Hue in Vietnam - World Cultural Heritage

Hue in Vietnam is the capital of Thua Thien Hue province located in the center of the country. Hue is also the center of the central region of Vietnam in many aspects such as culture, politics, health, education, tourism, science...

With the Perfume River and the legacies of feudal dynasties, Hue is also the city of festival, poetry…which is often mentioned in the poetry and music of Vietnam thanks to its romance. In 1993, UNESCO recognized the remains of the Hue ancient capital as the World Cultural Heritage. In 2003, the royal music of Hue was recognized by UNESCO as Immaterial Heritage of the World. In 2009, wood printers of the Nguyen Dynasty in Hue have been classified as the World Heritage.

Hue in Vietnam

Hue in Vietnam - Some important dates in its chronicles history:

Hue belonged to the territory of Cham people. 4000 years ago, under the Neolithic period - the beginning of the Era of Metal - archeologists have found in Hue stone tools.

2000 years to 2500 years, archaeologists have found the coffin in shape of jar, bronze drum that shows the cultural exchanges between the ancient peoples in Thua Thien Hue with residents of northern Vietnam.

In 179 BC: Hue was dominated by Han people from China.
In 190 after Jesus Christ, the Cham people managed to chase the Han to create the kingdom of Lam Ap.
In 1306, after several wars with the Viet people, the king of Viet married the princess Huyen Tran to the king of Cham. In exchange, Hue was given to the Viet people.
In 1533, Nguyen Kim came to Hue and became the rival of the king of Trinh based in Hanoi.
In 1672, the civil war between Nguyen and Trinh ended. The country was cut into two parts. The capital of the Nguyen was next to present Hue Citadel.
In 1788, the Tay Son pacified civil war by unifying the country.
In 1802, by taking advantage of conflicts between the Tay Son, Nguyen Anh took power and decided to build the capital in present Hue.
In 1883, the power of Hue was dropped into the hands of French people who occupied the capital.
In 1885, the French people attacked Hue for the second time after the insurrection complot of the mandarins of the royal court.
In 1945, King Bao Dai has abdicated by ceding power to the Viet Minh - League for the Independence of Vietnam.
In 1946, after the Potsdam meeting, Hue belonged to the Vietnam Nation.

Hue in Vietnam

In 1954, after the Geneva Accord, Hue belonged to the South regime: Republic of Vietnam (South government) against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North government). The border was in the 17th parallel.
In the 60s, Hue was the field of fierce battles between the Vietnamese and the Americans armies. Especially in 1968, Hue was severely bombed by US forces.
In 1975, the country was unified after an atrocious war. Hue belongs to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam until now.
In 1993, UNESCO recognized Hue as the World Cultural Heritage.

Hue in Vietnam in which season?

Hue has two distinct seasons. The dry season lasts from December to April and the rainy season lasts from May until the end of December. In fact, it's often hot in Hue, even up to 41 degrees, especially between April and September. Winter lasts between December and February. The average temperature is about 20 degrees. Visitors can go to Hue in many different times. The summer between May and September is the season of local visitors. The perfect weather in Hue is normally in November.

What to visit in Hue?

Hue was the capital of unified Vietnam since 1802, after Nguyen Anh took the throne to form the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal dynasty in Vietnam's history. Hue finished the mission of Vietnam's capital in 1945, when the last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty: Bao Dai has abdicated. Since then, Hanoi has been chosen to become the capital of Vietnam. Hue is the ancient capital of the country.

Hue is a coastal town, at 13 km from the Orient Sea. This city is located in central Vietnam, between the two largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The Cloud Pass with charming landscape between the mountains and the sea, is located between Hue and Da Nang which is the 4th largest city in Vietnam.

Hue is definitely an essential destination during the travel in Vietnam. Despite the fierce wars, Hue still preserves many monuments with the inherent forms.

Hue in Vietnam

On the north bank of the Perfume River, we have the colossal Imperial Citadel. This valuable building with more than 100 monuments was actually the center of the lives of the kings of the Nguyen Dynasty and the country's power. Between the hills of the south bank of the Perfume River, we have the mausoleums of the kings of the Nguyen. Each mausoleum represents the character of each king, the socio economic situation, the country's history with different architectural styles. If the mausoleums of Gia Long and Minh Mang are majestic, the mausoleum of Tu Duc is poetic and the mausoleum of Khai Dinh is a strange mixture of all styles…

Hue is also an important center of the religions of Buddhism and Catholicism. Hue still preserves many pagodas built there over 300 years and hundreds of temples and pagodas built in the early 20th century. Besides, Hue is considered the cradle of royal music, rich cuisine and exquisite craftsmanship.

