The drive from Hoi An to Hue is a journey in itself with spectacular views along the way.
Once the capital of Vietnam until 1945, Hue’s central position in the country meant it unfortunately sustained a lot of damage during the war.
Because of this much of its famous Imperial City or citadel was ruined however despite this it was still granted UNESCO world heritage status in the 1990s.
Inside the walls
A palace and fortress, a guided tour is recommended here to learn about the site’s past which dates back to the early 1800s.
From what is left, there are structures with so much detail and beautiful craftsmanship.
Besides the architecture, as you exit the site there are lilly pads absolutely covering the part of the river which runs past here. What a fantastic view!
Our group rode to the citadel by cyclo, which was a fun experience and a great way to try out a traditional mode of transport.
One of the things I love most about Asia is the utter lack of safety when it comes to riding motorbikes – and also the amazement of how so many people can fit on one!
Besides the citadel I quite enjoyed a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, located alongside the beautiful Perfume River.
You can walk around the temple and witness the pagoda, one of the tallest in the country.
Also interesting is some of the displays on Buddhism, including the vintage car used by Thích Quảng Đức, a monk who burned himself to death in the 1960s.
His death brought to the world’s attention the persecution Buddhists were facing under the South Vietnamese government during this era.
While I wouldn’t say that there is necessarily a lot to see here in Hue (and if you don’t get to it because of time constraints you won’t be missing out on a whole lot) there’s still enough to keep you busy here for a day.
Especially if you are fortunate enough to be road tripping through the country, Hue makes for a great stopping point and has natural beauty surrounding it which you can see as you drive through.