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  • Hue travel guide

Hue Travel Tips and Tricks

Welcome to Hue - one of the best city in Vietnam to visit. Hue is the central city of Vietnam and join UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Lists in 1993. This peacefull city offers you chances to escape busy daily life.

In my opinion, we say Hue is a city. It seems not fair to Hue. I prefer to say Hue is a big, charming and peaceful park. 95% travelers finish exploring Hue with happy smile. In 5%, some travelers are not happy with the weather so hot from May to July. Some are not happy with the long rainning day from Oct to Dec. Some - both foreign and Vietnamese tourists have been complaining the way of some local people - The rickshaw dirvers, some bad people in Dong Ba market are doing tourism in the wonderful UNESCO Heritage Site. We wish to have wonderful Vacation in Hue and do not have to phone this number. Hotline 24/24: +84.914050005 or +84.54.3847232

Hue Travel Tips And Tricks for a wonderful holiday

Carefull with Rishshaws in Hue: Click this link if you can read Vietnamese - The article on Rishshaws in Hue on Traffic News papper under Vietnamese Traffic Ministry. In this article, the Rishshaw drivers took Vietnamese tourists to tour around Hue city and stop at a shop to have some special drinks. The shop owner tried to invite them to buy something, but their tour guide informed them before. Later, the rishshaw driver separated the tour guide from the group and took Vietnamese tourists to another shop. However, the tour guide called the tour leader. In the end, the group did not buy anything. Coming back to their hotel, the rishshaw drivers asked for more money. The group did not want to pay. The drivers got angry, but the Vietnamese group said they would call the policemen. The drivers got their voice down and asked for half a dollar more.

Beautiful Girls: If you are men walking around Hue and especially at night, there will be some rishshaw drivers asking you to see beautiful girls. Notonly rishshaw drivers butalso moto-bike drivers will ask you to see beautiful girls. Do not follow them. In this article, 2 Vietnamese men were invited by rishshaw drivers to tour Hue for free by their rishshaw and see beautiful girls. The rishshaw drivers took them to a cafe shop on a street without name. The vietnamese men sat down for a cup of coffee. There were 2 sexy girls coming and sitting down and talking with them. I am not sure they did anything more, but they said nothing more. However, they were asked to pay 50 USD for a cup of coffee. They did not want to pay. Immediately, there are some big men with batons. In the end, they had to pay. They tried to find the rishshaw drivers, but they cound not. This is one of the many cases.

According to Mr. Tran Viet Luc, the header of investment and planning office in Hue's tourism, culture and sport departurement , there are about 2.800 rishshaws in Hue, but only 211 ones are professional in tourism. The rest is low-educated and self-controled by some groups, but they take part in tourism.

Dong Ba Market in Hue: The market is one of the interesting places to visit on your holiday in Hue. Visit this market, you will learn some features of the local cultures. However, if you want to do shopping here, you should be careful. It will be fine if you take some of our advices. Entering the market gate, there will be some ladies who invite you to their shops. Please do not follow them because they do not have any shops. They take you to the shop in the market and the shop owner has to pay them some money. Of course, you have to pay higher than its price. You should not buy from the 1st shop. You can walk around because they are selling the same things. You should bargain. Start with half price. Then, two third of the price is ok.

Ask The Price First Before Use: There are many times when you need to buy something like a bottle of water... You should ask the price first and remmember the price in Vietnam Dong or in Dollar.

Dragon boat along Perfume pagoda:

Hue Travel Guide - What to see and do

After reading Hue Travel Tips And Tricks, some of our clients said they did not want to see Hue. We had to try to advise them to explore Hue. They sent us many thanks for having advised them to go and see Hue. Our tips and tricks help them have wonderful time there and there are still many good people in Hue. Of course, there are bad people everywhere and Hue is no exception.

