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.
Imperial City – A once magnificent citadel under the Nguyen dynasty
The Imperial City of Hue is the common name for the Citadel and the Forbidden City. In modern times, it is located in Thuan Thanh ward. The Imperial City is made up of over 140 buildings of various sizes. The site used to serve as the office of the central government and served as home to the King and the royal family. The campus is resplendent with nature, with lakes, gardens, stone bridges, small islands, and ancient trees shading the campus year round. The Imperial City was recognized by UNESCO as a World Hertiage site in 1993.
♦Top tips: The imperial city is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ticket price: 150,000VND for adults or 30,000VND for children aged 7 to 12.
♦Must see: Duyet Thi Duong Theatre (Royal Ancient Theatre) which offers performances of traditional opera (Tuong), court music, and court dances.
♦ Dining: Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant (7K/28 Le Thanh Ton), Y Thao Garden Restaurant (3 Thach Han), Banh Khoai Lac Thien (6 Dinh Tien Hoang), Han Thuyen Street with many banh canh restaurants, Mrs. Minh vegetarian restaurant (4 Han Thuyen), Che Ba Mien (86 Mai Thuc Loan).
Thien Mu Pagoda – The most ancient pagoda in the Imperial City
Located about 5 kilometres West of Hue city centre, Thien Mu is the oldest and most beautiful pagoda with the most impressive architecture in Hue. The pagoda was built in 1601. Legend has it, when Nguyen Hoang became the guardian of Thuan Hoa, he personally scouted the location to expand his landrights. When he arrived at Ha Khe Hill, he saw that the land was shaped like a dragon turning its head. Locals have also said that at night, there was often an old woman dressed in red standing on top of the hill to tell passerbys: “A lord will come here and build a pagoda, to gather the spirits, stabilize the dragon, and make our country more powerful.” Nguyen Hoang’s ideas seemed to be in tune with the will of the people, and to honour the good omen, he built a pagoda on the hill, overlooking the Perfume River and named it “Thien Mu Tu” (Pagoda of the Heavenly Woman).
♦ Must see: Temple of Literature, Huyen Khong Son Thuong Pagoda (about 6 kilometres from Thien Mu Pagoda).
♦ Dining: Tha Om Restaurant (12/12 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen), Nam Chau Hoi Quan Restaurant (7 Van Xuan), Huyen Anh Restaurant (52/4 Kim Long), O Le Restaurant (104/17/9 Kim Long).
Phuoc Tich Village – Ancient homes made of jackfruit wood and traditional pottery craft
Phuoc Tich Village is located on the shores of Lau River, Phong Hoa Commune, Phong Dien District, Thua Thien in Hue Province. The village was formed in 1470 under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong. Currently there are 100 ancient homes in this village still standing, including 30 classified as the most unique among all the ancient villages in Vietnam. In days gone by, without machinery, homes like these would have taken years to build. Phuoc Tich Village perfectly preserved the pristine beauty of rural Vietnam, with its charming and tranquil scenery. Phuoc Tich Village is like a beautiful painting that mesmerises each and every visitor. The village is also famous for its 500-year-old traditional pottery craft.
♦ Must see: Thuy Lap bamboo and rattan village (Phong Hoa Commune, Phong Dien District) on the road towards the city centre.
♦ Dining: Following Highway 1A back to Hue city centre, you can visit: Co Do Restaurant, Phu Lanh Restaurant, Thuy Truc Vien Café, or Diem Hen Café.
Thanh Toan Tiled-roof Bridge – One of the most beautiful ancient bridges in Vietnam
Thanh Toan tiled-roof bridge crosses a canal that runs through Thanh Toan Village, Thuy Thanh Commune, Huong Thuy Town, located about 8 kilometres east of Hue city center. Thanh Toan Bridge is among the rarest in Vietnam and with the highest artistic value. The arched wooden bridge is 18.75-metres long and 5.82-metres wide. Both sides of the bridge have wooden railings and seats for visitors to sit and enjoy the view. The bridge is covered with a tiled roof, and is divided into 7 rooms. The middle room is dedicated to the worship of Mrs. Tran Thi Dao.
