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Being a city in Central Vietnam, Hue is located on the bank of Perfume River, just a few miles to the East Sea. This city is about 700 kilometers to the South of Hanoi and more than 1100 kilometer to the North of Ho Chi Minh City. Hue is famous for being the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty during 143 years, from 1802 to 1945. Throughout the ups and downs in the history, Hue becomes the city maintaining the tangible and intangible heritage of Vietnam. The present-day Hue captures the essence of both the mind and the soul of the country in its poetic landscape, green mountains, and charming rivers.

When mentioning Hue, the first thing coming to mind of many people the image of a city steeped in history. Thanks to the good feng-shui, Hue was the place where Nguyen Hue, the second emperor of Tay Son Dynasty, took the throne. Then, it rose to prominence as the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty from the 17th century to the 19th century. Visiting Hue, you can have chances of broadening your knowledge about Vietnamese history, especially the history in the last feudal court. In addition, you will learn more about Vietnamese royal life of the king’s family of the Nguyen Dynasty represented in many famous sites such as Thai Hoa Palace, Can Thanh Palace, Khon Thai Residence, Kien Trung Pavilion, and Khai Dinh Museums.

The essential travel guide to Hue , Vietnam
Source: vietnamtravelblog.info

Hue is also a Buddhism center with hundreds of Buddhist pagodas including Thien Mu, Bao Quoc, Tu Dam, and Quoc An Pagoda. Moreover, Hue boasts an enormous number of festivities and music which have played an important part in the national identity. Some typical festivals you shouldn’t miss out are Hue Festival (takes place every two year), Nam Giao Ceremony (a ritual, solemn ceremony of Nguyen Kings to show the respect and to worship the heaven and the earth), New Calendar Delivering Ceremony (ceremony for the proclamation of successful candidates after national examinations and royal parades) and Buddhist Pagoda Ceremony. Last but not least, Nha Nhac Hue (the ritual music performed at the Vietnamese Royal Court), Hue traditional dance, and ca Hue (one of three kinds of Vietnamese chamber music) are considered as the essential spiritual food for visitors from different places.

I. WHEN TO TRAVEL TO HUE, VIETNAM

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Hai Van Pass – The shortcut but scenic route connecting Da Nang to the Lang Co Beach, Hue  Source: buffalotripcom

1. Weather in Hue, Vietnam

a. Hue has a severe weather condition
Being a part of Central Vietnam, Hue has severe weather condition. Due to its location in the tropical monsoon belt, Hue receives a considerable volume of solar radiation, it’s about 70 – 85 Kcal/cm² per year. In addition, for being under the influence of Southwest wind blowing from Laos, Hue is considerably hotter than nearby regions such as Hoi An, and Danang.  The average temperature is around 25oC. The hottest month is August with the daylight temperature is up to 34oC. The coolest time is from December to January with the average temperature is around 20,3oC. The annual precipitation is estimated from 3,100 mm to 3,250mm. The Truong Son Mountains in the South bottle up all the moisture. That’s the reason why Hue is usually misty, and drizzly. Hue has pretty high humidity which is around 86.7%. Humidity is often higher than usual in the rainy season, especially from February to the end of March.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: vietnamonline.com

b. Hue has two indistinct seasons
Hue climate features common traits of the transition region between subequatorial climate and inter-tropical climate. Therefore, Hue has two indistinct seasons including winter and dry season. Summer often lasts from April to September. During these months, especially from July to August, Hue has the scorching heat. It’s also drier due to the winds blowing from Lao. It only gets a bit cold in the winter from October to March since when northeast monsoon. Like other regions in Central Vietnam, Hue suffers a lot of tropical storms which often appears from June and occurs in high density between September and October

2. When is the best time to visit Hue, Vietnam

a. From February to March
The perfect time to visit Hue is from February to March. During these months, the weather is cooler. The average temperature ranges from 20oC to 22oC, which makes it more comfortable to go outside and explore the beauty of this city. In addition, the precipitation in these months is lowest throughout the year. So that you don’t have to worry that the rain may ruin your vacation.This time also concurs with the beginning of Lunar New Year. Therefore, it’s the ideal time to visit spiritual destinations such as Thien Mu Pagoda, Hung Khanh Pagoda, Bao Quoc Pagoda and Thien Lam Pagoda.

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: denchua.nhadatso.com

b. From October to January
From October to January is also an ideal time to visit Hue when it starts cooling off. During these moths, Hue suffers many heavy spots of rain, several ones even bear tropical storm. Heavy rains may prevent you from scrolling around the city. However, you still can visit historical sites such as An Dinh Palace, Temple of Literature, and Museum of Royal Antiquities. From October to January is also the time when many remarkable festivals are celebrated in Hue. Visiting Hue in these months, you can have golden chances to enjoy the Nha Nhac  (Vietnamese Court Music), which is recognized as the Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

II. HOW TO TRAVEL TO HUE, VIETNAM

1.   How to get to Hue, Vietnam

a.   Getting to Hue by airplane – the fastest way to travel 

Phu Bai International Airport is 15 kilometers from Hue City and takes about half an hour to get from the airport to downtown Hue. In the past, Phu Bai International Airport was chiefly used by the French and the Americans. But since 1975, it has been transformed to server civilization purpose. As featuring limited size, Phu Bai Airport is able to receive only medium-sized planes such as Airbus A320, and Boeing 747. Up to now, there have been 3 domestic airlines operating out of Phu Bai Airport including Vietnam Airline, VietJet Air, and Jetstar Pacific Airline. Here is information on direct domestic flights:

Flight RouteAirlineDurationTotal FlightsPrice
Hanoi - HueVietJetAir,
Vietnam Airlines
1h 15m8 non-stop flights/dayVND 1,247,000 – VND 4,700,000
Dalat - HueJetstar1h 10m3 non-stop flights/weekVND 1,600,00 – VND 2,200,00
Ho Chi Minh City - DalatJetstar, VietJetAir, Vietnam Airlines1h 20m28 non-stop flights/dayVND 937,000 – VND 2,800,000

Note: Price mentioned above is the price on the economy class flight. The prices can vary dramatically over time and it depends on the airline.

