You have three days to explore Hue, where you should go and what to do to have enjoyable experience? Here are the detailed suggestions from Wanderlust Tips for you to have a perfect journey in Hue.
Tomb of Minh Mang – Tomb of Gia Long – Relics from the first two kings of the Nguyen Dynasties
The Tomb of Minh Mang, also known as Hieu Lang, is located about 15 kilometres from Hue city centre. This is a campus of over 40 buildings which includes palaces, castles and temples, distributed symmetrically along the 700-metre Than Dao Path. The Tomb of Minh Mang displays his character and talents from when he was alive.
The Tomb of Gia Long, also know as Thien Thu Lang, is located about 17 kilometres from the City Centre. The Tomb of Gia Long is a beautiful mix of nature and architecture, which showcases the extravagant life of the first king of the Nguyen dynasty.
♦ Top Tips: The two tombs are located in Huong Tho Commune, Huong Tra Town. They are open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day. A ticket for Minh Mang Tomb is 100,000VND for adults and 20,000VND for children aged 7 to 12. A ticket for Gia Long Tomb is 40,000VND for adults and free for children.
♦ Dining: Follow Highway 49 heading towards Hue city centre and visit Biet Phu Thao Nhi Restaurant, Tra Dinh Vu Di, La Pines Restaurant and more.
Tomb of Khai Dinh – Tomb of Thieu Tri – The sublimation of art and architecture
The Tomb of Khai Dinh covers a very modest area compared to the tombs of other kings, but it is artistically and architecturally significant. The work combines architectural styles from Asia, Europe, and Vietnam, and is the pinnacle of visual arts that combine both porcelain and glass. The Tomb of Thieu Tri is also known as Xuong Lang, and is located about 6 kilometres from Hue city center. Thieu Tri Tomb is quiet and tranquil, displaying the king’s calm and reflective character.
♦ Top tips: Both tombs are located in Thuy Bang Commune, Huong Thuy District. Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day. The entrance fee for The Tomb of Khai Dinh is 100,000 VND for adults and 20,000 VND for children aged 7 – 12. The entrance fee to The Tomb of Thieu Tri is 40,000 VND for adults and free for children.
♦ Must see: Dan Nam Giao, located on Dien Bien Phu Street, was where Nguyen kings paid tribute to the Gods. Thien An Monastery and Thuy Tien Lake are also nearby.
♦ Dining: Biet Phu Thao Nhi Restaurant (Cu Chanh 1 Village), Ngoc Linh Restaurant (Cu Chanh 1 Village), Tra Dinh Vu Di (Minh Mang Road), Tinh Tam Vegetarian Restaurant.
Tomb of Tu Duc – Tomb of Dong Khanh
The Tomb of Tu Duc is designed in a romantic style, displaying the character of the compassionate king. The tomb of the 4th king of the Nguyen dynasty is situated inside an immense pine forest. There are 50 buildings inside the campus, including the Minh Khiem Theatre, considered to be the oldest existing theatre in Vietnam. The Tomb of Dong Khanh (the 9th king in the Nguyen dynasty) is a mix between the ancient style of Tu Duc Tomb and the modern style of Khai Dinh Tomb.
♦ Top tips: Both tombs are located in Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue. Opening hours are from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day. The entrance fee for The Tomb of Tu Duc is 100,000VND for adults and 20,000VND for children aged 7 – 12. The entrance fee for Dong Khanh Tomb is 40,000VND for adults and free for children.
♦ Must see: Vong Canh Hill, Thuy Xuan incense village, Vien Quang Pagoda, Ho Quyen, Voi Re (Long Chau) Temple.
♦ Dining: Moc Vien Restaurants (No. 2E Hoai Thanh), Thien Lam Vegetarian Restaurant (No. 110 Le Ngo Cat Street), Chan Doi Restaurant, (No. 65/16 Le Ngo Cat Street).
Hue City Centre – City of heritage
Hue possesses many historical buildings with deep cultural significance. Spend a morning or an afternoon strolling leisurely through the ancient streets, visiting attractions in the city centre, and soaking in the rhythm of life. Famous attractions include: Truong Tien Bridge, Gia Hoi Chi Lang old town, Dieu De Pagoda, Princess Ngoc Son Temple, the National School of Hue, Ho Chi Minh Museum – Hue, Hue Cultural Museum, Le Ba Dang Art Center, Diem Phung Thi art exhibit, Tung Thien Vuong Temple, Lac Tinh Vien, Anh Dinh Palace and Dong Ba market.