Hue city nowadays:
- Location in Thua Thien Hue province in central of Vietnam: 680km from Hanoi, 1049km from Ho Chi Minh city
- Area: 71km².
- Population: 355.000
- Advantages: Chan May Seaport, train station, Phu Bai airport 14 km from the city centre and the highway No1 runs through the city. Great for tourism development with UNESCO Site - Hue capital with temples and mausoluems.
- The main economy of Hue is Tourism

Origin of Hue: Originally Hue was the land of Champa Kingdom. However, Hue was given as a gift to the king Tran Nhan Tong in 1306 AD when Che Man, the king of Champa Kingdom, got married to Huyen Tran - a princess of Tran Nhan Tong, the king of Dai Viet( nowaday Vietnam). Many reseachers said that the first name of this area is Thuan Hoa, but late the word "Hoa" was also the name of a lord's wife. And he decided to change into "Hue" like nowaday. It is still a question needed to be answerred by Vietnamese researchers and historians

The Way Hue Became Vietnam's Ancient Capital: It started in 1558 when Nguyen Hoang moved into this land to avoid the troubles with his brother in law - Trinh Kiem, a lord of Trinh family.

Nguyen Kim had 2 sons including Nguyen Hoang and a daughter. The daughter got married with Trinh Kiem. At that time, there was a civil war in Dai Viet. Trinh and Nguyen families took the power of the country. The Le king was a puppet. When Nguyen Kim was killed by an agent of the Mac, Trinh Kiem, Kim's son in law took over the power of Nguyen and Trinh families. Nguyen Hoang would get trouble if he continued stay here. Nguyen Hoang decided to move away from the power by moving into Hue(THuan Hoa) a southern province of Dai Viet. Trinh Lord was happy as he did not have to keep an eye on his borther in law. So the ups and downs of Hue started since 1558. Nguyen Hoang set up the Nguyen Lords - total 10 lords of the Nguyen Family since 1558 to 1788

Tây Son Emperor put an end to the power of the Trinh - Nguyen family in Dai Viet. Nguyen Hue became the king from 1788 to 1792 and chose Phu Xuan(Hue) to be the capital of Dai Viet. Nguyen Anh, a grandson of Nguyen Phuc Khoat - a lord of the Nguyen family and Nguyen family was chased and killed by Tay Son. Nguyen Anh started his 25 year journey of reseting the Nguyen's power. Experiencing many loss and sometimes looking for help from Thailand and France, he became the King of Vietnam in 1802 and chose Hue to be the capital of Vietnam. The Name - Vietnam was officially used as the Name of our country in 1802. Hue witnessed many fightings in the civil wars of Trinh - Nguyen - Tay Son and the modern wars between Vietnam with French and American.

Hue stopped its role as the capital of Vietnam when Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in 1945.

What to See in Hue: Even experiencing many wars and distroys, Hue still have many charming things to see and it is also the reason that Hue get a seat in UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Hue Citadel: Set up and laid out by Gia Long Emperor in 1802, the citadel has 3 concentric encloses. Inside the citadel, there are imperial city, adminitrative offices, parks, dynastic temples and Forbidden Purple City in the centre.

In term of traditional architecture, the citadel was built in an auspicious location to preserve all-important harmony between the emperor and his subjects, heaven and earth, man and nature: Ngu Binh mountain as Royal Screen Moutnain blocks harmful influences. 2 small islands in Huong(perfume) revier serving as Blue Dragon's benevolent spirit in balance with the aggressive White Tiger.

The 520 hectares citadel is protected by brick and earth walls of 7m high and 20m thick. The 10km walls were built with the help of French engineers. The citadel is encircled by a moat and canal. Eight villages were removed to leave the space for the citadel. Tens of thousands of workmen had to work over 30 years to build 300 palaces, temples, tombs and other royal buildings.

Flag tower: Flag tower was built in 1807 under the king Gia Long. It was first a wooden flag tower of 30m high. Under Minh Mang king and in the year 1829 and 1831, the flag tower was built by brick with 3 terraces/levels anf the pole for flag. Under Thanh Thai emperor in the year of 1904 the pole was made of iron. In 1947, the flag pole was shot down by the French and in 1948 it was rebuilt by concrete.

The 9 sacred cannons: The Cannons was cast in the early 19 century by bronze and weapons from Tay Son army. The 9 cannons represent 4 seasons and 5 ritual elements(earth, fire, metal, wood and water). They symbolize the citadel's guardian spirits.

