What To Do in Hue
Palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples, culture and cuisine, history and heartbreak – there’s no shortage of poetic pairings to describe Hue.
Kinh Thành - Hue's Citadel
Most of Hue’s sights and a sizeable chunk of its population reside within the 2m-thick, 10km‑long walls of its Citadel (Kinh Thanh) on the north bank of the river. Built between 1804 and 1833, its ramparts are encircled by a moat, 30m across and about 4m deep, and there are 10 fortified gates.
The Citadel has several distinct sections. The Imperial Enclosure and area beyond the Forbidden Purple City formed the epicentre of Vietnamese royal life. On the southwestern side were temple compounds. There were residences in the northwest, gardens in the northeast and in the north the Mang Ca Fortress still forms a military base.
Thien Mu Pogoda
Built on a hill overlooking the Perfume River, 4km southwest of the Citadel, this pagoda is an icon of Vietnam and as potent a symbol of Hue as the Citadel. The 21m-high octagonal tower, Thap Phuoc Duyen , was constructed under the reign of Emperor Thieu Tri in 1844. Each of its seven storeys is dedicated to a manushi-buddha (a Buddha that appeared in human form).
Since the 1960s it has been a flashpoint of political demonstrations.
Thien Mu Pagoda was originally founded in 1601 by Nguyen Hoang, governor of Thuan Hoa province. Over the centuries its buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
Dragon Boat Cruise
One of the most notable features of Hue is the meandering Perfume (Huong) River that divides the city. As both the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda are situated on the river banks, boating on a simple, yet comfortable, vessel offers a relaxing alternative to the Imperial Hue tour.
Contact us if you wish to experience such activity.
Khải Định King's Tomb
This hillside monument is a synthesis of Vietnamese and European elements. Most of the tomb’s grandiose exterior is covered in blackened concrete, creating an unexpectedly Gothic air, while the interiors resemble an explosion of colourful mosaic.
Khai Dinh was the penultimate emperor of Vietnam, from 1916 to 1925, and widely seen as a puppet of the French. The construction of his flamboyant tomb took 11 years.