From Da Nang, Nha Trang you also can visit Hue by airplane, but the flights can last from  4  to 5 hours since you have to transit in Noi Bai Airport or Tan Son Nhat Airport. In October 2005, Phu Bai International Airport officially received its first charter international flight which carried Austrian tourists from Luang Prabang, Laos and was operated by Austrian Airline. Up to know, there have been 2 non-stop international flight routes in Phu Bai Airport including Zunyi Xinzhou – Hue, Bangkok – Hue.To travel by airplane, you can book the online ticket from the website of the airline:
Vietnam Airline: vietnamairfares.org
VietJet Air:
  Vietjetair.com
Jetstar Pacific:  Jetstarpacific.com
Or from one of the most popular OTA: avia.com

How to travel from Phu Bai Airport to Hue’s city?
The cheapest way to travel from Phu Bai Airport to the center city is taking an airport bus which cost you from VND 30,000 to VND 40,000. If you have a lot of luggage, it’s better for you to take a taxi. The average price for a taxi ranges from VND 1200,000 to VND 250,000.

Taxi Airport
Tel: (+84) 243-200-2566
Email: support@dichung.vn
Website: www.taxiairport.vn
Price: VND 150,000 (4-seat car), VND 190,000 (7-seat car)

Shinny Taxi
Tel: (+84) 126-677-7702
Price: VND 40,000 – 150,000/pax (4-seat car)
VND 40,000 – VND 170,000/pax (5-seat car)
VND 30,000 – VND 200,000/pax (7-seat car)

Phu Bai International Airport (PIA)
Address: Group 08, Phu Bai Ward, Huong Thuy District 
Tel: (+84) 54-386-1131
Fax: (+84) 54-386-1131
Website: www.phubaiairport.vn

b. Getting to Hue by train –The most interesting way to travel

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: tnktravel.com

Hue Railway Station lays on the main North-South Railway. Constructed by the French colonial authorities during the French Indochina period, Hue Railway Station is considered one of the most beautiful stations in Vietnam. Nowadays, Hue Railway Station handles passenger and cargo transportation from the North to the South and is an important transit point of the Center of Vietnam.

Train RouteDeparture TimeDurationPrice
Hanoi – Hue
06:00; 09:00, 19:30,
20:05, 20:10, 22:00
12 hoursHard seat: from VND 892,000
Soft seat: from VND 952,000
Hard berth: from VND 1,000,000
Soft berth: from VND 1,352,000
Ho Chi Minh – Hue06:00; 09:00, 12:05,
09:30, 22:00
20 hoursHard seat: from VND 1,003,000
Soft seat: from VND 1,137,000
Hard berth: from VND 1,517,000
Soft berth: from VND 1,694,000
Nha Trang - Hue03:21, 05:00, 13:26.
16:29, 19:54
11 hoursHard seat: from VND 735,000
Soft seat: from VND 892,000
Hard berth: from VND 1,070,000
Soft berth: from VND 1,137,000
Danang - Hue03:02, 12:46, 14:13,
22:59
2.5 hoursHard seat: from VND 356,000
Soft seat: from VND 423,000
Hard berth: from VND 519,000
Soft berth: from VND 590,000
Vinh - Hue
01:41, 03:32, 12:08,
15:11
7 hoursHard seat: from VND 624,000
Soft seat: from VND 691,000
Hard berth: from VND 780,000
Soft berth: from VND 825,000

To get more information of other train route and book the tickets, you can visit www.vietnam-railway.com or www.dsvn.vn. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets from the ticket booths at the city train stations, which is often cheaper. Sometimes it can help you to save up to 25%.  However, you might face the risk of running out of tickets. Therefore, it’s better to book in advance.

Hue Railway Station
Address: No. 2 Bui Thi Xuan Street
Tel: (+84) 543-822-175
Ticket Hours: 7:30 – 19:30  

c. Getting to Hue by open bus – The cheapest way to travel

There is no doubt that getting to Hue by open buses is the cheapest way. Since thí city is a popular destination in Central Vietnam, there is a considerable number of bus operators. That’s why you will have a lot of choices and able to travel to Hue at any times. There are two bus stations in Hue including The Northern Bus Station connecting to the Northern regions of Vietnam and The Southern Bus Station connecting to North Vietnam.