♦ Must see: Farm equipment exhibition, Cau Ngoi Market
♦ Dining: Gio Que Restaurant, or return to Hue city centre for more choice.
Mount Ngu Binh – The soul of Hue
Mount Ngu Binh, formerly known as Mo Islet or Bang Mountain, is located on the right bank of the Perfume River (between Con Hen and Con Gia Vien), 4 kilometres South of the city centre. On either side of it are two smaller mountains, Ta Phu and Huu Bat. From a distance, Mount Ngu Binh and the two smaller mountains look like a phoenix, opening its wings to shelter the citadel. Along with the poetic Perfume River, Mount Ngu Binh is a priceless gift that Mother Nature has presented to Hue. Together, they create the classic beauty of Hue. This is also the reason why Hue is dubbed the land of the Perfume River and Mount Ngu.
♦ Top tips: You can hike here, or book a cycling tour of the mountain. From the top of the mountain, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Hue and the Imperial City.
♦ Must see: Tran Hung Dao Temple – Ngu Binh, Ban Mountain – Quang Trung Monument.
♦ Dining: Khong Gian Xua Restaurant (205 Dien Bien Phu), Hiep Thanh Restaurant (101 Ho Dac Di), or return to the city centre for more choice.
Lang Co Bay – Breathtakingly beautiful
Lang Co Bay is located in Phu Loc District, at the foot of Hai Van Pass. With charming natural scenery, it was named one of the most beautiful bays in the world in 2009. Lang Co has almost everything that nature has to offer: tropical forests, white sand, blue sea, and sunny weather all year round.
♦Top tips: Lang Co bay is located 60 kilometres from Hue city centre, and 40 kilometres from Phu Bai International Airport. It’s only 25 kilometres from Danang City via Hai Van Pass Tunnel. Lang Co Beach is the ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing vacation, where you can lie on the beach and enjoy the greenery, play in the cool, crystal-clear water, or enjoy exciting beach activities.
♦ Must see: Lang Co fishing village, Lap An Lagoon, Chan May Bay.
♦Dining: Famous seafood restaurants in Lang Co: Nhu Ngoc Restaurant, Thanh Tam Restaurant, Thien Ly Restaurant, Trieu Vy Restaurant, Sao Bien Be Den Restaurant and many more.
Bach Ma National Park – Explore the wonderful nature
Covering both Phu Long and Nam Dong District, Bach Ma National Park has beautiful natural scenery, fresh air, and rich, diverse flora and fauna. Here, visitors can explore natural trails such as Do Quyen Trail which leads to Do Quyen Falls, Tri Sao Trail which leads to Tri Sao Falls, home of the elmeted guineafowl, Ngu Ho Trail which leads to 5 consecutive lakes, formed from a large stream, and Vong Hai Dai Trail which leads to the gazebo on top of Bach Ma Mountain, a 300-metre trail which leads through a White Seraya forest. In addition, Bach Ma National Park also has an orchid garden, which is home to hundreds of types of orchids of various shapes and colours.
♦Top tips: From Hue, take Highway 1A, travel south for about 40 kilometres to reach Cau Hai Town (Phu Loc District), turn right and drive for another 19 kilometres to reach Bach Ma National Park.
♦ Must see: Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery
♦ Dining: You can bring your own food or eat at the dining area inside the National Park.
Hai Van Pass – The most scenic mountain pass
Hai Van Pass (also known as Ai Van) is the natural boundary between Thua Thien and Danang. The Pass is 21 kilometres long, crossing majestic mountains and overlooking the vast ocean. Hai Van Pass is considered to be the most dangerous but also the most beautiful and scenic mountain pass in Vietnam. The top of Hai Van pass is cloudy year-round. At a height of 490 metres above sea level, it is a historical relic from the Nguyen Dynasty. The military architecture was built by King Ming Mang in 1826. The front of the building says “Hai Van Quan” and the back says “Thien Ha De Nhat Hung Quan”. In modern times, it has been a popular attraction because from the top of Hai Van Quan, you can see Hai Van Pass running along the mountainside.
♦ Dining: You can dine at restaurants in Lang Co Town – located at the foot of Hai Van Pass.
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