Things to do in Hue
Hue is ancient capital of Vietnam. I visited Hue city twice with many different emotions, but one thing never changes, the silence. Maybe anyone who visited Hue also had experiences like me. Streets always lack passersby, life is very slow, and sad. So, why do you come Hue? Hue city is last capital of Vietnam feudality, so it preserves many temples, palaces, citadels… Even people of ancient capital are very wonderful too. To feel fully Hue, you should self-travel.
How to get Hue
If you’re in Hanoi or Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) and use visa to Vietnam service, you can go to Hue by bus or train. You should go by train, it’s safe and stable.
* From Hanoi
You can buy the train tickets at:
- TSC agent (add: 114 Pho Duc Chinh street – Ba Ðinh district – Hanoi): +84-24-37162868
- Mua Xuan (spring) agent (add: 41 Ma May Street – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi): +84-24-39263138 or +84-24-22109775
- Hanoi train station, i don’t remember exactly address, but it’s located on Le Duan street.
* From Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city)
Add of Sai Gon station: No. 01 Nguyen Thong street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city
- Phone (automatic answer): +84-28 39 310 666 a
- Provide information: +84-28 3931 8952 or +84-28 3846 6091
- Ticket office: +84-28 38 436 524 or +84-28 38 468 701
Saigon station will bring ticket to the hotel if you request, Call the number: +84-28 8436 528. Serve only inner city from 7h to 21h every day.
Some bus firms
* From Hanoi
1. Hoang Long, there are 2 offices in Hanoi:
- 1A Nam Dong, Dong Da district, Hanoi. Tel: 8494 321 19 00
- 19 Thuoc Bac, Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi. Tel: 84-24 6295 5565
2. Sinh Cafe
52 – Luong Ngoc Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi Tel: +84-24.3926 1568
* From Saigon
– Sinh Cafe has seat car and bed car.
Times: 07:30 – 15:00 and 20:30
Add: 246 – 248 De Tham, district 1, Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +84.28.38 38 9593 – Fax: +84.28.38 36 9322
24 -26 Pho Ðuc Chinh, distrct 1, Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +84.28.38 222 892 – Fax: +84.28.38 217 416
Attractions in Hue
Hue is the last Capital of Vietnam feudality, so almost of attractions in Hue are historic sites and massive architectures: Palaces, temples, citadels, mausoleums of kings…
The first, Hue citadel (Đại Nội Huế) is the residence of royal in Nguyen dynasties (from 1805 to 1945). It’s very large, you will need more than 1 morning to visit all of attractions. Next is Thien Mu Temple (Chùa Thiên Mụ), a temple was built in 17th century. Vong Canh hill (Đồi Vọng Cảnh) is beautiful hill where the kings usually came to contemplate the nature of Hue.
Some main mausoleums that you should visit: Khai Dinh, Minh Mang and Tu Duc. Other mausoleums, you may arrange to visit, but i think it’s not necessary. They are smaller and less beautiful than main mausoleums.
To visit all of above sites, you need 2-3 days. After, if having more time, you should explore distant places: Tam Giang lagoon (Phá Tam Giang), Bach Ma mountain (núi Bạch Mã). Let’s buy a Hue travel map at post office or ask your hotel. On there has all of attractions in Hue.
If you have more time, about 5 days, you should combine traveling Hoi An and Da Nang. These places are close together, you will have an interesting trip.
Moving in Hue
- To move easily in Hue, you should rent a motorbike, prices from $6 to $10, self-refuel. Let’s ask your hotel to know lease places.
- Addtion, you can move by taxi and motortaxi, but it’s more expensive and not funny.
- If you move in Hue citadel, let’s choose a cyclo to feel the peace of Hue.
Hotels in Hue
I knew some good and cheap hotels in Hue from my friends, my trips and collected on forums. Cheap motels and hotels in Hue gather on Le Loi street, near the Truong Tien Hue bridge (cầu Trường Tiền Huế), prices from $8 to $20, many large rooms can be enough for 4 people.
– Bao Minh hotel at 66/8 – Le Loi street (in an alley on the street), near Trang Tien bridge. I stayed here tiwce visited Hue. Price for double rooms is $13, i think price now is about $15, clean room. You can rent motor in hotel (ask the receptions).
– Hotel at 57 – Tran Thuc Nhan. Contact Mr. Viet or Ms. Van
– Phuong Hoang hotels (I and II) on Le Loi street, price is ok, have lease-motor service. Oposite Phuong Hoang has some good hotels, prices are ok and have lease-motor service too.
There are other hotels with same price, if don’t go in travel season, you do not need booking.
Specialties and restaurants in Hue
Vegetarian (cơm chay). Hue has many vegetarian restaurants, foods are also very delicious and diverse. Some vegetarian restaurants in Hue:
- Bo De at 11 – Le Loi street, Lien Hoa at 03 – Le Qui Don street (i like alot this restaurant), Tinh Tam at 12 – Chu Van An street, restaurant on Han Thuyen street (i don’t remember exact address).
- Rice oyster (Cơm Hến) and noodle oyster (bún hến) are famous specialties of Hue. You can eat these dishes at Ms. Teo restaurant on Pham Hong Thai street, restaurant at 2 – Truong Dinh street or Con Hen (Cồn Hến) street. This street has many Rice and noodle oyster restaurants.
Note, these dishes are very spicy so if you can’t eat spicy, let’s ask them leaving chili.
- Bread soup (bánh canh) is a popular dish in Central Vietnam. Mu Doi restaurant on Dao Duy Anh street.
- Barbecue noodle (bún thịt nướng) and pork rice paper (bánh tráng thịt heo) at Huyen Anh restaurant, 207 – Kim Long.
- Hue beef noodle (bún bò Huế) is other specialty of Hue. O Be restaurant at 11B – Ly Thuong Kiet.
- Banh Khoai (Bánh khoái), Lac Thien restaurant at 6 – Dinh Tien Hoang, Lac Thanh 10 – Dinh Tien Hoang, restaurant at 11 – Pho Duc Chinh
- Banh Beo (Bánh bèo), Mrs. Do on Nguyen Binh Khiem (at no.2 or 9) or An Dinh palace (in Hue citadel), Mrs. Cu 47 – Nguyen Hue.
- Sauce noodle (bún mắm) at Me Theo restaurant, 64 – Ba Trieu street.
- Che Hem (Chè hẻm) at 26 Hung Vuong street.
- Che Sao (Chè sao), a snack, on Phan Chu Trinh street.
If having least 5 days, you should combine traveling Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An, they’re very close together. 2 days for Hue, 2 days in Da Nang and 1 day for Hoi An. You will have overview about Central of Vietnam.