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Vietnam: Hue

The Big Sites

Hue (pronounced 'hway') is known for the Imperial City, Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, Tomb of Khai Dihn and Tomb of Tu Duc. The Imperial city is quite large, with intricate designs on the buildings - and lots of walking. The cost to enter is 150.000 dong (about $7usd). Visitors can pay for a guided tour or do a self-guided tour. The tombs are incredibly elaborate and can take up a significant amount of time if you stop to appreciate each area. The Pagoda of the Celestial Lady is shorter, along the water front, and much more touristy.

In the City

Hue's city center has plenty of nice restaurants, shops and hotels/hostels. It was clean, well lit, and had people strolling along the shops all evening. Near the river, boats will gladly give tours during the day and offer dinner cruises or sunset rides in the evenings. A small night market will also spring up along the river a few times a week. We took in a World Cup match at the DMZ bar/restaurant, which acts as a good central location that all cab drivers know if you are not staying nearby.

Where to Stay

There are tons of hotels and hostels in the main part of town. We stayed a bit out of the downtown area, enjoying an good sized Airbnb at a low price and utilizing taxis into town. That said, we struggled to find cabs that could accommodate our group of 5. For tours and specific attractions, many Airbnbs will also help you arrange transportation for your party.

Getting Around

We hired a driver and toured the two tombs and a pagoda, which took a little over half a day. It was nice to have a driver take us everywhere. If you love history, you can get lost in these places for days. If not, they may not be a major part of your itinerary. In any case, a private driver is on your schedule - not the other way around. In the city, taxis are everywhere. If you find a driver who works well for your group size, it's recommended to keep their phone number.

The Verdict

Overall, Hue is an inviting small city with plenty to entertain. The tombs and pagodas are beautiful to even the causal observer and could warrant a week's stay for any history buff. No matter what your interests, you'll find a little something worthwhile in Hue.


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