Hue is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Vietnam, preserving the cultural and historical beauty of the ancient capital. When visiting this city, tourists will admire unique architectural works, famous historical relics, and beautiful natural landscapes. Hue is also a place with rich and diverse cuisine, imbued with the flavor of the Central region. In addition, there are royal court music, traditional festivals, and folk arts that captivate people. Hue is not only a tourist destination but also a living museum, a cultural heritage of Vietnam.
Hue is the provincial capital of Thua Thien Hue province, located at coordinates 16°27′49″N 107°35′05″E, along the coast near the southern end of the North Central region, on the central strip of Vietnam. The city has an area of 265.99 km², and the population in 2020 was 652,572 people. Hue was once the capital of Vietnam during the feudal times under the Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties, famous for many historical and cultural relics recognized by UNESCO.
Hue has a tropical monsoon climate, classified under the Köppen climate classification, quite similar to Quang Tri. The city has two main seasons: the hot season from March to August, with high temperatures from 35 to 40 °C; and the rainy season from August to January of the following year, with an average temperature of 20 °C, sometimes dropping to as low as 9 °C. The average annual rainfall in Hue is 3249mm, with an average humidity of 87.6%. Hue is also often affected by storms and floods during the rainy season.
2. Best time to visit Hue
The best time to visit Hue is in the spring and autumn, when the weather is cool, not too hot or cold, and not much rain. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose one of the following times:
January – March: Spring in Hue, a time of gentle sunshine and fresh air, suitable for visiting the historical and cultural relics of the ancient capital.
April: Festival season in Hue, the time of the annual Hue Festival, where you can enjoy royal court music, Hue songs, traditional festivals, and special cultural activities.
May – July: Beach tourism season, a time of high temperatures, where you can enjoy beautiful beaches like Thuan An, Lang Co, or relax at luxury resorts.
August: Autumn in Hue, a time when the streets are filled with the purple of crape myrtle and flamboyant flowers, creating a poetic and romantic scene.
You should avoid visiting Hue from September – December, which is the rainy season, with wet weather and potential impacts from tropical storms.
3. How to get to Hue
To get to Hue, depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose one of the following means of transportation:
Plane: You can fly to Phu Bai International Airport, about 13km from the center of Hue, or Da Nang Airport, about 100km from Hue. From the airport, you can hire a taxi, motorbike taxi, bus, or passenger car to get to the city.
Train: You can take a train from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Hue station, located on Bui Thi Xuan Street, Phu Hoi Ward, about 2km from the center of Hue. The train journey takes about 14-15 hours from Hanoi and over 20 hours from Ho Chi Minh City.
Bus: You can catch a bus from bus stations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Quang Binh, Nha Trang… to Nam Phuong bus station, North bus station or South bus station in Hue. The bus journey takes about 12-13 hours from Hanoi and 18-19 hours from Ho Chi Minh City.
4. People, history and culture of Hue
Translate to English: Not only known for the poetic beauty of the ancient capital and the ancient architectural works, Hue is also recognized for its friendly people, rich history, and unique culture.
People:Hue is known for its people who possess precious qualities such as patriotism, friendliness, studiousness, sophistication, and closeness to nature… The people of Hue also have an urban lifestyle, urban character, expressed in their behavior, lifestyle, dressing style, conversation, and conduct…
History:Hue has a history of more than 700 years, with 300 years as the capital of Vietnam under the Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties. Hue was the site of many important historical events, such as the Tay Son uprising, the Duy Tan reform, the General Offensive and Uprising in the Spring of Mau Than 1968… Hue is also associated with many prominent historical figures, such as Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Anh, Nguyen Tri Phuong, Phan Boi Chau, Phan Dinh Phung, Ton Duc Thang, Vo Nguyen Giap, Nguyen Van Troi….
Culture: Hue is one of the cultural centers of Vietnam, with many cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO, such as the Complex of Hue Monuments, Hue Royal Court Music, Wooden blocks of the Nguyen Dynasty, Official Documents of the Nguyen Dynasty, System of poetry on Hue royal architectural works. Hue also has many intangible cultural heritages, such as Bai Choi singing, Hue songs, Hue opera, Van singing, Lullaby singing, Boi singing… Hue is also the place to organize the Hue Festival, a major cultural – tourism event of Vietnam…
5. Accommodations in Hue
When visiting Hue, you can choose from a variety of accommodations that suit your needs and budget. Here are some popular types of accommodations in Hue:
Hotels: This is the type of accommodation that many tourists choose when coming to Hue, as hotels are fully equipped with amenities, services, and security. Hue has many 3-star to 5-star hotels, with prices ranging from a few hundred thousand to a few million VND per night. Some famous hotels in Hue are: Azerai La Residence, Indochine Palace, Vinpearl Hue, ÊMM Hue, Pilgrimage Village…
Homestay: This type of accommodation is for tourists who want to experience the close, friendly, and unique life of the people of Hue. Homestays usually have a cozy, beautiful, and creative space, with affordable prices. Some beautiful homestays in Hue are: A – Mâze House, Shark Homestay, Luong’s Homestay, New Space Arts Stay, Hue Nino Hotel…
Resorts: This is a high-end type of accommodation, for tourists who want to enjoy a luxurious, quiet, and private resort space. Resorts usually have beautiful locations, near the sea or mountains, with villas that have private swimming pools, spas, restaurants, bars… Some famous resorts in Hue are: Ancient Hue, Banyan Tree Lang Co, Angsana Lang Co, Alba Wellness Resort…
6. Cuisine and specialties of Hue
The culinary culture of Hue was formed and developed under the influence of many factors, such as history, geography, people, and tradition.
