
Not as famous as Chuon lagoon or Lap An lagoon, Cau Hai lagoon nestled on the National Highway 1A, running from Cau Hai to Phu Gia Pass. Cau Hai lagoon is immense as the sea, containing water from the rivers in Thua Thien Hue and transform from fresh water to brackish water in the dry season.
Voi (Elephant) Stream
From Hue city to the south of 60 km, across Thua Luu area, Loc Tien commune, Phu Loc district, tourists will come to Voi stream, a stream with many large waterfalls under a forest. The stream is named Voi (Elephant) Stream, because there is a rock shaped like an elephant dropping his trunk to drink water at the foot of the falls. There is also a lake named Elephant Pool. This is a natural lake about 30 m² wide, 2 m deep, between the two falls. The cool blue water lake is visible to the bottom.
From Hue city, go to Truoi Bridge in Loc Hoa Commune, Phu Loc District, go 10 km more, you will see Truoi Lake and Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery. Truoi area “sweet jackfruit and fragrant strawberry” has gone into poem and song to praise the rare beauty of this place. Truoi Lake is blue, large and immense nestled at the foot of Bach Ma Mountain. In addition to visiting the monastery, visitors can rent a boat ride on the lake or buy tickets to the streams that flow into the Truoi Lake full of wildlife.
The experience you should try
Zip lining and conquer the treetops with High Wire
Zip-line is no longer strange to young people; this type of activity has appeared in some places such as Quang Binh, Dalat or Lam Dong. Now Hue has this adventure game. By hanging on long cables and sliding down from the top of the mountain to the foot of the mountain, you will experience an extremely exciting viewing experience from the high altitude.
With a height of nearly 50 m and a length of 560 m, going with the zip-line in Thanh Tan you will see the long winding stream and the treetops below your feet, the wind blowing in the ear just short within few minutes being enough to satisfy the curiosity as well as the eagerness of visitors.
Unlike the zip-line is a long sliding, High Wire is a series of challenges that require ingenuity and flexibility. There are three sections with different challenges such as zigzag bridge, swing ladder, net bridge… will make you sweat after days just sitting beside desk in office. Always have a staff of tourist area follow you each step help you to be able to pass safely. To go through all the challenges, you will need about an hour of climbing on strings about five meters from the ground. You can try this game in Thanh Tan tourist spot.
Tour discover Carlsberg Vietnam brewery
Do not miss the opportunity to experience one of Carlsberg’s largest breweries in The Southeast Asia. This promises to be a unique destination for beer lovers and those who are interested in learning about brewing art.
At this point, customers can observe the process of brewing beer and modern lines for famous kinds of beer throughout the Central Vietnam such as Huda, Huda Gold, Carlsberg; explore the 170-year history of Carlsberg and Carlsberg’s stories in Vietnam
In addition, with a tour visiting the factory for 2 hours, visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy free fresh beer flavors produced at the factory.
Open every Monday to Saturday, with a fare of 50,000 VND / person. (NOTE: Not for children under 18 years old)
Time: Morning from 09:00 am to 11:00 am; afternoon from 14:00 to 16:00
Address: Phu Bai Industrial Zone, Huong Thuy town, Thua Thien Hue
To register for the trip, you can visit http://hudabeertour.vn/, or contact hotline 0933 140 860, or through the travel agency in Hue.
Bathing in hot mineral springs
Situated in the tourist area of Thanh Tan, the natural hot springs system here is also attractive to many local guests as well as tourists. Hot mineral springs are special at temperatures from 30 degrees Celsius and up to 60 degrees Celsius when you are near the source. In addition, there are games such as mammoth water coaster or water slide in the water park is enjoyed by young people.
Enjoy Hue traditional music on the Perfume River
One of the activities that have been going on for many years in Hueis Hue’s traditional music on the Perfume River. Most of instrument players and singers on the boat are young people; they sing Hue folk songs with hundreds of years of history, songs associated with people and the land of dreaming Hue.
At Toa Kham wharf, you can easily buy tickets to listen to Hue singing about VND100,000 per person for 1 hour floating on the Perfume River, go under the Trang Tien Bridge lighted up every night, enjoy the rustic voice of Hue people that is very gentle. The boats here have dragon shape with the capacity of about 20 to 30 people lighted up every night.
Sitting on the boat about 1 hour, listening to singers sing without microphone, drop the small flower lantern on the Perfume River make the evening in Hue more fun.
Visit the Imperial City and mausoleums
Visiting the Hue Citadel and the mausoleums seems to be an indispensable part of Hue tourism, because the remains of a long dynasty in Vietnamese history are expressed clearly in the architecture of palaces and temples of this land.
Minh Mang Tomb is peaceful after the green pine forests all year round; Tu Duc Tomb is simple but stretches over a wide area; or the Imperial City is interesting… All these you should not ignore.
Especially, if you have free time, rent a bicycle or motorbike to go on the shady streets around the Imperial City in the evening, the noise of cicada on the quite road bring you the strange and peaceful feeling, which is very “Hue”.
Food and Specialties in Hue
Hue’s culinary can be said to be extremely rich and distinctive. Dishes have unique character are hard to find elsewhere.
Unique eateries: Che Hem is famous for its roasted Che and meat, yogurt Nguyen Du. Soy milk with egg is opposite Dong Ba Market. Giam Nuoc rice noodle is on Chi Lang Street, near Gia Hoi Bridge.
Hue specialties cannot be mentioned with all name of dishes, but if you have come here, you definitely should try:
Baby basket clams rice
Baby basket clams rice is sold in many restaurants and shops all over Hue. Prices are very cheap and eat quite strange taste.
This is a rustic food of Hue. Figs tree offer sweet and fresh fruits, can make vegetables or salad go with dishes such as rice noodles with grilled meat, rice noodles with grilled prawns, beef sandwiches, beef soaked in boilinig vinegar…; figs with girdle cake or stewed with pork, beef, fish, pompano, tuna …
Hue-style beef vermicelli soup
This food is familiar but you will feel different when eating it in Hue. The white noodles with the highlights are pink meatballs (from pork and crab meat), the pork pieces are softened, accompanied by a little spices as lemon, chili, fish sauce is very interesting, both spicy and hot. Shops for Hue-style beef vermicelli soup are available all over the streets in Hue.
Hue bloating fern-shaped cake
Hue people like it and have become habit to use this kind of homemade cake as dessert. In addition to the familiar venders on the street, in Hue now there are many “street of bloating fern-shaped cake” around the An Dinh Palace, Ngu Binh Street, Nguyen Binh Khiem Street…
Vietnamese Clear Shrimp & Pork Dumpling of “Mu Do”
In Hue, there are many shops of bloating fern-shaped cake, Vietnamese Clear Shrimp & Pork Dumpling and Nam cake but the most famous is still Mu Do shop. Hue people often call this one is Mu Do shop. In addition to the types of cake such as bloating fern-shaped cake, Vietnamese Clear Shrimp & Pork Dumpling and Nam cake, here also have delicious shrimp cake. Address: 71 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street.
People pour the flour mixture of rice with water and egg yolks, then add pepper, onions, fish sauce, salt, peeled shrimp, beef (or birds). Then they grill it, slice and eat with mung bean sprout and vegetable.
Accommodation in Hue
Hotels in Hue are very diverse, depending on the conditions of the individual; you can easily choose a suitable hotel. Here are the most favorite hotels of the last time:
Angsana Lang Co Hue hotel
Banyan Tree Lang Co Hue Resort
Ana Mandara Hue Resort & Spa
Alba Wellness Hue Resort.