Hue is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Huong River, a few miles inland from Bien Dong. Hue was the capital of 9 reigns of Nguyen. Hue still retains culture heritage and intangible heritage which contains values of wisdom and spirit of Vietnam. Throughout the centuries, the quintessence of country converges here to create a fantastic natural picture with romantic river and charming mountain.
Thua Thien Hue is one province of central Vietnam, the north borders Quang Tri, on the south is Da Nang city. It has an area of 5.053,99 square kilometers, average population 1105.5 thousand people. Thua Thien Hue has 8 districts and Hue city includes150 communes, town. Hue is located on the important road north-south. The city is important center in many aspects such as culture, politics, economic, education, health, tourism, science and technology…
Hue is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Huong River, a few miles inland from Bien Dong. It is about 700 kilometers south of the Hanoi national capital and about 1100 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. The dry season is from March to August, with high temperatures of 35-400C. The rainy season is from August to January with a flood season from October. The average rainy season temperature is 200C, sometimes as low as 90C. And spring lasts from January to late February.
For nearly 40 years (1558-1945), Hue was the capital of 9 reigns of Nguyen. Hue still retains culture heritage and intangible heritage which contains values of wisdom and spirit of Vietnam. Throughout the centuries, the quintessence of country converges here to create a fantastic natural picture with romantic river and charming mountain. Therefore, Hue is considered as the palaces, temples, majestic tombs, famous destinations…
Located in the heart of Hue, on the northern bank of the Huong River, the architecture system represents the authority of Nguyen absolute monarchy before changes of time. It is the Hue citadel, Tu Cam Thanh. The citadel system is an example of harmony between the quintessence of Western and oriental architecture which are located in the natural landscape with many symbols. The architecture seems to be mixed with wonderful nature, which creates the charming picture.
Hoang Thanh is limited by a wall with approximately 600 meters length and 4 unique entrances. The road leads to Than dao has unique architecture such as: Nghinh Luong Dinh, Phu Van Lau, Ky Dai, Ngo Mon, Thai Hoa, Can Chanh, Can Thanh, Khon Thai, Kien Trung… On the roadside of Than dao, there have hundreds of large and small buildings.
Situated on both sides of Huong River, royal tombs of Nguyen Kings are considered as the achievements of the landscape architecture. The Tombs are heaven for owners when entering the afterlife. Each tomb reflects the personality of the owner. Gia Long tomb is austere but majestic among mountains. Minh Mang tomb is majestic among mountain and lake… Tu Duc tomb formed mainly by the sophistication or human.
Hue existed reputation gardens such as: Ngu Vien, Thu Quang, Thuong Mau, Truong Ninh, Thieu Phuong… The architecture of gardens combines with availability factors creates a specific type of garden in Hue. Each garden has the shadow of the Hue citadel. Nearly a half century as the capital of a dynasty with political institutions based on Confucianism. Besides the golden palace architecture, Hue also preserves hundreds of ancient pagodas.
Associated with feudal dynasty comply with the principles of Confucianism philosophy, festival and music in here had developed. The court has Te Giao ceremony, Te Xa Tac, Nguyen Dan, Doan Duong, Van Tho, Dai Trieu, Thuong Trieu, Ban Soc, Truyen Lo, Duyet Binh… Common people have various festivals: Hon Chen, Cau Ngu, Sinh… Besides, there has ritual form of folk music such as: "tuong" Hue, dance of Hue… Coming here in June, tourists will have opportunity to live in vivid space associated with the cultural festival of hundred years ago. A lot of foreign tourists are curious about Hue’s ritual royal music. Originated from 8 kinds of ritual music under Le dynasty, under Nguyen dynasty, it has improved into 2 kinds of music: "Dai nhac" and "Nha nhac", which are really magnificent, and skillful. Those are only played on formal occasions. This city is proud to be the cradle of traditional music. The Royal Refined Music was proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on December 1993. Traditional music has been preserved in the Hue city. Recently, we have established submissions for UNESCO recognized Hue royal music: Nha nhac is a masterpiece of intangible and cultural heritage.
Today, Hue becomes the typical city of Vietnam. Every two years, people welcome Hue festival. In the opinion of citizens, Hue becomes Festival city because Hue still retains typical architecture and nature construction. The combination between the architecture and landscape makes Hue becomes a city of harmony between architecture-nature and human.
Hue still retains over 1000 dishes cooked by way of Hue; there have dishes for Nguyen dynasty. The menu includes dozens of dishes which are prepared meticulously with attractive flavor, attractive color, and beautiful dishes. The cuisines of Hue are rich, but one of the most striking differences is the prominence of vegetarianism in the city. No one who comes to Hue could forget its ancient beauty and romance.
