Hue has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important historic and cultural centres in Vietnam. The ancient capital of Hue served as the Imperial residence of Vietnam’s Nguyen Emperors and was an important centre of Buddhism during their reign.

The Emperors modelled their capital on the Forbidden City in Beijing but unfortunately these imperial palaces have not fared as well and now lie in ruins due, in no small part, to neglect and the constant conflict that has marred Vietnam’s recent history. You will find these ruins on the north bank of the Perfume River and they provide a glimpse into the lives of the Nguyen Emperors and their mandarins. On the southern bank of the Perfume River are the beautiful tombs of the Nguyen Emperors which were designed to reflect each Emperor’s personality and hopes for the afterlife. A peaceful boat ride down the river brings you to the most famous of these tombs: the imposing Minh Mang Tomb and the serene Tu Duc Tomb.

Elsewhere in Hue you will find a great many pagodas, many of which were constructed over 300 years ago, and the Thien Mu Pagoda is one not to miss.

Lying just outside the city is the stunning Lang Co Bay, one of central Vietnam’s most peaceful and beautiful stretches of beach. Less busy and developed than many of Vietnam’s more famous beach areas but with a couple of top-notch luxury resorts, this paradise is waiting to be discovered.

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