Hue is the only place in the country that still preserves the aspect of a medieval city and the architectural integrity of the monarchy. Hue has become a big priceless museum. Therefore, the Vietnamese government has classified relics of Hue as a National Special Heritage. December 1993, UNESCO has classified the whole vestiges of Hue as the Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

While talking about Hue, we often think of images of a sweet girl in Vietnamese traditional purple dress. The city still retains a deep meditative beauty which is simple but memorable. During the trip in Hue, travelers have the chance to admire the ancient beauty of the historic sites of great value as the Imperial Citadel, Forbidden City, the mausoleums of emperors, Thien Mu Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the National College ... Here are tourist destination not to be missed when traveling in Hue:

Some key sites in the city:

The defensive wall: The wall of Hue citadel built in 1803 has a circumference of nearly 10 km, 6.6 m high and 21m thick in Vauban style for defense goal. On the wall, there are places used for the patrol of soldiers, guns, ammunition depots... Outside the wall, there is a system of rivers and ditches. In particular, the network of artificially dug moats having both functions of protection and fluvial transport has over 7 km long. The defense wall of the Hue Citadel has 10 gateways.

Hue in Vietnam

Imperial Citadel: This is the second rampart of the Citadel of Hue, which is used to protect the most important palaces of the royal court, the ancestral shrines of Nguyen and the Forbidden City - the place reserved for kings and the royal family.

The Citadel was built in 1804, but we have to wait until the reign of Minh Mang king in 1833 to complete with more than 100 architectural works.

The citadel has an almost square shape, each side having about 600 meters long. Built in brick, the citadel wall has 4m high, 1m thick, 4 gates ... which is surrounded by lakes, moats for protection where the lotus, water lilies…are planted for decoration. Hue Citadel and all the palaces inside are arranged on an axis of symmetry. The central axis has the palace reserved only for kings.

Although there are many palaces in all sizes but all the palaces of Hue Imperial City are located harmoniously with nature: lakes, gardens, stone bridges, islands, old trees... The land is paved. The roofs are covered with yellow and green tiles in shape of tube. Columns are often painted with motifs of dragons - clouds. The usual pattern is a poem and a painting. All palaces in Hue Imperial City are connected by covered corridors painted in red with countless decorative motifs.

Hue Citadel has the following roles:

1. Defense zone includes protection wall, doors, protection moat, the lookouts...
2. Part of the ceremonies: South Gate (Military Parade, to announce new mandarins ...), Hall of Supreme Harmony (ceremony in the first day in lunar month, ceremony in the 15th lunar day, the coronation, celebration of Longevity, the national holiday…)
3. The palace reserved for the worship of ancestors of the family of Nguyen.
4. Palace reserved for grandmothers of kings...
5. The space for schools princes, entertainment...
6. There is also the Royal Treasury to make tools for royal life...

Hue Forbidden City: The Hue Forbidden City is located inside the third wall (enclosure) surrounded by the Citadel or the Imperial Citadel. The Forbidden City was built from the 2nd year of King Gia Long reign (1803) until the second year of Minh Mang reign (1821) who renamed Hue Forbidden City. Hue Forbidden City is rectangular: 341m*308m and which has 1298m as circumference with 40 following main palaces:

Can Chanh Palace (the King's Office), Can Thanh Palace (residence of the king), Khon Thai Palace (residence of the king's wives), Kien Trung Palace (former residence of King Bao Dai and Queen Nam Phuong)…

Library and other palaces for the daily needs of the kings and their family as the palace of Thuong Thien (restaurant), Duyet Thi Duong (Royal Theatre) ... The Hue Forbidden City contains up to now many mysteries of royal life.

Thien Mu Pagoda or the Celestial Lady: The Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu is located on Ha Khe hill in the shape of a turtle, in the left bank of the Perfume River, about 4 km west of Hue Imperial City. Thien Mu Pagoda was officially built en1601, during the reign of Lord Nguyen Hoang.

Hue in Vietnam

House - Garden in Hue: Hue is not only famous for its natural, charming, dreamy scenery... but also particularly attractive with the depth of the cultural and spiritual beauty. With majestic mausoleums, the ancient citadel…quiet and peaceful houses - gardens create a "garden city" in Hue.

Built on the principles of "feng shui", houses - gardens in Hue are the collection of architecture works located in the north-south direction. Despite the different dimensions, but generally the architecture is global, including: portal, protection wall, bridge, aquarium, bonsai, courtyard, house…surrounded by carefully cut hibiscus…In the garden, many trees, flowers…are planted to have green vegetation all year.

In these green spaces in the heart of Hue, we should mention the old houses which are usually in wood and carved with multiple meticulous decoration patterns. Despite the different sizes, the structure of the house is completely made by the mortises and tenons to be able to assemble and disassemble easily.

By visiting a house - garden in Hue, it is easy to recognize the spirit and lifestyle of its owner. The houses - gardens represent the harmony between human life and vegetation, between the material and spiritual life which are together to create a balance in the life of Hue people.

Dong Ba Market: Whether your trip in Hue is long or short, you should stop at Dong Ba market that was built in the late 19th century. Dong Ba Market is associated with the vicissitudes of the history of Hue. With an area of ​​5000m2, between Gia Hoi Bridge and Truong Tien Bridge (old name was Georges Clemenceau), the Dong Ba market has three floors with thousands of stalls that meet the needs of commerce. Like many other major markets in each province across the country, the goods in Dong Ba are very abundant for local life and you find easily also crafts products of Hue style.