Hue is well known among Vietnamese for its lasting drizzle by the end or early in the year. Despite the gloomy sky that the tiny rain drops involved, it is said to add more soul to Hue sceneries, especially the Perfume river and the Old citadel.
Located in the central of Vietnam and influenced by Southwest wind flow from Laos, Hue is considerably hotter than its neighbour destinations such as Da Nang and Hoi An during summer months. May to September are hottest months and the severity level can be unbearable from time to time. During the rainy season, between September and January, rain is more frequent and can be heavy. Hue also sees fog and rain quite frequently, even when the weather across the Hai Van Pass in nearby Danang is sunny.
From February to April will be the best time to visit Hue, when the temperature is more pleasant, though rainfalls are still likely.
During the autumn, orchids grow and give a perfume-like aroma, hence the name. Surrounded by mountains and passing through some of Hue’s most cultural and historical sites; it is definitely worth a boat ride along the river, or even a nice relaxing walk beside it.
The Imperial Citadel
This is the first stop for many travellers - a vast network of temples, museums, pavilions, and charming historical sites - that has a quiet, peaceful atmosphere hidden within its walls. There are more than a few sites to see here, so plan at least a full morning to check them out.
Tombs of the Emperors
Best seen by boat ride, Tombs of the Emperors are well worth the cost and effort it takes to get to them. They are perfect examples of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture and aesthetics. Some of the older tombs have crumbled into beautiful ruins, some are currently being restored. Spend an afternoon exploring these examples of traditional Buddhist architecture and funerary styles and learn about the ancient royal families in Vietnam. If you’ve got a bike, take some time between getting from town to the Tombs to check out the countryside, and see some of Vietnam’s rural life!
Thien Mu Pagoda
Housing fine gold and silver Buddha statues, Thien Mu Pagoda overlooks the river and is the official symbol of Hue city.
Thanh Toan Bridge
This beautiful wooden footbridge is located just outside of the city. It is the perfect place to admire and experience a bit of rural life and break away from the fast pace of the city.
Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs
About 30k outside of Hue is the Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs. Prepare to make a whole day trip here, with many activities including zip lining, high wiring, and fun water games. That is of course on top of relaxing in the outdoor hot springs baths, and having optional spa and massage treatments.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
This museum contains pictures and information about Ho Chi Minh, as well as some history about Hue. Admission is free so it is definitely worth popping in for an hour.
Thuan Hoa - Phu Xuan - Hue plays a very important role in Vietnam development history. Recent archeology discoveries show that human appeared in this land about 4000 to 5.000 years ago. Of all, relics such as stone axes, ceramics found at Phu O, Bau Dung (Huong Chu, Huong Tra) dated back less than 4.000 years ago. Stone axes aged less than 5.000 years were also found in many different sites, especially Hong Bac, Hong Van, Hong Ha, Hong Thuy, Bac Son (A Luoi district), Phong Thu commune (Phong Dien district).
Important archeology relics imbued with Sa Huynh culture were found for the first time in 1987 at Con Rang (La Chu, Huong Tra). This proves people had already had high material and spiritual life about 2.500 years ago. Traces of Sa Huynh culture were found in Cua Thieng (Phu Oc, Tu Ha, Huong Tra) in 1988. In addition to Sa Huynh culture, scientists also found relics which proves the existence of Dong Son culture in Thua Thien Hue. One of the evidences is a bronze drum found in Phong My commune, Phong Dien district in 1994. These are unique traces of ancient Vietnamese culture.
According to ancient documents, Thua Thien Hue used to be the habitant of diverse cultural community. It is believed that Thua Thien Hue used to belong to Bo Viet Thuong under Van Lang State. It was not until North colonization that Thua Thien Hue was under the management of Tuong Quan. In 116 BC, Nhat Nam was established and replaced Tuong Quan. After the historic victory of Ngo Quyen (938), Dai Viet was independent. Throughout centuries of development, Thua Thien Hue was the place where East culture and local culture met. In 1558, Nguyen Hoang ruled Thuan Hoa and started the reign of Nguyen Lord.
Ever since, Thuan Hoa - Phu Xuan was imbued with 9 Nguyen Lords in Dang Trong (South Vietnam). 3 centuries after Thuan Hoa was under the management of Dai Viet, it witnessed power struggle between Dang Trong (South Vietnam) and Dang Ngoai (North Vietnam). Therefore, no urban center was founded at the time. Hoa Chau (established in late XV century or early XVI century) only existed for a short time as the defensive citadel rather than urban areas of Thuan Hoa at the time. It was not until Lord Nguyen PhuLan had his premise moved to Kim Long in 1936 that the urbanization in Hue City formation and development history started. Over half a century later, Lord Nguyen Phuc Thai again had his premise move to Thuy Loi village and renamed as Phu Xuan (in the northwest of Hue Citadel today), continued to develop Phu Xuan as a prosperous urban center in Dang Trong (South Vietnam). Lord premise was moved to Bac Vong (1712-17230, then Vo Vuong had the main premise moved to Phu Xuan and constructed in the southeast of Hue citadel today.
