Hue is one of my favorite destinations in central Vietnam. The city has gentle pace of life, boasting striking history through its timeless pagodas, ancient sites. It is also a very nice place to learn about Vietnamese unique traditional work as well the imperial cuisine.
Here is my own travel guide for this fascinating Hue, Vietnam
Getting to Hue
Travel by Air
About 4 – 6 flights leave Hanoi the capital of Vietnam to Hue on a daily basis, the distance covered by plane is 600km and time for the flight is approximated to one hour. Many airlines offer service for this route including Vietnam Airlines, Viet jet Air, Jet star Pacific and more. Tickets for direct flights cost between $35 – $150 USD.
Travelling by train in Vietnam is really interesting and comfortable, one of the best alternatives to opt from Hanoi to Hue. It takes about fourteen hours. Every day six trains of Vietnam railway depart Hanoi Railway station for Hue including the night train. One way ticket costs from $16 – $40 USD, luxury tourist train costs between $70 – $80 USD.
By bus, the distance from Hanoi to Hue is 700km and it takes about fifteen hours for the drive. Various bus companies provide services for this route both for day and night, they include Hung Thanh, Hoang Long, Queen Cafe, Camel Travel and the sinh tourist. Bus ticket price range from $12 to $18 USD.
Top Day Tours from Hue
Various stunning spots suitable for day tour visit from Hue thrive combing adventure, culture, Nature and city experience. Listed as below:
Minh Mang Tomb
Nestled in An Bang Village on the western bank of Perfume River, Minh Mang Tomb is just 12 km from the city of Hue. It’s famous for its exquisite architecture and forest-related setting presenting nature with an inviting Pacific atmosphere. For history lovers, Minh Mang Tomb is highly rated to be immersed into details about Minh Mang “the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty”.
Khai Dinh Tomb
Still more interested? History enthusiasts do not turn off the button. Hue’s historical archive still loading. Set just 10 km from Hue city in Chua Chu Village, Khai Dinh Tomb was built as a monument and Mausoleum for Nguyen Emperor “Khai Dinh”. A visit publicizes several facts, from beautiful architecture of both Vietnamese and Western influences to a collection of ancient relics. Being on a steep slope at the foot of Mountain Chau Chu, expect a lot of awe-inspiring views.
Bach Ma National Park
From the hustle bustles of Hue’s bygone sites, then feel relaxed in a calm natural atmosphere at Bach Ma nicknamed as “Nature Lovers Paradise”. Besides cascading lakes and waterfalls at the top, this locale stars one of the richest biodiversity in Vietnam. Home to 1400 plant species including orchids and rare ferns, 132 mammals and nine species of primates including rare red-shanked Doug Langur. Spending a day here expose not only a range of wildlife species but also panoramic views from top turn it exclusive.
Boat Trip in Huong River
A cruise along Huong River is beyond breathtaking views to catching the thrill at some of the hidden spots still in the imperial city of Hue. From Thiem Mu Pagoda, Hon Chen Temple to Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.
You can either take a morning or afternoon dragon boat trip.
Thuan An Beach
Those not more impressed by history or nature but just mad about beach life, Thuan An Beach is here to appreciate. An untainted spot located near Thuan An estuary where Perfume River flows into Tam Giang Lagoon.
Suitable for one day visit from Hue, just 15 km from this city. It’s all about fun at this beautiful white sand beach, swim in the turquoise sea water, enjoy fresh air or busk in the open calm sunny atmosphere. Surrounding village confers restaurants which offer divergent local seafood which is worth tasting.
Tam Giang Lagoon
Hidden behind a charming appearance of the ancient citadel, Tam Giang lagoon is the biggest of its kind in Vietnam. It exhibits a unique outlook and often wows most of the visitors with its spectacular views of natural landscapes and sunset or sunrise.
A boat trip on the waters uncovers a brief insight about the life of the locals in available traditional craft villages as well as seeing closely how fishermen divide up the areas with interest of catching several sea products.
Lang Co Beach
What a placid locale to relieve from all stresses at Bach Ma National Park. It impresses most of the visitors by its stretch of palm trees, clean sand grounds as well as crystal clear waters.
It’s defined uniquely by a turquoise lagoon and 10km stretch of beachfront on the other side. Admire a diversity of bird’s eye views of natural landscapes, swim or sunbathe.
Lang Co beach is one of the less-visited site for any Vietnam Tour which offers beach hopping experience. There are more to uncover than just the beach awaits you there !
Seeking for a blend of local life experience, culture and artworks. Sinh village is best at that, suitable for a day outing from Hue. It is popularly known as a traditional woodblock printing village. Those passionate about art, you will be allured by most of the art works produced by local artists. You can buy some as souvenirs.
Recommended Read : 10 Unique Experiences in Vietnam
Hue presents a tranquil atmosphere for dissimilar clients to dine in its diverse range of posh restaurants in place, highlighted below are some of the most commended.
Le Parfum Restaurant
A decorous dinning locale within La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, where travelers can enjoy a six-course menu combing French and Vietnamese dishes accompanied with high-end European wines. From roasted lamb rack, lemongrass marinated chicken with smoked eggplant to sesame crusted seared tuna. Booking a table in the upstairs terrace section is more of recommendation, it offers inspiring views of the hotel’s calm gardens and Perfume River.
Ancient Hue Restaurant
On top of offering original royal cuisine, the restaurant highlights local artwork and traditional dance performances. Ancient Hue occupies a spacious two storey wooden house with its architecture dating back to 1800s.
