People say “Hue is boring, nothing to see, nothing to do”. But in my opinion, there are a lot of things to discover in Hue. If you plan to visit Hue city, what things to see in Hue? Actually, Hue is not a good place for business because of location and the ancient style maybe. There are not many investors choose Hue for their business. A lot of local people move to others city for working and living. So Hue is not crowded, fresh air and unpolluted. Hue attracts many tourists in and out bound because of its peace and ancient. Then now, I would like to recommend some things to see in Hue city.
1. Hue royal’s tombs
The tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty will be high on your must-visit list once coming to the city of Hue, Vietnam’s ancient imperial capital as they are vivid proofs of royal art and architecture. Located along the banks of the Perfume River between 2 km and 16 km south of Hue, the tombs have attracted a great number of visitors every year.
Since most of the tombs were built during the Emperor’s lifetime, they are places not only for burial but for Kings to take a rest and entertain also. In all, there were 13 Kings; however, due to various reasons, only 7 had tombs including ones for Gia Long, Minh Mang, Tu Duc, Khai Dinh, Duc Duc, Dong Khanh and Thieu Tri, three of which are frequently visited by domestic and international tourists due to their glamorous architectural features.
Hue has chosen to be the capital city of the Southern Kingdom by all Nguyen Lords and officially became the capital under Tay Son’reign. For approximately 400 years, Hue has become a great landscape and architectural site. Hue’ royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, with an area of 500 ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh (Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel).
3.Thien Mu Pagoda
Also on the north shore of the Perfume River about 3km from the Citadel. You can get there by dragon boat along the river, or for those feeling more energetic, a pleasant bicycle ride. The Thien Mu pagoda is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. Today it is the home of the Austin motor vehicle which drove Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem regime. It is still home to many monks and a holy site visited by many everyday.
4.Hue’s garden houses
garden houses are a unique feature of Hue. The houses are traditional, privately owned, and set in attractive formal gardens. Some have connections with the old Royal Imperial Court. Hue traditional architecture has long been close associated with the natural environment. The garden houses reflect this association. Each is highly individual – house and garden, people and scenery, plants, clouds and water co-exist and blend with each other in a harmonious context.
For example, you can visit An Hien garden house that located in Xuan Hoa village, Huong Long Commune. An Hien Garden has been described as a fine, sharp, and unique work by many writers. In the garden, many kinds of flowers grow. There are popular kinds of flowers such as jasmine, pergularia, pomegranate, sunflower, climbing rose and indigenous roses.
Ngoc Son Garden House: Princess Ngoc Son was a daughter of Emperor Dong Khanh – when she married, her father granted her the land to build a home. Today, it is one of the best garden houses and has been maintained largely in its original form.
5.Thanh Toan Bridge
Thanh Toan bridge is located about 7 kilometers to the east of Hue in Thuy Thanh Commune, Huong Thuy district. It was reportedly established during the reign of Emperor Le Hien Tong (1740-1786) and has been maintained by the village ever since. Construction of the bridge was initiated by Tran Thi Dao, the wife of a high-ranking Mandarin in Le Hien Tong’s court. Tran, who came from this area, had the bridge constructed to better facilitate transportation and communication in the village that lines both sides of the canal. When the Emperor heard of her charitable act, he exempted the village from taxation as a reminder for them to live up to her example. In 1925, Emperor Khai Dinh granted her a posthumous title and ordered the villagers to establish an altar on the bridge in her memory.
In many guidebooks, the bridge is referred to as the “Japanese Bridge” since it bears some stylistic resemblence to another small wooden bridge in nearby Hoian (see the Japanese Bridge, Hoian, on this website). Recognizing the bridge’s historical value, the Cultural Ministry renovated the bridge in 1991.
6.Dong Ba Markets
The largest market place in central Vietnam, this is definitely a place to visit to immerse yourself in the local culture. Tourists can see all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as, the sampan landing, the bus station and the bazaars. Dong Ba market is considered a paradise for snapshots of daily activities as well as for shopping with everything from souvenir items to bronze goods, Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical poem hats, just to name a few. Should you find interest in Vietnamese food or culture, you’d better come here to explore.