The Northern Bus Station
Address: An Hoa Ward, Hue City
Tel: (+84) 54-352-2716
Email: admin@benxehue.vn
Website: www.benxehue.vn
Opening hours: Always open

Bus Route Duration Bus Operator Price
Hanoi – Hue 12- 14 hours KIM Tour, Hoang Long, The Sinh Tourist VND 530,000
Vinh – Hue 8 hours BaoYen VND 150,000
Dong Hoi – Hue 4 hours Eagle Tourist VND 180,000
Hai Phong – Hue 14 hours Hoang Long VND 560,000

The Southern  Bus Station
Address: No. 97 An Duong Vuong Street, Thuy An Ward, Hue City
Tel: (+84) 54-382-3817 or (+84)-54-382-5070
Email: admin@benxehue.vn
Website: www.benxehue.vn
Opening hours: Always open

Bus Route Duration Bus Operator Price
Ho Chi Minh City  – Hue 22 hours Hoang Long VND 440,000
Dalat – Hue 17 hours Phuong Trang VND 330,000
Quy Nhon – Hue 14 hours Hoang Long VND 560,000
Nha Trang – Hue 16 hours TM Camel VND 460,000
Danang – Hue 2 hours Eagle Tourist VND 79,000 – VND 180,000

Here are some reliable bus operators:

KIM Tour – Sleeper Bus Vietnam
Email:ticketvietnam@gmail.com
www.sleeperbusvietnam.com
Office in Hanoi: No. 74 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: (+84) 43-993-5766
Office in Hoi An: No. 197 Tran Duy Hieu Street, Hoi An
Tel: (+84) 510-392-4968
Hotline: (+84) 942-006-888
Office in Ho Chi Minh City: No. 38 Bui Vien Street, District 01, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (+84) 942-006-888

Hoang Long Bus Operator
Tel: (+84) 225-392-0920
Email: info@hoanglongasia.com
Website: www.hoanglongasia.com

Phuong Trang Bus (Fu-ta Bus)
Tel: (+84) 28-3838-6852
Booking Hotline: 1900 6067
Email: hotro@futabus.vn
Website: www.futabus.vn

The Sinh Tourist
Address 1: No. 246 – 248 De Tham Street, District 01, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel:  (+84) 28-3838-9593
Fax: (+84) 28-3836-9322
Booking Hotline: (+84) 28-3838-9597
Email: info@thesinhtourist.vn
Website: www.thesinhtourist.vn

Bao Yen Bus Operator
Pick-up Place: Vinh Bus Station, No. 07 Le Loi Street, Vinh City, Nghe An Province
Address: Vinh Bus Station, No. 07 Le Loi Street, Vinh City, Nghe An Province
Tel: (+84) 234-388-8555
Email: trantien588@gmail.com
Website: www.nhaxebaoyen.com

Eagle Tourist
Tel: (+84) 942-318-118
Email: booking@dulichdaibang.com
Website: www.dulichdaibang.com

TM Camel
Address: No. 18A Tran Hung Dao Street, Nha Trang City
Tel: (+84) 935-332-388
Email: cameltravelbus@gmail.com
Website: www.cameltravel.vn

To get more information and book the ticket, you can visit www.vexere.com. Alternatively, you can book the ticket on the website of the bus operator.

2. How to get around Hue, Vietnam

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: Vietnam Travel Guide

a. Getting around Hue by bus – The cheapest way

Hue has an extensive network of buses that reach every corner of the city. Thanks to the government subsidies, the bus ticket is amazingly cheap. It only cost you around VND 7,000 no matter where you go as long as your destination is one part of the bus route. That’s why the bus is considered the cheapest and most convenient way to get around Hue. Please take it into consideration that the buses often operate from 06:00 to 19:00. Therefore, if you want to explore the nightlife in Hue, or want to travel far away, you have to choose another means of transportation.

b. Getting around Hue by cyclo – Must-try means of transportation

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: Dân Trí

Cyclo is one of the most primitive means of transport dating back to the early 20th century of Vietnam. After the “motorbike –boom” at the beginning of 21st century, cyclo became redundant people needed to travel farther and faster. Nowadays, cyclo only remains in some cities of Vietnam and chiefly serves foreign tourists. With the low speed, cyclo offers you the best way to admire the charming beauty and enjoy the tranquility of Hue.

Normally, the total price depends on the distance, and sometimes on the weather condition. The reasonable price ranges from VND 30,000 to VND 50,000. Remember to ask the price clearly to reach an agreement before setting off on the trip.  You also have to watch out for any negotiating tricks, make sure that the amount negotiated covers the return trip.

c. Getting around Hue by bicycle – The most interesting way

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: Living Nomads

Hue has a pretty light traffic, that’s why Hue is a wonderful place to rent a bike and scrolling around. Many hotels rent out the bicycles for about VND 20,000 – VND 30,000/day. You also can rent a bike from the rental bike shop.

Hue Smile Travel
Address: No. 40A Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Tel: (+84) 935-484-415
Website: www.huesmiletravel.com.vn
Email: info@huesmiletravel.com

d. Getting around by motorbike – The most flexible way

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: vietnamtravel-guide.com

Motorbike is the most common means of transport in Vietnam. It’s also the favorite way to explore the city of many foreign tourists. With a motorbike, you can travel to anywhere you like, and whenever you want. The traffic here is light and isn’t as crazy as the traffic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, traveling around by motorbike is a great choice. You can rent a motorbike in your hotel for VND 120,000 – VND 200,000/day, depending on the kind of the motorbike. Or rent from the rental motorbike shops:

Hue Smile Travel
Address: No. 40A Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Tel: (+84) 935-484-415
Website: www.huesmiletravel.com.vn
Email: info@huesmiletravel.com

Abs Travel & Trade Co. Ltd
Tel: (+84) 54-393-2499
Hotline: (+84) 916-860-552
Email: info@abstravel.asia

The requirement of renting a motorbike: Passport, ID, Driving License.
Speeding & Speed limits: In the city, speed limit allowed is 40km/hour

III. WHERE TO TRAVEL TO HUE

1. The Imperial Citadel – The Purple Forbidden Citadel of Hue, Vietnam

The essential travel guide to Hue, Vietnam
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Located on the northern bank of Perfume River, Hue Imperial Citadel is the must-see attraction for you when visiting this charming beauty. Thanks to its historic and cultural values, Hue Imperial Citadel was officially recognized as one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993.