The magnificence of Phu Xuan citadel under Nguyen Phuc Khoat’s reign was described by Le Quy Don in "Phu bien tap luc" in 1776 and "Dainam nhat thong chi" as a prosperous urban area by Huong river from Kim Long - Duong Xuan to Bao Vinh - Thanh Ha. Phu Xuan was the headquarter of Dang Trong (South Vietnam) from 1687 to 1774, the capital of Dai Viet under Quang Trung reign (1788-1801) and the capital of Vietnam (1802-1945). Phu Xuan - Hue, Thua Thien Hue has become an important center of politics, economy, art and culture since these historic periods.
In 1858, French - Spanish force attacked Da Nang, marking the invasion of the French colonialists of France. Then, America joined the war. Along with the entire country, Thua Thien Hue people got through two the revolution for national peace, independence and unification with victories and heroism.
Since French colonization to national liberation (1975), it was in Thua Thien Hue where powerful patriotic revolutions took place. Thua Thien Hue attracted revolutionists, for example, Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh and patriots. Nguyen Sinh Cung (known as Nguyen Tat Thanh - President Ho Chi Minh) lived in province in nearly 10 years during his childhood. In 1916, Viet Nam Quang Phuc Hoi organized general offensive in many provinces. Emperor Duy Tan joined the event. The province is home to revolutionary movements, genius, excellent leaders of the Party and State, figures working in the fields of politics, social affairs, sciences such as Le Duan, Pham Van Dong, Vo Nguyen Giap, Tran Phu, Ha Huy Tap, Nguyen Chi Dieu, Phan Dang Luu, Hai Trieu, Nguyen KhanhToan, etc. In July 1929, Indo-Chinese Communist Party of Thua Thien Hue was founded. Then, the Provincial Party Committee was established in 1930. In April 1930, Vietnam Communist Party of Thua Thien Hue province was founded on the basis of these two organizations and organized national liberation. In August 23, 1945, Thua Thien Hue people. In August 30, 1945, locals witnessed the abdication ceremony of Emperor Bao Dai. The event marked the last feudal dynasty in Vietnamese history and opened up a new millennium for entire nation.
During the revolution against French, victories were made in Duong Hoa, Hoa My, etc. During 21 year-long revolution against America, Thua Thien Hue became one of the leading localities in people war in the South for national liberation. In March 26, 1975, Thua Thien Hue was entirely liberated, which contributed to liberating the South, entire Vietnam and developing society.
Overcoming aftermath difficulties, Thua Thien Hue has unceasingly made effort to keep up with country-wide development. Throughout history, all ups and downs are the motivation and belongings enable Thua Thien Hue province to enter a new millennium, to further develop and deserve ancestor's merits.
In the palace, the organization of dishes in each meal becomes nutritious dishes; just treatment is the responsibility of Thai Y vien. Gia Long King recognized as the king had the most casual dining. He had never drunk wine; the meals also had a little meat, fish, rice, vegetable and fruit. When the king enjoys the meal, nobody can sit with. Some dishes are applied to Hue songs such as: nem cong, thau tho, xoi vo, nham bo, trung gal on, khum let, xao luon, bo so trau, chien cua gach, ham cau, cao lau, kho tau, thit quay, chao hai sam… Hue also has “An Cuu rice” for King. In addition to the dishes cooking from raw materials in market, some specialties paid tribute. In the North, there has Logan from Hung Yen.
Hue traditional cuisine and Hue royal cuisine has similarities because the royal chefs also came from the folk. Besides the general characteristics of the Vietnamese cuisine, Hue cuisine brings different characteristics. Firstly, each meal includes fish, meat, vegetables… Second, it has art; the tray is always arranged carefully and coordinated the color of dishes in order to appeal customers. Thirdly, it has collective, all dishes are all presented in the tray. Fourthly, is has delicate and delicious, even vegetarian dishes and so as to attract guests, the Hue often named dishes with exuberant names.
Hue has about 108 temples and more than 300 Buddha recitation, the Hue is mainly Buddhist. They often have vegetarian diet. Hue is the ancient capital, annual year; the kings often have vegetarian diet so that the processing vegetarian must delicate. These are the reasons why Hue vegetarian has developed and preserved until now. The dishes are made with raw materials such as: rice, cassava, sweet potato and some kinds of vegetables.
Components to make Com hen is not simple, it includes a dozen kinds of spices. Everything is harmony; it is just spicy, fleshy, and sweet by water. In Hue, “hen” is not as big as other one but the broth is very charming. A delicious bowl of Com hen is indispensable chili. The Hue eats every dish with chili. They said that this hobby complies with the balance of yin and yang. Weather in Hue is cold; the annual rainfall is large so that people have to eat more chili to bitter cold.
