Best Things To Do In Hue 2023


The old capital of Vietnam (Việt Nam), Hue (Huế), has a lot of great places to visit. Even though this is no longer the case, a large number of Vietnamese still rate this old city highly as the central of cultural and historical value.

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When it comes to Hue attractions, there are many places to see, such as tombs, pagodas and other kinds of buildings linking the past to the present around the beautiful countryside of Hue.

Despite many of these places are ruined by war yet many managed to be safe without any damage. Those places include Thien Mu (Thiên Mụ) pagoda, Citadel, and Long An palace museum.

If you are wondering which Hue attractions are most worth-visiting, then check out this list to discover what to see in Hue, Vietnam.

Hue Attractions –23 Must-See Places To Visit In Hue, Vietnam

1. Bach Ma National Park (Công Viên Quốc Gia Bach Mã)


This is the first choice when it comes to interesting Hue attractions. Located in the Annamite Range, right in the central Vietnam, close to Hue City, Bach Ma national park is easy to access from Hue (about 40 kilometers), Hoi An (Hội An) (90 kilometers) and Da Nang (Đà Nẵng) (65 kilometers). Covering the area of approximately 37,50 hectare, Bach Ma National Park is a protected area which was built in 1991 and contains 3 zones, including a strictly protect core, a buffer zone and an administrative area.

This national park has tropical climate featuring with two separate seasons, the rainy season and dry one. The park is considered as one of the wettest site in Vietnam, where it can change from sunshine to rain only within hours. The summit region is cooler, thanks to the high altitude. Thus, it is also called as “Da Lat of the central area of Vietnam”, one of the most relaxing Hue attractions for tourists.

This park is the bio geographical border between southern and northern Vietnam and features with a wide range of creatures and habitats. Therefore, it is not surprising that Bach Ma National park is famous for its biodiversity. In reality, some people reckon Bach ma as “The centre of Vietnam’s flora diversity” because it presents about ¼ of the whole flora of the whole country. This forest also possesses a great and precious source of more than 500 species serving as medicinal plants.

When visiting Bach Ma National Park, among many other Hue attractions, you will have a variety of fun activities to take part in, be it camping, trekking, rappelling, or wandering through the jungle. Here, you could discover the beauty of the flora and fauna of Bach Ma. If you are an adventurer, you will have a chance to thrillingly abseil down the upper area of the Do Quyen (Đỗ Quyên) Fall here. Or, tourists could walk down to the falls’ bottom in order to catch the whole spectacular view of the fall and swim in the cool stream.

For those people who love nature, particularly those who are excited to watch wild birds, they will find Bach Ma National Park a true paradise on the planet. Actually, 358 species of birds available in the park account for over 1/3 of Vietnam’s bird species, including the tenacious Edwards’ pheasant and the fabulous crested Argus pheasant. These species are rare and unseen for a long time. Various bid species such as bulbuls, pigeons, malkohas, herons, crow pheasant, egrets, kingfishers, and jungle fowl are really worth including into your bird-watching collection.

The best time to visit Bach Ma National Park is on February. This is the time when tourists can witness a lot of great scenes like blossoming of the well-known red Rhododendron simsii along the small streams, particularly at the bottom of the Rhododendron waterfall. At this time, the weather is dry with suitable temperatures. The tourism season, in which a large number of visitors coming here, is from June to August. A tour to visit famous Hue attractions cannot be completed without Bach Ma National Park.

2. Vong Canh Hill (Đồi Vọng Cảnh)


The next destination in this checklist of Hue attractions I would like to introduce to you is Vong Canh Hill. This hill is 43 meters in height and located about 7km from the central area of Hue, with the foot lying next to flowing Huong River (Sông Hương). This hill at first seems to be rather normal among many famous Hue attractions. Nevertheless, visitors should not miss this site because it is considered as the best spot to see a panoramic view of Huong River. This could easily be understood from its name: “Vọng” means observing, watching and “Cảnh” means scenes.

The Vong Canh Hill is surrounded by some royal tombs of Kings, including Tu Duc (Tự Đức), Thieu Tri (Thiệu Trị), Dong Khanh (Đồng Khánh) and some Queens. In combination with the complex of royal monuments, there is Hon Chen (Hòn Chén) Temple which is place for locals to worship Y-A-Na Goddess and Lieu Hanh Godness (Bà chúa Liễu Hạnh). And, on the opposite site, Vong Canh is a great site for tourists to take photos of ancient and magnificent Hue.

Furthermore, tourists are usually attracted by the villages, which stretch along the river banks, including Hai Cat (Hải Cát), Huong Ho (Hương Hồ), and Ngoc Ho (Ngọc Hồ) with corn fields, fruit gardens lying under pine trees’ shades, and small boats silently skimming and drawing lines on the water surface. From sunrise to sunset, Huong River attracts people by its atmosphere that it brings to the surrounding area. This hill is now covered with daisy and pine trees. There was a purpose-established watching tower on the top of this hill, despite just parts of the foundation remain up to now. In addition, Water plant Van Nien (Vạn Niên) – which is the oldest in Central Vietnam and also an Oriental-style establishment, just about 300 meters from Vong Canh Hill, and designed by a French architecture, is really worth visiting.