Hue Imperial Citadel was actually a walled fortress and palace constructed in 1805. It’s Gia Long King that chose the location base on the feng-shui and planned to build this citadel. After 27 years, in 1832, Hue Imperial Citadel was completed and became the most massive structure throughout the history of modern Vietnam.

Hue Imperial Citadel covers an area of 520,000 m2 and features a circumference of 10 kilometers. The circumference is 6.6 meters high and 21 meters thick. To protect the important palace inside, there are ten majestic gates leading to the Hue Imperial City including Thuong Tu Gate, Dong Ba Gate, Mang Ca Nho Gate, Mang Ca Lon Gate, The Nhan Gate, West Gate, Ngo Mon, Hoa Binh, Chuong Duc, and Hien Nhon Fate. There are 4 outer courts and 14 inner courts. In addition, Hue Imperial Citadel has a garden called Ngu Uyen and 2 pavilions including Lau Kien Trung and Thai Binh Lau.

2. Thien Mu Pagoda – The divine symbol of  Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in HueHue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Living Nomads

Constructed in 1601 between Perfume River and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda is considered as the most fascinating and ancient pagoda in Hue. The name Thien Mu which means “Celestial Lady” has its roots in a local legend: a woman in a red blouse and green trousers appeared on the hill every night and said that a Lord would come by and build here a great pagoda for the country’s prosperity. When passing by the village and hearing of this legend, Nguyen Hoang King decided to buy this pagoda and named it Thien Mu.

Thanks to the development and the spread of Buddhism in Dang Trong, Thien Mu pagoda was renovated in on a larger scale under the reign of Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu. It was the time the big bell with an inscribed teaching was added. Since then, the sound of the bell has become the soul of Hue. In 1974, Thien Mu Pagoda was rebuilt one more time. There were many great architectural structures was added including Thien Vuong Building, Dai Hung Building, Thuyet Phap Building, Tang Kinh Pavilion, Monks’ rooms and a house for religious meditation time.  In 1884, this pagoda is rebuilt with the construction of Phuoc Duyen Tower – the famous symbolic link with Thien Mu Pagoda, Thieu Tri Emperor’s poems and Huong Nguyen Temple

Throughout history, Thien Mu Pagoda has gone through many eventful phases, damage as well as renovations, it still remains one of the twenty most beautiful landscape and a divine symbol of this ancient capital. The beautiful sound of Thien Mu bell winding its way over the Perfume River flow will resonate in the hearts and minds of the people and of visitors to Hue.

3. Vong Canh Hill – The best place to catch a panoramic view of Perfume River

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: living nomads

Vong Canh Hill, the 43-meter high hill, is located 7 kilometers from the center city. As its name suggests (“Vong” means “watch”, “Canh” means “scene”), Vong Canh Hill is the best place to catch a panoramic view of Perfume River. From the top of the hill, you can enjoy the natural beauty and the tranquility of Hue. In front of your eyes is a harmonious, attractive picture of peaceful villages stretching along the river banks, small boats quietly skimming and the green corn field inscribed by the pine trees.

Vong Canh Hill is surrounded by many royal tombs. Coming to Vong Canh Hill, you will have chances of visiting many royal tombs such as King Tu Duc’s, Dong Khanh’s, and Thieu Tri’s’ tomb. You can also visit the Water plant Van Nien which is the Oriental-styled building designed by a French architecture.

4. Nam Giao Esplanade – The Monument of the Nguyen Dynasty

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Flickr

Nam Giao Esplanade is the monument where Nguyen Kings used to come to give offerings the God annually in the spring. In spite not being in the intact condition, Nam Giao Esplanade is still the largest one in Vietnamese history left.

This monument consisted of three terraces which symbolized three agents including heaven, earth, and man. The topmost terrace is “Vien Dan” symbolizing Heaven. Vien Dan has circle shape and is surrounded with blue-painted parapet. There is a stone called “Thanh” piercing with the circular holes on the surface. Right below the Vien Dan is Phuong Dan – the square terrace symbolizes Earth. This terrace is surrounded with yellow-painted parapet. The lowest terrace is also square and symbolizes human. All three terraces feature doors at very four sides: East, West, South, and North.

Vietnamese and Chinese people used to think that King was the son of the Gods. Nam Giao Ceremony was a ritual, solemn ceremony of Nguyen Kings to show the respect and to worship their parents (heaven and earth). The first ceremony was held in 1807 and from then on it was held annually in the spring until Thanh Thai times in 1907, it was ordered to hold every three years by the King because he realized this ceremony is too costly. Nam Giao Ceremony was also an occasion when the Nguyen Kings pray for timely rains and favorable weather as well as peace to their country. That’s the reason why for the Nguyen Kings, Nam Giao Esplanade was the most sacred place that needed to be kept well. Visiting Nam Giao Esplanade, you will have chances of understanding more about the history and culture of ancient Vietnam.

5. An Dinh Palace – The remnant of Vietnamese royal life under feudal court

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: hue-ecotours.com

Located by the bank of An Cuu Canal, An Dinh Palace was the palace where Bao Dai King, the last king of Vietnamese feudal court, and his family lived from 1945 to 1955. After several restorations and conversations carried out strictly to UNESCO standard, recently An Dinh Palace has been opened for tourists by the Center for Preservation of Hue Relics.

In the beginning, An Dinh Palace was built to be the private residence of the king Khai Dinh. After officially acceding to the throne, the King Khai Ding continued to renovate this palace in modern European style between 1917 and 1919. It’s the special aesthetic sense and eccentric mental sense of the king Khai Dinh that created the unique feature of this palace.