Com hen has in the whole Hue city; however, connoisseurs would know Com hen that is the most delicious is in Vi Da village. Vi Da village is far about 1 kilometer from ancient palace to the southeast. Here, com hen went into poet of Han Mac Tu “day thon Vi Da”. In Vi Da, if you want to enjoy delicious com hen, you should come to “con Hen” – an small “oasis” in the middle of Vi Da. Coming to Hue, if you rows boat from Dong Ba market, it will enjoy interesting feeling. However, com hen is royal specialty, it is very cheap. People here usually have breakfast with Com hen. Com hen is always in the minds of people of Hue or people who have lived in Hue. The foreign guests such as Australian, American, especially Japanese and Korean appreciates that Com hen is very delicious and special.
Bun Bo Hue
Hue style not only is the elegant, sophisticated, precise dishes but also feel the spirit of the processor. Coming to Hue, either morning or afternoon, walking along the small streets, people can find easily “bun bo Hue”. Someone must select the correct address with preferred flavor.
The major ingredient to cook “bun bo Hue” is beef and pork. Beef is chosen carefully, pork would be taken from elbow down to the pig’s feet. Then take them washed, shaved pork, boiled them about half an hour. After that, they crush lemongrass and put into the boiling water. “Mam ruoc” will be used with suitable quantity in order to create an attractive scent and charming sweetness.
The Hue is famous for fussy beauty of each dish. “bun bo” bowl seem meager but elegant with sweet broth, white “bun”, few slices of red chilli and lemongrass. Pieces of pork mixed with beef creates delicious dish. The flavor is felt not only by sense but also by smell. In addition, guest must enjoy “bun bo Hue” with banana flower and white basil. Life changes and “bun bo Hue” also has some changes. Although, it has some changes, some differences, people cannot forget special dishes in Hue.
Banh Khoai Hue
The cake is made from good rice mixed with water into a liquid mixture, add some salt, eggs and then stir them. The delicious cake depends on how we mix flour. According to ancient people, this cake has original name “banh khoi” because it is made on the wood stove. Therefore, people named “banh khoi”. However, someone miss-spell “khoi” into “khoai” so that it is gradually called “khoai”. A few others have explained that it is the favorite dish of many people so it is called “banh khoai”.
According to the Hue, so as to make “banh khoai” should focus on two key elements: flour formulations and fire formulations. Obtaining two elements, the cake will taste better. The Hue is very fussy whether it’s snack or main dish. When fried “banh khoai”, people need to take care the heat of fire and time to pour enough cake. In order to have yellow cakes, more nutrients, people often use egg yolk before pouring flour. If “banh xeo” of the Southern people is often use with lettuce, rau thom, “banh khoai” of the Hue has different taste in bananas, khe, papaya and pickled carrot. “banh khoai” Hue is more delicious due to a cup of sauce. The sauce is made from pig liver, chopped meat together with Hue’s soy. A cup of sauce usually has yellow-brown color and fleshy flavor of peanuts. The Hue is fussy so that Hue cuisine have multi-flavor. Just only a simple “banh khoai” but it reflects dining style and cuisine style of the Hue. Although it is simple dish, “banh khoai” is one of the delicious royal dishes. Over many years, there have many changes but “banh khoai” still attracts people and widely spread as a specialty with many unique differences.
The Hue likes the traditional cake on snack. “banh beo” is made simply: powdered rice soak into water for several minutes to have liquid. Then, mix with a little grease and pour into small cups. Enjoying “banh beo” properly is in each small cup, not in the bowl or plate as some restaurant, hotels.
The delicious “banh beo” is thanks to the shrimp, especially the sauce. Firstly, “nuoc mam” mixes with grease, sugar, garlic, chilli and shrimp which create the unique flavor. When eating “banh beo”, people not use chopsticks but small bamboo stick. It is great when using it with spicy sauce. The sweetness of shrimp mixed with the flavor of garlic, chilli… gives us unforgettable impressions.
Che bot loc thit quay: Che bot loc has small circle shape, made by tapioca. When the water is boiled, “bot loc” will be fished out from boiled water, used with sugar water. “che bot loc thit quay” is made from pieces roasted pork which is cut into small pieces. “che” has both sweet and salty so not cloy. Che dau ngu: It is the oldest type in Hue. “che” is cooked by skilful hand. The Hue often adds some peanuts and coconut milk to increase attractiveness. Che sen: “Che sen” is cooked according to Hue style. “Sen” is steamed and mixed with sugar until lightly boiling. When the sweetness of sugar penetrates into “sen”, they turn off stove. In order to have delicious “che sen”, people should watch out the fire, mix gently with enough time.