The Imperial City: From the Flag tower and ̣ sarcred cannons, you take a short walk to the 2nd moat and defensive wall. The moat and defensive wall guard the Imperial city. The Imperial city has the north - South axis which the most important monuments are located on. Inside the Imperial city, there is the "Great Enclosure" called "Dai Noi". The Imperial city has 4 gates and the most stunning is the south gate - Ngo Mon. The Imperial city got terriblely demaged in 1947 by the French and in 1968 during Tet Offensive. Only 20 of 148 monuments left and some are under restorations. Thai Hoa palace is the most beautiful.

Ngo Mon Gate: It was built in 1833 under Minh Mang emperor. Ngo Mon is considered as masterpiece of Nguyen architecture. Ngo Mon - Ngo means the Noon and Mon means gate. Ngo Mon has 5 entrances. The central entrance was used for the king only. 2 side entrances were used for either civil or military manderins. The last 2 wing doors were used for soldier and royal elephants.

Above the gate is Ngu Phung tower or 5 Phoenix watchtower as its has 9 roofs. It is said that the tower resemble 5 birds in fight when viewed from above. The centre roof where the emperor passed is covered with yeallow tiles. The emperor used the watchtower for 2 major ceremonies each year: Declaration of the lunear new year and announcement of the civil service exam results. This is also the place where the last emperor Bao Dai abdicated in 1945 when he handed over the gold seal weighting 10kg and the sword - Simple of the King.

Thai Hoa Palace - Supreme Harmony : The name of this palace is the Nguyen Emperors' wish - Thai means Supreme or highest and greatest; Hoa means Harmony. Here the emperor wished to have the best Harmony between human and human, between human and heaven, between human human and earth, between ying and yang. When the best Harmony happens, there are chances for developments. The name of the palace is the wish of the Nguyen emperors for Vietnamese people, Vietnam and the dynasty.

The palace started contruction in 1805, but what we can see now is the origin in 1833 by Minh Mang emperor. Thai Hoa palace was under restoration in 1923 by Khai Dinh king for the ceremony of his 40 year old. Yellow tiles - Yellow color for the emperor. One poem - one painting. Inside: 80 Iron wood pillar coasted in laquer and golden leaves with dragon motif. The canopy above the throne is 9 dragon.

The courtyard with 18 stelae for 9 ranked manderins of militery to the right and manderins of civils to the left and the space near the axis is for good old mens of the country joining the ceremonies. The palace is used for the 2 big ceremories on 1st and 15th moon calendar every month. It is also for coronations or royal births and foreign ambassadors were received

Thien Mu pagoda - Linh Mu pagoda : There are many old and famous pagodas in Hue city, and this is the most beautiful one not only in Hue but also in the centre of Vietnam. The buidling of this pagoda is related to the land openning of the 1st Nguyen Lord - Nguyen Hoang in the centre of Vietnam.

According to the legendary, Nguyen Hoang came to this land in the central Vietnam called Thuan Hoa in 1558. He went around this area to study the geography to build a new country for the Nguyen family later. One time he went up the perfume river and saw this hill. Talking with the local people, he knew this Ha Khe hill and the local people said at late nights there was usually an old lady in red shirt and blue trousers walking around this hill. She said there would be a lord/important person to come to this land and build a pagoda here. This would build up the great spirit to create a new and powerful country. This matched the thinking of Nguyen Hoang lord. His thingking match the local people's thinking. in 1601, He decided to build a pagoda looking toward the perfume river and called it Thien Mụ( Heaven lady). It is said that the old lady told this important person should burn a insenstick and walk from this hill toward the east. The place Where the insenstick stopped burning is the place to build the capital.

This pagoda became the centre of Buddhism in the central of Vietnam. It was rebuilt in a bigger side under Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord(1691 - 1725). Phuoc Duyen tower was built under Thieu Tri king in the year 1844. The tower is - 21 m tall with 7 stories. There is a buddha in each story. There used to be a golden buddha on the top story.

The pagoda is located in a large garden with different kinds of trees and flowers. Inside the pagoda, there is a car of Thich Quang Duc monk who drove this car from Hue to Saigon in 1963. Thich Quang Duc monk burned himself in Saigon to protest the buddhism repressing campaign of South Vietnam president - Ngo Dinh Diem. In the end of the garden at the back of the pagoda, there is a tomb tower of Thich Don Hau - a famous monk in this pagoda.