Flashing back to the trip to Hue City, Vietnam

in GEMS3 years ago

How’s it going guys? The pandemic seems to hit hard the travel feed on our platform, hah? Sharing the same situation in South East Asia, Vietnam has also undergone a series of social distancing orders since the fourth wave of Covid-19 hit the country late April. Travel has been banned and I have been locked up inside the house since then. Lucky me, I did have several domestic trips early this year right before the lockdown taking the place. And now at least I still have some travel stories to tell for the rest of the year. xD.

First, let’s flash back to Hue City!

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While Danang and Hoian have been taking all spotlight when it comes to travelling in Central of Vietnam, Hue City – a place neighboring to the north of Danang, seems to be much less well known. But trust me, Hue may be the place that you would love to visit more than once. It brings whole new vibes of travel compared to the hustle and bustle of Danang. It doesn’t have much to offer, just an ancient capital with a long history of Nguyen dynasty, a place with rich cuisine and beautiful culture built up by adorable indigenous people. Oops, not much but … it seems to have it all and kinda worth to visit, doesn’t it?

Small city but no shortage of attractions

Historic works

Historic sites are a huge part of the city’s tourism. There are Imperial City, Royal tombs of emperors such as Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc, etc. Those are incredible to visit, as if taking a step back in time and wander into the past to see what life was like during Nguyen dynasty. One thing I loved the most about those attractions is that it was not crowded like ones in Danang or Hoian, so I was still able to fully enjoy the ancient and serene atmosphere and get a sense of stories behind those places.

One note for you, just like any other historic sites, it is much better if you go with a tour guide who can tell you stories and related stuff, and explain every surrounding thing. If you prefer to visit it yourself, you better do your homework before exploring, otherwise, it will be more of a sightseeing tour which is not much to remember, and not what it is expected to be when you visit Hue. There is always available tour guide in the entrance with public and reasonable price. NOTE: everything in Hue is much cheaper than Danang.

Imperial City

The imperial city is really vast and it may take a whole day or even more for you to explore. At the entrance, you will be provided with a map indicating several routes to explore the place, you may choose one which suits your time and plan. I visited it on my last day in Hue and didn’t have much time to spare so I just took a half day one. It was great as that route leaded me through all the outstanding works of the imperial city.

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It was Monday, almost no one there. It is kind of common to wear Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional costume) when visiting Hue generally and imperial city particularly. Ao Dai blends in very well with the background of an ancient city like Hue. It brings really good vibes of the past and young people just love to take those kinds of photo. I unfortunately didn’t rent one to wear but it is highly recommended for you guys to try.

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Royal Tombs

There are many royal tombs of Nguyen dynasty’s emperors, but the most visited ones are Minh Mang Tomb and Khai Dinh Tomb. You may find it creepy when it comes to “tomb”, but it is not. It is a kind of resting place but you will not find any actual grave there. It is more of a historical work with charming layout and exquisite surroundings.

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Minh Mang Tomb is a stunning complex with beautiful scenery to behold. I found it very delightful to walk around this place, but as it is quite large, you better avoid a hot day to visit.

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Khai Dinh was built with modern architecture as it is the most recent one. You will find it very unique with the mix between old Vietnamese style and French style. There are a lot of steps to climb up to the place, but it is well worth an effort. It is much smaller than Minh Mang Tomb but still has its own beauty. The large yard in front with a lot of statues is the spot where photos were taken the most.

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Other places that Hue is well known for

There is no shortage of “check-in” spots in this city, where visitors come mainly to take photos which, by just looking at the photos, people can tell exactly where they were taken from.

The city is surrounded by Huong River, which basically translated into English as Perfume River. It appears in a lot of songs, poems and art works about Hue, to the point that it becomes a symbol of the city. A photo with background is the river and the Truong Tien Bridge is a must if you visit Hue City.

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Huong River and Truong Tien Bridge

For social media posts, there is one more place that everyone comes, which is Thuy Xuan Incense Village. There is nothing special, just a craft village with traditional vocation is incense making. It becomes well known and attracts young people thanks to the colorful array of incense sticks, which could create a lovely and arty background for an Instagram photo. I was no exception, I was drawn into that place, too. Haha. Of course, you can also observe the incense making process, but I don’t think people really come here for such purpose.

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There is a high school that also attracts people to visit when they happen to be in this city. It is Quoc Hoc Hue high shool – a school for the gifted. Sound nothing special, but it is, in fact, the first and the oldest high school in Vietnam. The school was designed and built with ancient architecture and somehow became one of the symbols of the city. A lot of young people visit this place just to get some sense of how it is like to be a student of the most famous high school in the period of French colonization. The mix between wooden materials and dark red wall are kind of signature that once you took the photo with such background, people can tell right away that it is taken in Quoc Hoc Hue high school.

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One more place that I find very cute is a wall in front of Aroma Restaurant at 36 Chu Van An Street. The sentence “Huế ơi, Anh yêu em” means “Hue, I love you”. Such sentence is written densely on the wall in so many other languages. It’s just lovely. It is indeed one of my favorite photos.

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Being well known as an ancient city but its cuisine is what actually lures me in.

(to be continued)

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