Come to this site, you are free to explore the beauty of the sophisticated decoration at Khai Tuong Pavilion. This pavilion consisted of three stories, all of which were designed in modern European style and were constructed by a modern material. At the first floor, An Dinh Palace features the wall paintings with many remarkable western style paintings survived in Vietnam from the early 20th century. In addition, this palace serves as a museum with over 40 photos, 100 original objects and 30 documents on display reproduces lives of this royal family.

IV. THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING HUE, VIETNAM

1. Enjoy the elegant beauty of Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue

vietnam-travel.org
Source: vietnam-travel.org

Nha Nhac  is widely known as a variety of musical and dance styles performed at the Vietnamese Royal Court from the Tran Dynasty of the 13th century to the Nguyen Dynasty. Nha Nhac appeared regularly in annual ceremonies including anniversaries and religious holidays, as well as social daily events such as funerals or official receptions. Nha Nhac was performed by highly trained and skilled court musicians dressed in sumptuous costumes. There was also a large-scale orchestra with a broad range of instruments such as conical oboe (đàn bầu), the pear-shaped lute with four strings (đàn tỳ bà), moon-shaped two-string lute (đàn nguyệt), two-stringed vertical fiddle (đàn nhị), and drums (trống).

Vietnamese royal music represents an elegant and refined music. It deals with the music performed in the imperial courts and on different anniversaries, religious festivals, and on such particular occasions. Of the different categories developed in Viet Nam, only the royal music was national.

                                                                          _____The UNESCO Council_____

With the ups and downs of history, Nha Nhac becomes a relic of nations which claims nationwide scopes and stable links with Asian cultures. Nha Nhac not only a means of paying tribute to the gods but also a way to transmit knowledge about nature and the universe. On November 7, 2003, UNESCO officially proclaimed Nha Nhac as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Duyet Thi Duong Royal Ancient Theater
Address: Doan Thi Diem Street, Phu Hau Ward, Hue City
Tel: (+84) 54-514-989 or (+84) 54-352-4162
Fax: (+84) 54-352-4162
Email: huenhanhaccungdinh@gmail.com
Website: www.nhanhac.com.vn
Price: VND 200,000
Time: 10:00 – 10:40; 15:00-15:40

2. Immersing into the elegant melody of Ca Hue on The Perfume River

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: twitter @trandinhkhacdu

Ca Hue (Ca Huế) is a kind of scholarly musical art that rooted in performances in royal and mandarin houses during the feudal era. Ca Hue is the harmony combination of the quintessences of the folk and chamber music. The smooth, gentle and loving melodies of Ca Huế associated with the charming and poetic scenery of the Perfume River retains the remarkable features of Hue.

Ca Huế consists of two lines including the Northern and the Southern one. The Northern one includes songs with cheerful and bright melodies, meanwhile, the Southern one features plaintive, slow and sorrow melodies. Ca Huế is performed by talented vocalists dressed in ao dai, the Vietnamese traditional custom. The tune of Ca Hue is played with many traditional Vietnamese musical instruments such as 16-string zither (đàn tranh), two-string fiddle (đàn nhị), moon-shaped lute (đàn nguyệt), and wooden clappers (sênh tiền). The other noteworthy feature of Ca Huế is its lyric of many meaningful messages.

A free Ca Huế performance is held every Tuesday and Friday at the Truong Sanh Residence. If you want to immerse into the beautiful melody of Ca Huế and enjoy the charm of the Perfume River, you can join the Ca Huế Performance which is held daily in the Emperor Dragon Boat (Thuyen Rong). To enjoy this performance, firstly you have to come to Truong Tien Bridge, purchase the tickets and then get into the Emperor Dragon Boat. After that, all you need to do is letting the melodies of Ca Huế stir your souls with both sorrow and delightful moods.

Ca Huế in the  Traditional Royal Theatre of Arts
Location: Truong Sanh Residence
Time: 10:00– 10:30 and 14:30- 15:00
Price: free
Tel: (+84) 54-514-989
Email: nhahatcungdinhhue@gmail.com

Ca Huế in the Emperor Dragon Boat
Location: Nghenh Luong Dinh Pavillion
Tel: (+84) 989-188-797
Email: sales@huecuata.com
Website: www.emperordragonboat.com

3. Taking part in Hue Festival – The quintessence of culture

[metaslider id=”5544″] Taking places every two years around April and May, Hue Festival is an international cultural event attracting a considerable number of both foreign and domestic visitors. The purpose of Hus festival is to honor priceless heritages of this city. In the past, this festival was called Vietnamese – French Festival. Not until 2002, did it gain the present name “Hue festival”.

Being the biggest festival in Vietnam, Hue Festival features many community-based events imbued with Vietnamese cultural identities such as Imperial Night, Nam Giao Worshiping Ceremony, Ao dai Festival, the Vietnamese Timbre, and Truyen Lo Ceremony. In addition, Hue Festival has a special international art troupe with the participation of many countries from all over the world. This troupe not only represents cultural nuances of 5 continents but also shows the great unity between countries. Taking part in Hue Festival, you also have chances of watching many traditional craft villages and special traditional games such as human chess and kite competition.

4. Visiting Hue Night Market and discovering the daily life of the locals

Located on the Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street, Hue Night Market has busy, the animated atmosphere which is completely contrasted to the tranquility of Hue in the daylight. Hue Night Market often opens from 17:00 to 23:00. Hue Night Market has more than 122 stands divided into three sections including traditional handicrafts, consumer goods, and cuisine.

