Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Getting around Hue
We rented a car and driver to navigate the sights of Hue in one day – check out a private tour of Hue here!There are also some great group tours – check tour prices here!
Thien Mu Pagoda
The Thien Mu Pagoda, overlooking the Perfume River, is an iconic Hue backdrop and a symbol of the ancient city. The 7 story pagoda was originally built in 1601 but, as a site of political demonstrations, has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in the years since. The pagoda is still a religious site today and it’s common to see monks wandering around the grounds.
The Perfume River
The Perfume River, slowly winding its way through Hue, is a tranquil contrast to the hustle of city life. Named for the tropical scents that are carried along the river from its flora and fauna rich source, the river is surrounded by the historic sights of the ancient city. We loved spending some time along its banks watching the passing boats and river life in full swing. As for the perfume fragrance, we’ll have to take a rain check on confirming that the truth is in the name!
Hue Citadel, The Imperial City
The walled fortress and palace in the city of Hue was once the administrative capital of Southern Vietnam. The Citadel grounds are surrounded by a moat fed by the Perfume River and inside the Citadel is the Imperial City which houses the Purple Forbidden City inside its perimeter. The vast complex was once the administrative centre of southern Vietnam during the 17th and 18th Centuries and, although the complex is in disrepair and restoration has been slow, it’s still absolutely worth a visit when in Hue.
Tick off a UNESCO!
If you share our fascination with UNESCO World Heritage Sites it’s worth noting that some of the must see sights we’ve listed make up the The Complex of Hue Monuments, the country’s first designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The central structure is the Hue Citadel which includes The Imperial City and The Forbidden City. The Tombs of the Emperors and the Thien Mu Pagoda are also part of complex of monuments which make up the UNESCO listing.
So there you have it, highlights from our day in Hue to help you plan your visit to the ancient Vietnam capital. To read more about our Vietnam adventures check out our round up of the trip here, a lowdown of our amazing night at the Hoi An Lantern Festival here and our experience of driving through the Hai Van Pass here!