Vietnam has a number of places along the length of the country that are definitely worth a visit. Hue is one of those cities. The old imperial capital of Vietnam can be visited there and the old style of the country is clearly visible here. The city suffered a lot from the war that took place in the country. Despite the devastation left behind by the war, there is still a lot to see in the old forbidden city.
Hue and the Citadel
The city of Hué was the imperial city of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. The citadel is located in the north of the city. This place is also called the forbidden city. The citadel was only accessible to the imperial family, which had several large palaces, temples and museums built here. The city is located in the middle of the country and has been severely affected by the war in the country. Fortunately, a number of palaces have remained undamaged and are visited daily by tourists. The entrance to the citadel costs 150,000 dong, which is approximately 6 euros. It is very big and you will need at least 4 hours to visit the citadel alone.
In the south of the city you will find the imperial tombs. A number of tombs were built here for the imperial family. The Tu Toc tomb is the largest of these. Tombs were built by the emperor’s children, but Emperor Tu Toc had no children and had the tomb built himself. The gardens surrounding the various tombs are beautiful. The entrance to the tombs costs 55,000 dong, which is about 2.50 euros.
Hué is located in the middle of Vietnam and the climate here is favorable. Throughout the year, the temperature does not fall below 20 degrees and in summer it can rise to 35 degrees. In summer, walking around the citadel is best done in the morning or late afternoon. The feeling temperature can reach 45 degrees in July and August. Cyclones sometimes hit the area from October to December. The best time to travel is from February to October.
The city is easily accessible by public transport. There is an airport nearby that has a connection with Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi. There are several buses every day and there is a train station. Most buses are sleeper buses, which means that you can stretch out on these buses. From Hanoi it is more than 14 hours’ drive by such a bus. The trains take about 12 hours, but they are often delayed.
Many backpackers come to Hué to board with Easy Riders. This organization has a group of motorcyclists who ride across the country together with backpackers. They take you to places where the buses don’t go. A route that is often driven is the Hué – Hoi an route. The costs are approximately 60 euros per person per day.
- There are motorcyclists who pretend to be easy riders. They charge a lot of money and drive less pleasant routes. The easy riders are known at most hostels or hotels.
- Visiting the citadel is highly recommended. Take your time with this.
- Rent a scooter or bicycle to explore the area. Hostels and hotels often have all these means of transport themselves.
- If you are a student, it is advisable to take your student card with you. You get a discount at many museums or buildings.
- Plan your bus rides at least 24 hours in advance, they fill up quickly.
- There are many men on mopeds who want to take you around to the sights. Make sure you always ask for a helmet.
- Eating and drinking at stalls around the sights is very expensive. You can easily haggle and they often expect this when they mention their first price.