Visiting Hue Night Market, you will amaze at a variety of sophisticated handicraft, eye-catching souvenir, and lovely decorative items. In addition, Hue Night Market is the perfect places to enjoy tasty local cuisines such as com hen (mussel rice), bun bo hue (Hue beef noodle), and banh la (leaves cake). Hue Night Market is also a place where most quintessence products of Thua Thien Hue Province gather including Phu Cam conical hat, Ke Mon jewelry, Song Hy sesame candy, Truoi berry and lotus seed of Tinh Tam Lake.

V. WHAT TO EAT IN HUE, VIETNAM

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Jasmine Hue Hotel

1. Mussel Rice (Com hen) – The low-priced specialty of Hue

Source: dulichtho.com

Com hen is a low-priced specialty you must try when visiting Hue. Made from river mussel, rice together with more than 13 different raw materials, com hen has a combined flavor including sweet, buttery, salty, sour, bitter and spicy flavors. To make com hen, firstly people soak fresh river mussel in rice water for a long time to remove impurities. Then, they boil mussels until they open their mouth. After that, gently scrape the meat off the shell. Mussel meat is fried with oil, dried bamboo shoot, rice vermicelli, white sesame, chili sauce and fish sauce. Fried mussels are put on the top of the bow of rice with peanut, salted shredded meat, fried pork rind. Com hen is served with a lot of fresh vegetable including banana flower, banana trunk, spicy vegetables, peppermint, and salads.

Where to eat com hen?

Hoa Dong Restaurant
Address: No. 64, Kiet 7 Ung Binh, Con Hen, Hue City
Price: VND 8,000 – VND 20,000
Open: 06:30 – Close: 20:00

Bun, Chao, Com Hen Restaurant
Address: No. 98, Nguyen Hue, Hue City
Price: VND 10,000 – VND 22,000
Open: 07:00 – Close: 22:00

Tam Phuc Restaurant
Address: Kiet 7 Ung Binh, Con Hen, Hue City
Price: VND 15,000 – VND 33,000
Open: 07:00 – Close: 22:00

2. Hue Beef Noodle Soup – Bun Bo Hue

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Smile Travel

It’s no doubt that bun bo Hue is a key factor contributing to the golden reputation of Hue. Bun Bo Hue now appears in almost all regions of Vietnam, but its tastes vary a bit. Bun Bo Hue is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty and sweet and the predominant flavors.

The consommé is made by simmering beef bone. Then, it is seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce, sugar, and spicy chili oil to enhance the flavor. A bow of Bun Bo Hue includes soft rice vermicelli (bun), some slices of medium beef, chunks of oxtail, boiled beef shank and two or three small cubs of congealed beef blood. Bun Bo Hue is often served with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, spring onion s, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, banana flower, banana trunk, red cabbage, mint, basil, perilla, and Vietnamese coriander (rau răm).

Where to eat bun bo Hue?

Bun BoHue O Cuong Chu Diep (Mrs. Cuong & Mr. Diep)
Address: No. 06 Tran Thuc Nhan Street
Price: VND 15,000 – VND 30,000
Open: 06:30 – Close: 11:00

Bun Bo Mrs. Phung (Bun Bo Mr. Vong)
Address: No. 05 Nguyen Du Street
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 45,000
Open: 15:00 – Close: 18:00

Cam Restaurant
Address: No. 38 Tran Cao Van Street
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 40,000
Open: 06:00 – Close: 10:00

3. Sweet Soup (Chè Huế) – The best street food in Hue

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Xóm Nhiếp Ảnh

Chè Huế is a specialty appearing in every corner of Hue. Chè Huế, sometimes misunderstood as tea, is actually a sweet dessert with more than 36 types of different ingredients, colors, forms, and tastes. Chè Huế is often made by simmering red beans, green bean, black eye peas, lotus seeds, coconut milk together with many types of fruit.

Some popular types of Chè Huế are che bap (corn sweet soup), che hat sen (lotus seed), che troi nuoc (sticky rice ball and green pea paste), che khoai mon (taro), che buoi (grapefruit) and che dau do (red kidney bean). Despite many types, Chè Huế is divided into 2 main kinds: the royal sweet soup and alley sweet soup. Both kinds are scrumptious, gently sweet and have a good smell, which makes you can’t stop eating.

Where to eat chè Huế?

Chè Huế Ngoc Hien
Address: No. 65 Tran Hung Dao Street
Price: VND 8,000 – VND 10,000
Open: 15:00 – Close: 21:300

Chè Huế Mr. Lac
Address: No. 36 Thanh Tinh Street, Vi Da Ward
Price: VND 5,000 – VND 11,000
Open: 12:30 – Close: 11:00

Che Mo Ton Dich
Address: Opposite to Thuong Bac Park
Price: VND 8,000 – VND 20,000
Open: 17:00 – Close: 22:00

4. Hue Royal Cuisine – The unique characteristics of the ancient capital

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant

Royal Cuisine of Hue receives the golden fame for its sophistication and refinement. Hue Royal Cuisine is unique not only due to the delicate culinary process but also thanks to the sophisticated presentation that makes it look like an artwork.Enjoying Hue Royal Cuisine while immersing into the charming melody of Nha Nhac will be the unforgettable experience for many visitors.

Hue royal food has a special flavor thanks to the way spices are used. Pepper is added to the food several times. Pepper is added while mixing the ingredients while cooking, and again before finishing cooking. Pepper is also put into the dish just before it is served.

                                                     _____Ton Nu Thi Ha (Hue Culinary Artisan) _____

Where to eat Hue Royal Cuisine?

