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Things to see and do

  • The Citadel
    3 stars

    Like many of Hue's historic sites, the Citadel is hardly ancient -- construction first began in 1805, under the rule of Gia Long, the first of the Nguyen Dynasty rulers. Thereafter it functioned as the imperial seat of government. Over the years, new buildings were added, and the fortifications ... read more

  • Tombs
    3.5 stars

    There are tombs and pagodas everywhere in and around Hue. Those with an endless appetite for culture can sate themselves every day for a solid week, and there will still be more left on the table. But the majority of travellers we run across are satisfied with just a taste. As regards the tombs, ... read more

  • Thien Mu Pagoda
    3.5 stars

    As with the tombs, there are more pagodas surrounding Hue than you can shake a stick at. If you're only going to see one pagoda, make it Thien Mu. It's situated in a beautiful spot over looking the Perfume River, on the river road that runs along the north bank, about 3.5km west of the railway ... read more

  • Thanh Toan (The Japanese Bridge)
    3 stars

    This is a small, covered, Japanese-style bridge about 11km from Hue. There isn't a whole lot to look at, but it's pretty, and there's a story behind it: a Japanese woman who lived in the village left money upon her death for the construction. There's a small shrine to the woman in the centre of the ... read more

  • Elephant Springs
    4 stars

    The Elephant Springs, some 53km from Hue, is an excellent natural spring that is well worth a visit. Particularly on a hot day, the natural pool below a small waterfall makes for a very refreshing dip. You can sluice yourself down the smooth rocks at the base of the falls, and there are plenty more ... read more

  • Thahn Tan Hot Springs
    3.5 stars

    On the way to Thuan An beach is a water park and resort that has been built around a natural cold spring -- the water park includes several hot springs, a wave pool, a wide variety of waterslides, and a 'massage' pool with numerous shooting jets of water. It's a great place to take the kids, and ... read more

  • Thuan An Beach
    3 stars

    About 30km from Hue is the nearest beach -- Thuan An. It's a pleasant patch of sand on the China Sea, and though its hardly world class, it'll do in a pinch. Services along the beach are ridiculously undeveloped -- really just a scattering of shacks in various stages of falling apart. But that's ... read more

  • Beyond Thuan An: The Road to Vinh Hien
    4.5 stars

    A great way to spend a day in Hue is to rent a motor bike, head to Thuan An beach, and when you're done, just keep going south. You can see on a map that Thuan An is an island at the top of a long, slender string of land, with the China Sea on one side, and the waterway feeding into the Cau Hai ... read more

  • Ho Quyen, Tiger Fighting Arena
    4 stars

    This is probably the most interesting site in Hue, and it is all too often overlooked by visitors. It was built in 1830 during the reign of Emporer Minh Mang to stage yearly battles between an elephant and a tiger. Okay, not very PC from an animal rights perspective, but thankfully the last one ... read more

  • Bach Ma National Park
    4 stars

    Bach Ma National Park is an old French Hill station stretching out over some 40,000 unspoilt hectares and offering great hiking trails, waterfalls, slightly odd and very basic lodgings, a camp site and plenty of wildlife (keep that tent zipped up). It’s home to one of the most stunning stretches ... read more

  • The Brass Works
    3 stars

    This is a great stop along the way to or from Tu Duc Tomb. The outfit here makes massive brass statuary for buyers from all over the world. The smithing and forging are still done using very basic techniques, and the craftsmanship is impressive. Many guides will include this in a tour, but there's ... read more

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