Perfume River: In the middle of the city of Hue, the Perfume River is beautiful from its upstream, which winds between the mountains, hills and trees to bring to the city the scent of aromatic herbs of the tropical forest. The river passes near peaceful verdant villages as Kim Long, Nguyet Bieu, Vi Da, Ba Dong, Gia Hoi, Cho Dinh, Nam Pho, Bao Vinh ... by plunging into the aroma of the flowers of Hue.

The river is clear as the clear and blue pearl in the sun. Since boats, melancholy folk songs will resonate in deep night. The boat ride on the poetic Perfume River by listening to folk songs during the night is a quiet pleasure of local travelers in Hue.

Hue in Vietnam

Some key sites outside of the city:

At the outskirts of Hue, all travelers can not miss the opportunity to discover the mausoleums of emperors as Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, Tu Duc, Khai Dinh ... Here are the most essential:

The mausoleum of Minh Mang king: At12km from Hue center, the mausoleum of King Minh Mang was built from 1840 to 1843 with the mobilization of ten thousand workers and soldiers.

The architectural plan of the mausoleum is characterized by symmetrical balance. The central axis is located between the monuments to serve the king when he was alive. The mausoleum has an area of ​​18 hectares. Architecturally, the mausoleum creates a majestic and sacred atmosphere. However, outside, around the monuments, there are two lakes, forests of pine trees, old trees ... to make the whole mausoleum imposing but always in harmony with nature and poetic charm. The mausoleum of Minh Mang is a place not to miss in Hue.

The mausoleum of Tu Duc: At 8km from Hue center, with 50 monuments, the mausoleum of Tu Duc having a sophisticated architecture, stunning landscape...is one of the most beautiful tombs of the kings of the Nguyen.

Like most kings in Hue, before death, King Tu Duc found the place to build the mausoleum. In 1866, construction began. In 1873, work was completed after the insurrection of the workers. In 1883, the king died.

So before death, the mausoleum was used as the '' second Forbidden City ''. The king often came here to rest, work ... The waitresses, concubines…should also be present here. So, in the mausoleum of Tu Duc, there are many monuments used by the king, the royal family…during his lifetime. After death, several concubines had to stay there to look after the king's soul. The mausoleum of King Tu Duc is ranked as one of the most poetic in Hue.

Hue in Vietnam

The mausoleum of King Khai Dinh: At approximately 10km from Hue, the work of the mausoleum of Khai Dinh began in 1920 and ended in 1931. The construction had to mobilize many artisans and famous artists throughout the country... Compared to other mausoleums of kings in Hue, the mausoleum of Khai Dinh covers a small area: with 117 m * 48.5 m but with highly sophisticated designs. To build the sanctuary, Khai Dinh has bought the iron, steel, cement, tile, slate…in France; porcelain, crystal ... in China and Japan. So the mausoleum of Khai Dinh, the most expensive, is characterized by mixing '' extravagant '' architectural styles. This is the result of two factors: cultural exchange between the Western and the Orient at the time of the intersection of history and personality of Khai Dinh. The mausoleum of Khai Dinh is the most typical in Hue.

Lagoon of Dam Chuon: Besides the royal tombs of Nguyen Kings in Hue, Dam Chuan is also a destination that you should not miss during your trip in this region.

The lagoon of Dam Chuon is located about 15km from the Hue center. You can go there easily by car or even by bike. Dam Chuon is considered as a haven for photographers because this place has a very exotic beauty. In the fresh air, tranquility ... you will see the buffaloes wade in the water, children play in nature, the clouds reflect in the water ... Each time in the day creates a new beauty with a unique charm. In particular, in Dam Chuon, you also have the opportunity to taste delicious dishes of Hue fresh seafood.

Thanh Toan covered bridge: At about 8 km southeast of the city of Hue, the covered bridge was built in 1776. This is the wooden bridge rated as one of the most typical, rare and precious in Vietnam. Restored several times, the bridge has been classified by the Vietnamese government as a National Vestige. Especially here you will meet the local people living peacefully in the countryside of Hue.

Hue in Vietnam

Thuan An Beach: Thuan An is approximately located at 15km from Hue and is easily accessible by car or by bike. On the way, you will cross the Hue countryside with rivers, shrines, temples, rice fields...

Thuan An attracts many locals and the best time to go to Thuan An is between April and September. This is the warmest time in Hue.

In Hue, how many days do you need to visit its treasures?

In Hue, you should have at least a full day on site to visit: the Citadel (Imperial City and Forbidden City), the Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady, the two mausoleums of emperors, a stop in Dong Ba Market if you have time.

If you have two days there, that would be ideal. According to us, you should not hesitate to visit the countryside by motorcycle or bicycle. You will have a perfect image of Hue, the poetic land of Vietnam…

How to go to Hue?

Hue is in the middle of the country, at 600km from Hanoi, about 1,200 km from Ho Chi Minh City. This town on the main road connecting the north and south has a railway station, an airport and a network of local bus. So there are many ways to go there easily. You can contact us for more details on way to go to Hue…

Or you can send us an email to: info@guideduvietnam.com for more detailed and free information about Hue in Vietnam.