Royal Park Restaurant
Address: No. 03 Nguyen Sinh Sac Street, Vi Da Ward
Tel: (+84)-234-389-7202
Hotline: (+84) 913-492-356
Email: cungdinh@royalpark.com.vn
Website: www.royalpark.com.vn
Price: VND 550,000 – VND 1,100,000
Open: 07:00 – Close: 23:00

VI. WHERE TO LIVE IN HUE, VIETNAM

1. Hotels in Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
The Red Corridor in the Forbidden Purple City. Source: Living Nomads

a. Amigo Hotel – The greatest choices for limited budget

Located in the heart of Hue City, Amigo Hotel offers a nice accommodation for leisure travelers with low budget. With its convenient location, the Amigo also offers easy access to Hue’s must-see destinations such as XQ Silk Hand Embroidery, Hue Imperial City, Dong Ba Market, Tu Do Stadium, and Truong Tien Bridge. Amigo Hotel has 15 guest rooms, all of which are equipped with air conditioning, mini-bar, complimentary bottled water, cable TV, a hairdryer, and telephone. In addition, each room features a suite bathroom with hot shower/bathtub and windows and offer views of the city. Amigo Hotel also possesses an on-site restaurant called Bamboo Restaurant and provided extra services such as visa extension, airport transfer, currency exchange and laundry services.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Amigo Hotel 

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Superior Twin – with Breakfast: from VND 266,000
Superior Double – with Breakfast: from VND 266,000
Deluxe Room: from VND 295,000
Superior Triple with Breakfast: VND 374,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 8.2/10 8.4/10 4.5/5 4/5

Contact Information
Address: No. 66/3 Le Loi Street
Tel: (+84) 234- 383-8006
Website: www.migohotelhue.com

b. Eldora Hotel – The French artistry hotel in Hue

Recently renovated in 2014, Eldora Hotel offers a luxury accommodation for both businessmen and leisure travelers coming to Hue. Eldora Hotel is one of the greatest 4-star hotels in Hue which delivers distinctive service featuring French artistry and graciousness. Eldora Hotel boasts 81 well-appointed rooms featuring bright color decoration, wooden floors, and lavish amenities. Every room is equipped with central air conditioning, 40-inch LED TV with national/international channels, free wi-fi, in-room safety box, writing desk, IDD telephone and stocked minibar. In addition, Eldora Hotel features an on-site restaurant, coffee lounge, Skyline bar, Eldora boutique shop, and the function hall with the capacity of 150 people. You can enjoy the relaxing moment in the Eldora Massage with individual treatment rooms, indoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.

Source: hanoidiscovery.com

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Deluxe Double: from VND 1,279,000
Deluxe Twin: from VND 1,279,000
Deluxe City View Twin: from VND 1,280,000
Deluxe City View Double: from VND 1,280,000
Deluxe Panorama Double: from VND 1,513,000
Deluxe River View Double: from VND 1,713,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 9.2/10 9.1/10 4.5/5 4.7/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 60 Ben Nghe Street, Hue City, Vietnam
Tel: (+84) 234-386-6666
Fax: (+84) 234-386-6667
Email: info@eldorahotel.com
Website: www.eldorahotel.com

c. Hotel Saigon Morin – French Colonial Style Hotel

Completed in 1905, Hotel Saigon Morin Hotel is considered as the oldest hotel in Hue City. Hotel Saigon Morin is located in Le Loi Street, which offers the best view of historic Truong Tien Bridge and the beautiful Perfume River.Hotel Saigon Morin boasts 180 elegant guest rooms and suites, all of which feature the French colonial style. Every room has parquet floor, marble bathrooms, comfortable facilities, and amenities. In addition, this city possesses an outdoor swimming pool, business center, restaurant & bars, cooking class, on-site ATM, international meeting room, and a lobby shop. Hotel Saigon Morin also provides professional services such as beauty salon, massage & sauna, fitness center and billiard & snooker.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Booking.com

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Colonial Deluxe: from VND 1,635,000
Premium City Deluxe: from VND 1,913,000
Premium River Deluxe: from VND 2,129,000
Family Deluxe: from VND 2,913,000
Colonial Suite: from VND 3,307,000
Morin Suite: from VND 4,114,000
Executive Suite: from VND 5,913,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 8.9/10 8.8/10 4.5/5 4.4/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 30 Le Loi Street
Tel: (+84) 234-382-3526
Fax: (+84) 234-382-5155
Hotline: (+84) 234-383-1888
Reservation: (+84) 234-384-6410
Reservation email: res@morinhotel.com.vn
Information Email: info@morinhotel.com.vn
Website: www. Morinhotel.com.vn

2. Palace and Resorts in Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Agoda

a. Indochine Palace – The most outstanding landmark in Hue

Embraced by the exotic garden in Hung Vuong Street, Indochine Palace offers a luxurious and up-market accommodation for both leisure and business traveler. Inspired by the subdued elegance of a Noble House, Indochine Palace boasts a lot of spacious rooms with many kinds including  49 Palace Deluxe King (34 m2),  81 Palace Deluxe Twin (34 m2), 23 Palace Studio King (45 m2),  1 Palace Studio Twin (45 m2), 12 Palace Suite King (55 m2). In addition, Indochine Palace has GYM, swimming pool, billiard club, and Le Spa with special therapy and treatments embracing the powerful healing qualities of nature, Indulgent and nurturing.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: vietnamgrouptour.com

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Palace Double Room: from VND 1,712,000
Palace Studio: from VND 2,148,000
Palace Suite: from VND 2,347,000
One Bedroom Suite: from VND 4,470,000
Two Bedroom Suite: VND 5,292,000 – VND 7,572,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 9.3/10 9/10 5/5 4.7/5