♦ Top tips: You can tour the city by motorbike, bicycle, trishaw or on foot. Most attractions are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and some charge an entrance fee.
♦ Cuisine: Com Nieu Khai Hoan (94 Le Loi), An Dinh Vien Restaurant (7 Pham Hong Thai), Huong Restaurant – An Dinh Palace (148 Kiet Nguyen Hue), beef porridge (1 Nguyen Cong Tru), beef noodles by The Journalists Association (22 Le Loi), Ti Hon mussels restaurant (3 Han Mac Tu).
Garden Houses – Prominent architecture in Hue
The garden houses in Hue combine landscape and architecture, displaying cultural and historical values, which are both considered to be important parts of the heritage of Hue. Famous garden houses like Phu Mong or An Hien are located on the banks of the Perfume River. An Hien garden house (No 58 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Road) is the most prominent with unique architecture and landscape. An ancient house, with intricate carvings, designs and interior design, it sits among a beautiful garden. At An Hien garden house, you will feel like you’ve entered a different world, a world that is strangely peaceful.
♦ Top tips: From downtown Hue, follow the northern bank of the Perfume River for about 2 kilometres and you’ll arrive at the homes of the aristocrats of ancient Vietnam.
♦ Dining: Ancient Hue Restaurant (104/47 Kim Long), Tha Om Restaurant (12/12 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen), Thao Trang Vien Restaurant (34 Phu Mong), Banh Uot Huyen Anh (52/4 Kim Long)
Conical hat craft village – Finding the famous poem hats of Hue
For generations, the conical hat has served as a practical item to shade Vietnamese people from the sun and the rain. For Hue people, it has become a cultural speciality, and the poem hats have become attached to the image of Hue women in purple ao dai. Making conical hats has been a traditional craft in Hue for hundreds of years, with many famous craft villages like Da Le, Doc So, Trieu Tay, Kim Long, Sia, and the most famous – Phu Cam Village (Phuoc Vinh Ward, Hue).
♦ Top tips: To make a “poem hat”, Hue artisans have to meticulously and diligently follow many steps. Visitors to the village can witness them being made and maybe even try their hand at making their own conical hat. They are of course available to buy as souvenirs for relatives and friends.
♦ Cuisine: Nam Phuong Restaurant (57 Hai Ba Trung), Tai Phu Restaurant (2 Dien Bien Phu), Zdach Lau Restaurant (55 Ben Nghe), Bun Hien (29 Ba Trieu), Mr. Luong eel porridge (43 Ba Trieu ), Tinh vegetarian restaurant (2 Tran Cao Van).
Tam Giang – Cau Hai lagoons – The largest brackish lagoons in Vietnam
The lagoon system in Central Vietnam is over 68 kilometres long and covers the territory of some 5 districts in Thua Thien, Hue. The most prominent are Tam Giang and Cau Hai Lagoon (also known as Chuon Lagoon). Located about 12 kilometres from Hue city center, Tam Giang Lagoon is about 25 kilometres long, with a surface area of about 52 square kilometres, stretching from O Lau River to Thuan An Bridge and converging with the East Sea via the Thuan An Estuary. This is famous for being the largest brackish lagoon in Southeast Asia. Chuon Lagoon is located about 10 kilometres from Hue city centre. Follow Highway 49 toward An Truyen and Chuon Lagoon will appear gracefully before your eyes across the green fields.
♦ Top tips: From February to July is the ideal time to experience the lives of the fishermen in the lagoon.
♦ Dining: floating restaurants on the lagoon with fresh seafood caught by the fishermen.
Thuan An Beach – A place for relaxing and fun
Thuan An Beach is located in Thuan An Town, Phu Vang District, about 15 kilometres east of Hue city centre. This is a great place to relax after spending a day discovering the tombs, temples, and landscapes in Hue.
Thuan An Beach attracts both locals and tourists, especially in the months from April to September, when the weather is the hottest. Here, you can enjoy the taste of the famous rice wine from Chuon Village, fresh seafood grilled over choarcoal fires at the beach, and the traditional dishes of the locals.
♦ Cuisine: Ana Mandara Hue Resort & Spa serves dishes from street food to royal court cuisine, Asian and European dishes, An An’s restaurant specializes in fresh seafood (Road 1 to Thuan An Beach).
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