Hue was once the capital of the Nguyen dynasty, so Hue cuisine carries the refined and luxurious qualities of the royal court. Dishes are often made from rare ingredients, with many stages of preparation and beautiful presentation. A meal can have dozens of dishes, arranged in the shapes of flowers, birds, dragons, phoenixes… reflecting the majesty and style of the kings.
Hue, with its diverse geography and seasonal climate, provides the conditions to produce a rich source of ingredients, such as seafood, vegetables, spices… These ingredients have created the specialties of Hue, such as Com Hen (clam rice), Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle), Beo Cake, Bot Loc Cake, Xeo Cake, Che Dau Xanh (Green bean sweet soup)… These dishes usually have a full range of sweet, salty, sour, spicy flavors… reflecting the richness and diversity of Hue’s culture and people.
The people of Hue have a high culinary tradition, they pay attention to the balance between color, taste, nutrition, and health. There are also spiritual beliefs according to customs and religion. Vegetarian cuisine is a typical example, dishes are often made from plant ingredients, such as flour, vegetables, tubers, fruits… These dishes are not only delicious, but also have spiritual significance, expressing the compassion and purity of the eater.
The culinary culture of Hue is a cultural heritage of Vietnam, a beautiful feature of the ancient capital for every Hue person and every tourist. Hue cuisine is not just dishes, but also stories, emotions, and cultural values…
7. Tourist attractions in Hue
The Ancient Capital of Hue offers many attractive tourist attractions. Depending on your interests and needs, you can visit the following suggested tourist spots.
If you love exploring history and culture, you cannot miss the complex of tombs of the Nguyen kings, which showcases the grandeur, solemnity, and uniqueness of ancient architecture. You can also visit the Imperial Citadel, a long-standing cultural landmark of the ancient capital, or enjoy Hue singing on the Perfume River, a gentle and charming beauty of this land.
If you love beautiful natural scenery, you can visit Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery, a peaceful and tranquil place amidst the mountains, or Vong Canh Hill, where you can admire the panoramic view of Hue city and the poetic Perfume River. You can also visit Ngu Binh Mountain, a symbol of Hue, or Trang Tien Bridge, a characteristic tourist spot of Hue.
In addition, Hue has many other tourist spots for you to check-in, such as the famous cornfield in the movie “Dreamy Eyes”, Dong Ba market with its rustic charm, or Thuy Tinh Village famous for its conical hat-making craft. Hue is also a place with many delicious dishes and specialties, such as water fern cake, Hue pancake, Hue beef noodle soup, Hue sweet soup, sesame candy… You can enjoy these dishes at many eateries and restaurants on the streets of Hue.
8. Tours and activities in Hue
When you come to Hue, you will have the opportunity to explore and experience many exciting activities and tours. Here are some suggestions based on your interests:
If you like exploring history and culture, you can join tours to visit the ancient capital of Hue, including the tombs, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City, royal court music, Hue songs, Bai Choi singing… You can also take a cyclo around the city, visit Hue High School for the Gifted, or participate in cooking classes, handicraft making…
If you enjoy nature and adventure, you can go on trekking tours in Bach Ma National Park, take a cruise to admire the scenery on the Perfume River, hot springs, Tam Giang lagoon, Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Bay… You can also try activities such as grass sliding, mountain climbing, kayaking, eco-tourism…
If you like cuisine and shopping, you can join street food tours in Hue, enjoy specialties such as water fern cake, Hue pancake, Hue beef noodle soup, clam rice, Hue sweet soup… You can also visit markets such as Dong Ba, An Cuu, Ben Ngự, Phu Hoa… to shop for local products such as conical hats, Ao Dai, ceramics, handicrafts…
Hue is an ideal destination for those who love to explore the ancient, poetic beauty and rich culture of this former capital city. When you travel to Hue, you will have the opportunity to experience both tangible and intangible heritages recognized by UNESCO. You will also get to savor the delicious and unique dishes of Hue. In addition, you can admire the majestic and romantic natural landscapes of Hue. Hue is not just a tourist city, but also a place that preserves and promotes the historical values, culture, and spirit of the Vietnamese people. Come to Hue to feel and explore the unique and attractive beauty of this land. We wish you enjoyable trips with your family and friends!