Location: 1,100km from Ho Chi Minh City, , 105km north of Danang
Access: one hour and a half by plane or 20 hours and 35 minutes by train from Ho Chi Minh City, 3 hours by car from Da Nang
Main attractions: Vietnam’s former royal capital and recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Highlights include old citadels, magnificent royal tombs, solemn ancient pagodas and royal families’ old houses.
Of the ancient capitals in Vietnam, Hue is the only one, the unique city that still remains the intact appearance of a Middle Age complex of the monarchic construction consisting of walls, palaces, and royal tombs. These precious vestiges in Hue have not only turn the city itself into a living museum highly appreciated by the whole country, but also have earned the city the honorable recognition as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1993.
Situated in the middle of hills on the southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor’s points of view, personality and tastes. This is majestic Gia Long Tomb, imposing Minh Mang Tomb, poetic Tu Duc Tomb and magnificent Khai Dinh Tomb. All tombs were constructed during the reign of the respective kings for which they were named. Each tomb was laid out with statues and monuments in perfect harmony with one another to form a poetically natural setting. The following elements were incorporated in all the tombs: walls, triple gate (Tam Quan Gate), Salutation Court, Stele House, temples, lakes and ponds, pavilions, gardens, and finally the tomb.
Based on the ancient practice of geomancy, the Citadel was designed and planned around the natural elements in the area north of the Perfume river. The complex faces southeast, taking Mount Ngu Binh (Royal Screen Mount) as a natural screen. Two islets in the Perfume river, Ta Thanh Long (Left Green Dragon) and Huu Bach Ho (Right White Tiger) play the role of sentinels for the Citadel.
Hue also bears its uniqueness in the diversification and perpetuation of spiritual and cultural values throughout centuries. Hue is a representative of romance, gentle beauty, and delicate art of Vietnam. It is considered as the city of religion, an important centre of Buddhism, where 10 pagodas have been standing for over 300 years as well as a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early of the century still exist. Thien Mu Pagoda, or Celestial Lady Pagoda, is one of the most beautiful and ancient architectural structures of worship in Hue. The most striking feature of the pagoda is its Phuoc Duyen Tower, a 7-storey masterpiece dedicated to a Buddha who appeared in human form. To the left of the tower stands a pavilion sheltering an enormous bell which weighs 3,285kg and is of 1.4m circumference.
The city is where the royal music is originated, where traditional dishes and sophisticated handicraft were born and have been preserved until today. Hue and its famous river, the Perfume River, have become the inspiration of many works of literature, poetry, art, movies… Moreover, all over the world only in Hue that one can find the uniquely gentle, lovely image of school girls riding bicycles or walking under the trees in their uniform – the Vietnamese national dress “Ao Dai”, with long black silky hair, in the conical straw hat with a poem written inside that can only be read when held up to the light.
The royal music or the so-called “Nha nhac” (literally means “tender music”) has been raising its prominence on the world's stages after being recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Its root can be traced back to the courts of royalty in 13th century and was used to entertain the royal families and mandarins in annual ceremonies and special events such as coronations, funerals, and official receptions. Thanks to “Nha nhac” Vietnamese philosophy and cosmogony could be preserved and transmitted throughout generations until nowadays.
Hue Royal ballet is a unique artistic heritage developed from Vietnamese Dynasties, consisting of over fifteen great dancing plays, performed under the circumstances of offerings, congratulation, protocol, royal party and classical drama based on narrative. A play often requires a lot of dancers to perform, with special techniques and skills of Vietnam royal dancing and singing, which has been developed and promoted over generations.
These two forms of art are specially favored by foreign tourists when paying visits to the country. Enjoy a royal dinner in a royal boat on the Perfume River while watching “Nha nhac” performances has become an indispensable part of any tour to Hue.
For leisure moments of indulging yourself in the embrace of nature, Lang Co Beach & Tourist Area is idyllic with white-sand dunes, pleasure-houses designed in Hue traditional styles combining the architecture of mausoleums, palaces, temples, pagodas. Lang Co pristine beach provides spaces for not only seaside activities but also exploring springs, caves, waterfalls, lakes and stone grounds of natural and virgin beauty.