Contact Information:
Address: 105A Hung Vuong Street, Hue City, Vietnam.
Tel: (+84) 234-393-6666
Fax: (+84) -234-393-6555
Email: info@indochinepalace.com
Website: www.indochinepalace.com

b. Vedanā Lagoon Resort & Spa – The gem hidden in the peaceful lagoon

Spreading over 270,000m2 of the peaceful and serene lagoon, Vedanā Lagoon Resort & Spa is well-located between two famous cities of Central Vietnam: Hue and Hoi An. Vedanā Lagoon Resort & Spa boasts 55 luxury and up-market villas and bungalows with 68 bedrooms. Every villa is individualized and has its own private sundeck, and a balcony offering the stunning view of the garden or the lagoon. Vedanā Lagoon Resort and Spa has a wonderful restaurant serving fresh and mindfully crafted cuisine of both local hue delicacies and western staples. Staying at Vedanā Lagoon Resort and Spa, you will enjoy the perfect relaxing moment amongst lushly forested peaks and fresh, peaceful atmosphere of the lagoon. Besides, you and your family can feel a sense of peace and harmony in the Wellness & Spa, swimming pool or have interesting moments in the kid’s corner.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: BNT Travel

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Garden View Deluxe: from VND 2,320,000
Waterfront Room: from VND 3,043,000
Lagoon View Bungalow: from VND 3,685,000
Waterfront Family Suite: VND 4,344,000 – VND 7,500,000
2 Bedroom Pool Villa: VND 6,556,000 – VND 10,976,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 9.4/10 9/10 4.5/5 4.7/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 41/23 Doan Trong Truyen Street, Group 01, Phu Loc Town
Tel: (+84) 234-368-1688
Email: info@vedanalagoon.com
Website: www.vedanalagoon.com

3. Homestay in Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Agoda

a. Lucky Homestay – The price can’t be better!

Located just 0.5 kilometers to the center city of Hue, Lucky Homestay offers a wonderful accommodation for travelers with limited budget. Lucky Homestay has 7 inviting room with a wide range of amenities such as additional bathroom, complimentary instant coffee, complimentary tea, and linens. Besides, Lucky Homestay provides free Wi-Fi in each room and in public area, pleasant room service, and smoking area to ensure the greatest comfort for guests.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Booking.com

Price per night:
Standard Double: from VND 197,000/adult
Standard Triple Room: from VND 267,000 /adult
Standard Quad: from VND 298,000/adult
Dormitory – 4/6 Share: from VND 72,000/adult

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 8.6/10 8.7/10 4.5/5 4/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 46 Tran Cao Van Street
Tel: (+84) 966-995-732

b. Kim’s homestay – The smart choice for limited-budget

Located only 1 kilometer from Dong Ba Market, Kim’s Homestay is a comfortable, nice accommodation for travelers with limited budget. Kim’s Homestay has many rooms which are simply furnished and equipped with a TV, electric kettle and a wardrobe. In addition, thanks to its assistance 24/24 at the front desk, you will always be supported and provided convenient services such as meal, breakfast, room service, tour arrangement, and rental bike service.

Hue, Vietnam 2018: The Essential Travel Guide in Hue
Source: Expedia.com

Price: VND 170,000 – VND 500,000/night/adult

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 8.3/10 8.1/10 4.5/5 4.2/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 35/35 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
Tel: (+84) 905-605-629

c. Déjà Vu Homestay – Wonderful accommodation for your trip 

Located in the Dien Bien Phu Street, Déjà Vu Homestay is a smart choice for your trip to Hue. With its convenient location, from Déjà Vu Homestay you can reach many popular sites easily and straightforward. Each room is simply furnished and features cleaning products, clothes rack, complimentary instant coffee, free welcome drink, linens.

I have a wonderful time staying in this homestay. The caretaker was very generous, offering me homemade biscuits and also cooking special dessert for me especially when the weather turns cold at night. The location is also close to restaurants for a quick lunch. Overall, it is a very pleasant place to live in and the hospitality is something I’m grateful of

                                                                                                      _____ Jessica from Malaysia_____

Price per night (Room sleeps 2 adults)
Double (with Air Conditioning & Shared Bathroom): from VND 291,000
Double – King Bed: from VND 299,000
Double Air Conditioning with Balcony: from VND 306,000
Double – Garden View: from VND 350,000

Rating Points:

Source Booking.com Agoda Tripadvisor Expedia
Rating Point 9.2/10 9/10 4.5/5 4.2/5

Contact Information:
Address: No. 03, 191 Alley, Dien Bien Phu Street
Tel: (+84) 906-537-388
Email: booking@dejavuhomestay.com
Website: www.dejavuhomestay.com

VII. MUST-KNOW TIPS WHEN TRAVELLING TO HUE

1. Essential Tourism Information of Hue, Vietnam

Hue Tourist Information and Assistance Center
Address: No.04 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Tel: (+84) 234-382-8288
Open time: 7:30 – 11:00 and 13:30 – 20:30

Police Station in Hue City, Vietnam
Address: No. 52 Hung Vuong Street, Phu Nhuan Ward
Tel: (+84) 234-381-3388

Hue Central Hospital
Address: No.16 Le Loi Street, Vinh Ninh Ward
Tel: (+84) 234-382-2325

2. Must-know tips when traveling to Hue

  • When traveling by cyclo, remember to ask clearly whether the price covering the return trip before setting off. 
  • Take it into consideration when scrolling around Le Loi Street. This street is the center of expensive hotels, clubs, and shops. Almost all things have higher prices on this street due to its high renting fee.
  • Be careful with some tourism operators who offer you to watch Nha Nhac or ca hue at a low price. The quality of this performance is quite poor.


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