Surrounded by an awesome landscaped garden and a lake, the inside dining sections are fitted with decorating items to look like the royal quarters of the Nguyen Dynasty. Within the restaurant, you can also find an art gallery which exhibits ceramic works, traditional crafts and paintings from local artists.
Les Jardins De La Carambole
Set within a colonial ere villa with a tranquil environment, clients can enjoy genuine Italian, French and Vietnamese cuisine served in an elite setting. Located along Dang Tran Con Street, this venue is close to a multiplex of Hue Monuments. Its rolling veranda overlooks Perfume River and Hue City Centre while its upstairs dining section hosts enchanting live piano performances. Main dishes served at affordable prices include grilled chicken with chilli and lemongrass, beef bourguignon as well as grilled sea bass fish.
Elegant Restaurant Hue
From a broad menu of local meals to potent cocktails, travelers enjoy it at Elegant Restaurant suitably offered at affordable prices. This cozy place to dine is about a ten-minute walk from the ancient bridge of Truong Tien. Enjoy noodles with shredded chicken, caramelized pork with sesame or taste on BBQ shrimp on sugar cane. A wide range of beers, cocktails, liquors and imported wines are also served. Elegant Restaurant is also an ideal place for English breakfasts, Pizza, Pasta and Sandwiches.
What a legendary establishment in Hue, travelers relax and enjoy Vietnamese and Western cuisine at reasonable prices. This luxurious setting was founded in 1990 by a local photographer “Mr. Cu”. Some of the recommended meals served include banh khoai with seafood, fried noodle with beef, pork or vegetables as well as the banana pancake. Besides that the restaurant also offers city tours, boat trips and motorcycle rental, you can arrange all this at their tour booking desk.
Hanh Restaurant Hue
Situated along Pho Duc Chinh Street, Hanh Restaurant serves mostly a regional dish known as nem lui. It often consists of minced pork rolls wrapped in lemongrass served with peanut sauce, vegetables and rice paper. Above that, it also offers some of Hue’s most popular dishes including the fried spring rolls. This luxurious establishment is about a ten-minute drive from Hue imperial city.
Top Hotels in Hue
Indochine Palace Hotel
This modern property is appropriately located downtown of Hue, surrounded by a range of attractions. From the famous perfume river, outdoor markets, shops to differing Parks. It’s just fifteen minutes away from the Airport, you can easily access the City Centre as well. This pleasant locale presents over 222 rooms and suites, each uniquely defined with special traits.
Pilgrimage Village Resort and Spa
All its 136 rooms are furnished with modern facilities and invitingly decorated to suit the visitors’ interests at all levels. The property attributes two restaurants like Valley Restaurant and Junrei Restaurant which serves both Vietnamese and Western food, two bars including Candle and Peanut bar as well as Slope cafe. Vedana Spa is also available to spend some time during the day.
Branded as a five-star hotel in Hue, the Imperial Hotel is located in the heart of the city alongside Huong River. It usually impresses most of the visitors to the place by its captivating grandeur. Hundreds of beautiful and spacious rooms exhibited in Vietnamese traditional setting are provided. Their menu includes both international and traditional Vietnamese meals favoring all kinds of travelers feel at home.
Banyan Tree Long Co
Due to its location bordered by three-kilometer beach on the central coast of Vietnam. Banyan Tree Long Co is renowned for its sparkling coastlines, Rocky Mountains, tropical jungles and proximity to country’s heritage sites like cities of Hue. This magnificent resort is about 60 minutes’ drive from Da Nang resort. It offers thirty lagoon pool villas as well as fifteen beach pool villas on the coasts of the conh duong beach.
Angsana Long Co
It’s famous to most of the visitors to Hue because of its untarnished services offered. Provided are enough rooms with 24-hour room services, free Wi-Fi internet connection, facilities for disabled, Flat Screen Television, bathroom, air purifier and other laundry facilities. A variety of recreational facilities are also available, from the private beach, golf course, Sauna to the fitness center.
Management at Eldora Hotel is committed to creating a pleasant environment to stay for visitors to Hue, whether in for business or relaxation. The Hotel offers over eighty-one spacious rooms with bird’s eye views of the city and river. Each guest room offered has a separate bathtub and shower. On the fifteenth floor is the indoor swimming pool to relax on a hot day in Hue.
Hire a Cyclo
One of the most convenient ways of getting around Hue, this consists of a cushioned seat attached to the front of a bicycle. It’s fantastic for a relaxed cruise through Hue’s iconic magical spots. These are often available for rental parked outside Hue city as well as famous bars and restaurants. Expect to pay about $1 USD per kilometer.
Rent A Bicycle
Cycling around Imperial city of Hue seems exceptional with sights of cityscapes, local villages as well as accessing the hidden gems of the city. You can book bikes of your choice either with a local travel agency or your hotel. Some bikes come with smartphone holders, so for convenience, they are recommended. Expect to pay about $2.5 USD per day.
Travelling by Motorbike around Hue is a perfect choice to explore most of its enchanting spots within, from Cultural and religious sites like Temples, Pagodas and more, Caves to luxuriant cityscapes. Motorbikes are available for rental and the price range from $4 to $9 USD per day.
Use a Taxi
While in Hue you can use a taxi and traverse around visiting its attracting areas. Rates for the taxi needs keen attention. You are charged according to meter reading and Drivers are very honest about that. It starts at 15000 Viet dong for the first 2km and then charges at 11500 Viet dongs per kilometer for the following kilometers to be covered.