SIGHTS
HUE, Vietnam

Area Code 054, $1=16,415D, July 21, 2007

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Many Thanks to Tom McClive
for up-dating and re-writing this section for us.

 Photo Gallery : Photographer Abe Gallery
 Photo Gallery : Life in Hue
 Photo Gallery : Sight spots

Best time to visit: February to August (dry season)

Geography lesson: The old walled part of Hue that is on the north side of the river is called the Citadel. Within the Citadel is the Imperial Enclosure, containing all the buildings relating to the emperor and the Imperial government. Within the Imperial Enclosure is the Forbidden Purple City, which was reserved for the private life of the Emperor and was almost entirely destroyed in the war.

The Citadel is now incorporated into the larger city; there is no charge to enter. There is a $5 or 55,000D (cheaper) charge to enter the Imperial Enclosure, which is accessed through the Ngo Mon Gate, detailed below. This gets you into all the buildings inside, including those of the Forbidden Purple City. Got all that?

All sights open 6:30-17:30 in March - Oct, and 7:00-17:00 in Nov - Feb

S1 Citadel: The old city built on the north side of the Huong River. Originally it was surrounded by huge walls and moats but many were destroyed by wars and floods. Inside is the old town, where the Imperial Palace and many museums sit. Wander through the old narrow streets.
S1a Imperial Enclosure (Dai Noi): In the south part of the Citadel. Built on a straight line in the same design as the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. Inside is the Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, the Forbidden Purple City, and many other anonymous, beautiful buildings. $5 or 55,000D Highly Rec
S1b Imperial Palace Gate (Ngo Mon): This is a much-photographed site. Originally built by Minh Mang Emperor in 1833 and reconstructed many times. Two-layered colorful Chinese-style building.
S1c The Mieu is Under renovation
S2 Cho Dong Ba Market: Along the river, east of the bridge. Largest market in Hue. Sells food, daily produce, souvenirs, etc. In the back of the market one can see many boats coming in from nearby villages. Good photo spot. Stalls with very cheap prepared food; load up and then go to the back of the market to sit and enjoy it.
S3 Imperial Museum (Bao Tang Co Vat ): 3 Le Truc Street. Houses the royal objects that weren't lost during the war. It's a beautiful hall, in the same style as those in the Imperial Enclosure, and will put you in the mind of the emperor's court. Don't miss the many dolls and garments in the rear. 22,000D or $2 7-17:30
S4 Quoc Hoc School: 10 Le Loi Street. The most famous and prestigious prep school in the country. It's the Eton of Vietnam. Graduates include many prominent officials, such as Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh himself. Visit after 3:00 pm or so, when the students get out.
S Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh Museum: 7 Le Loi, 15,000D
M-F7:30-11:00,13:30-16:30 Sa7:30-11:00
Built in 1980. It houses memorabilia of Ho Chi Minh who spent time here when he was young. Also has a display on history of the region.
S Bao Tang Thua Thien Hue: Exhibition of the most recent finds in Paleolithic, neolithic and historic times in Thua Thien Hue entry $1.5
F-W 7:00-11:00, 13:30-17:00
Water Puppets: 11 Le Loi (closed)

Sights outside of town
S23 Thien Mu Pagoda: 4km west of Hue, along the north side of the river. Another prize-winning photo site; the pagoda is one of the symbols of Hue. It features a seven-story octagonal tower, each level dedicated to a Buddha in human form. Backed by other likable structures and gardens. Ride past the pay lots to park your bike for free next to the staircase.Rec Free entrance
S24 Dien Ho Chen Temple: 8km from town,built in 1832.22,000D
IMPERIAL TOMBS:
Like the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty liked to construct large tombs for themselves. The word "tomb" is misleading; each one is a huge walled villa, containing small lakes, temple, palaces, and other buildings (including the actual tomb).
The tombs are scattered south of Hue, never far, but transportation and directions can be rough. Several agencies and hotels run day boat tours that will take to you a few tombs 25,000D, or you can try to bike/motorbike it. + sight entrance fees and walking or bike transport from boat drop off point - negotiate price. Get a good map before you set out on your own.
S20 Tomb of Minh Mang: 55,000D12km down the river from Hue. Minh Mang was the second emperor (1820-1840). He saw Catholicism as a threat and tried to suppress it, an action which led to French interference and eventual control. The tomb is beautifully arranged, set among a few buildings in a line, surrounded by lily ponds.
Transport: Take a ferry to cross the river. Currently a new bridge is under construction. The bridge will be open soon. Highly Rec
S21 Tomb of Tu Duc: 55,000D, 7 km from Hue. If you arrive by boat, 20 minute walk from the river. Bike taxi 20,000D for thr round trip. Tu Duc was the longest ruling emperor (1848-1883). The tomb was built during his lifetime, for his use, so it contains a wide range of structures, including a pavilion by a lotus-covered lake, a theatre, a few temples, and an honor guard of statues. Check it out. Highly Rec
S22 Tomb of Khai Dinh: 55,000D, 10km from Hue. If you arrive by boat, 20 minute walk from the river. Bike taxi 20,000D for thr round trip. He ruled from 1916 to 1925, after his predecessor was exiled for plotting against the French. Khai Dihn was much more docile. The emperor commissioned a French architect who designed a tomb that beautifully combines Asian & European style. Rec
S25 Tomb of Thieu Tri: Tomb of the third emperor (1841-1847), built by his son, Emperor Tu Duc. Thieu continued Ming Mang's policies by throwing out most of the French missionaries. His tomb is in the same style as Ming Mang's, but smaller and not surrounded by a wall. Ergo, see it for free.
S26 Tomb of Dong Khanh: The closest tomb to Hue, 4km away. He ruled from 1885 to 1889, another docile, French-sponsored emperor. The Tomb is smaller than others, surrounded by fields. It's a relaxing environment.22,000D
S27 Hot Spring (Suoi Nuoc Nong Phong Son)
30km from the town, Good temperature. Women had better to ware T-shirt rather than swim suites as locals do.
By motor bike Taxi 1hr.  You can go by rental bike
60000D 
Taxi
$20/car or $3/p
Tour with a travel agent: $10
(2 persons or more)

Tour from Travel Cafe/GH
Ask at your GH or travel agents.
City Tour: US$8 dep. 9:00 return 17:00. Entrance fees extra.
DMZ Tour: US$9-11 dep. 6:00 return 14:00/18:00 includes pickup from hotel, Bf, entrance of tunnel, English guide.
Boat Trip on the perfume River: no motor bike S$2-3.0, with motor bike US$5-7, dep. 8:00, return 16:00 Cheapest tour is with h1(see hotel info)
it stops at Linh Mu pagoda, Tu Duc Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb, Hon Chen Temple, Kai Dinh Tomb. Tombs are a bit far from the river so you had bettter take one with a motorbike. Guide & food included but the entrance fee not included.
Hoian Day Tour: US$5 dep. 8:00 return 8:00

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