Hue - Tours and Day Trips
The Citadel, Perfume River, Pagodas, Mausoleums..................
Getting There Our hotel arranged a driver to take us across to Hue, a three hour drive south of Danang.
There are two routes from Hoi An to this interesting city, that plays a large part in Vietnam's history.Hai Van Pass on the Truon Son Mountain Range, and the other through Hai Van Tunnel which is quicker. Another UNESCO Heritage city,it spans the famous and spiritually important Perfume River.
Hue Citadel The main sights are inside the Citadel which is a magnificent old city originating in 1687.
The wall surrounding it represents a ten kilometre walk!
- The Imperial Enclosure was almost totally destroyed by American bombs in the 1970's, and a huge restoration job is underway.This enclosure is divided into several sections.
- Ngan Gate has four cannons representing the four seasons nearby, and five more next to
- Quang Duc Gate make up the
- Nine Holy Cannons - protectors of the palace and kingdom.
- Flag Tower - Vietnam's tallest flagpole is opposite.
You will need an afternoon to look around the beautiful gardens,amazing buildings, each having special and distinctive architectural features, and detailed intricate craftsmanship.
Dragon Boat down the Perfume River
We enjoyed a wonderfully relaxed day going down the Perfume River on a Dragon boat stopping off at three very different destinations.
- Thein Mu Pagoda is a famous and well recognised Hue landmark, with its wedding cake tiered tower. Arriving at wide steps, you will enjoy a wander around the gardens, a bonsai collection, and many interesting buildings. I was intrigued with the young monks with their books, hastily walking through the garden to a track outside.
- Hon Chen Temple was a small temple with monks and locals going about their daily work.
- Tomb of Minh Mang which we all voted the best experience of the day ......is not to be missed! The rather muddy river bank we arrived at, gave no clue to the treasure we were to find as we picked our way up onto the entrance road. Passing through the solid concrete arched entry, you are transported into a different world, when you step into the complex.
A full day trip, you also get a fascinating view of temples and pagodas, and the locals at work on the river banks and on the river. NOTE:i)You do need to watch your step in wet weather in many of these shrines and pagodas as the tiles are often covered in moss and very slippery.
ii) You may be subject to a sales pitch from the Dragon Boat owners. We were offered a menu, but chose not to order, and drinks. At regular intervals, she pulled out postcards, pictures, clothing, wooden carvings and persistently ignored our shaking heads, until she had shown us her full range kept in glass cabinets.
Two Hue Restaurants Not to be Missed There are two restaurants you must visit in Hue. Japanese Restaurant set up by a Japanese man, Michio Koyama, to train, house and educate street children.
The other is Lac Thein Restaurant run by a deaf mute man.His brother has a restaurant next door Lac Than. The food was simple, very cheap and delicious. The experience ........unique. He opens the beer bottles with his home made bottle opener – a strip of wood with a screw through one end. These are given away, and you are asked to send a photo of you using it at home. The walls are covered in signatures and comments of the many visitors who have enjoyed a meal here. See Vietnam Food for other good restaurants in Hue.
Recommended Hue Hotel Orchid HotelAnother booked through Hostel World, we found this to be an excellent choice.
Our rooms were very spacious, and we had a computer in our room. The reception staff were very helpful, booking our Dragon Boat tour, and taxi to Danang airport.
Breakfast was a well stocked buffet with cooked breakfast available, fresh fruit, breads, coffee and tea.
Orchid Hotel was located in the heart of the restaurant area, and we had the Temple Restaurant across the road, the Japanese Restaurant just a few doors down,while the next street was gave us unlimited choice. !
It was also a short walk to the river and the bridge taking us across to the Citadel.
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