When visiting Vong Canh Hill, you may think that it seems to have nothing for entertaining, yet for those who are looking for calmness and natural beauty, it is a perfect choice, among other great choices of Hue attractions.

Actually, this spot is often combined on a trip to those nearby pagodas and tombs. The suggested vehicles for tourists could be bike, motorbike and car.

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3. Hue Temple Of Literature


Temple Of Literature is also known as Van Thanh (Văn Thánh) or Van Mieu (Văn Miếu) Hue, which is majestically situated on the bank of Huong River, to the west of the Citadel, about 1km away from the prestigious Linh Mu (Linh Mụ) pagoda. Though it is not a too famous sight in regard to Hue attractions, it still brings a new experience for those who want to enjoy some special religious and spiritual feelings.

This spot is dedicated to worshipping and memorizing Confucius, which is a common practice in a lot of Asian countries, like Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea. Actually, in Vietnam, apart from the famous Temple of Literature in Hanoi, there are some other Temples of Literature constructed on other cities.

The remaining of this complex contains about 50 architectural works and the biggest is the Confucius worshiping hall.

From outside, at the temple’s main gate, right by the riverside, there are 4 majestic tall pillars. After passing the gate, you will see some small houses where mandarins and kings would stop by to prepare their costumes before going inside for attending a ceremony. Right at the front, there are two rows consisting of 32 preserved steles that bear the names of 23 successful people in National Examinations hold through the Nguyen Dynasty. Despite this monument has been ruined during the war when the French troops used it as barrack, major temple and particularly the steles still remain, making Hue Temple of Literature one of the most inspiring Hue attractions.

Nowadays, tourists coming here could see a unique symbol of the educational system during feudal times of Vietnam. The construction shows an everlasting respect to talented candidates of the whole country and invaluable traditions of education and culture.If you want to visit Hue Temple Of Literature, you can use different means, like motorbike, car and bike. It is easily found close to Thien Mu (Thiên Mụ) pagoda. There is no admission fee.

4. Nam Giao Esplanade (Đàn Nam Giao)


What is the next recommendation from experienced tourists about Hue attractions? Nam Giao esplanade gets the highest vote. The emperors under feudalism usually regarded as “Thiên Tử” – meaning the sons of Heaven. Therefore, in order to express their own respect to Father God, they usually organized annual offering ceremonies to worship. This is the reason why Nam Giao Esplanade was established by the king Gia Long after being crowned, in the village named Duong Xuan (Dương Xuân), located in the south of the city of Hue.

The open-air monument reflects the old misconception of reflects the long-time misconception of people about our universe (square earth and circular heavens) presents 5 important elements of the nature, including Wood, Metal, Water, Earth and Fire (Mộc, Kim, Thủy, Thổ, Hoả).

If you have chance to visit the mentioned-above Hue attractions, Nam Giao Esplanade might be the most symbolizing destination in your eyes. This esplanade is specifically designed to symbolize the oriental theory of 3 factors: Man, Heaven and Earth (Nhân, Thiên, Địa respectively). Each factor is represented by a terrace with specific color as well as shape: square yellow earth and circular blue heaven. The bottom terrace is red-painted and square that stands for Man. The top one – Heaven – is the site to hold offering ceremonies to Earth, God and Nguyen (Nguyễn) Dynasty’s ancestor. This is also known as Vien Dan. Tung Dan is the middle terrace which is mainly for worshipping the Sun, Moon, Cloud, Starts, Rain, Wind, Lightning, Mountain, River, Ocean, Lake, Lagoon and Year and Month, etc. and many other types of holy spirits of Vietnam. The last one is the place for sacrifice.

Besides the major esplanade, there are some other building spots to support the offering ceremonies, such as “Trai Cung”, “Than Tru” (Thần Trù), “Than Kho” (Thần Khố).

Previously, Nam Giao Esplanade was surrounded by the thick basalt wall that has been damaged. There are pine trees planted around because the Emperor Minh Mang (Minh Mạng) has respectably followed the tradition of his father and asked every of his sons as well as mandarins to plant their personal pines with their name card on it and care for their own trees.

This esplanade used to have a crucial role in political and religious life of Nguyen Dynasty. Normally, it took the Protocol & Administration Ministries several months to prepare carefully the ceremony. Prior to the sacrifice offering day, every village and communal in Thua-Thien-Hue (Thừa Thiên Huế) had to comprehend making the triumphal arches, to add alters on sides of the route where the Emperor would comfortably pass by from Ngo Mon (Ngọ Môn) Noon gate to Trai Cung. Then, during the ceremony, many big flags with various colors were hung on four doors of the esplanade: blue on the eats door, black on the north, white on the west and red on the south. Kings usually had to carry out the ceremony by their own.

If he was not able to do so, his son or one of the mandarins would be ordered to do the task. Nowadays, tourists could visit here in order understand more about political and religious belief of Oriental feudal society, in general, and Nguyen Dynasty, in particular, which differ entirely from the Western society.

This spot is opened for visitors all the time, yet you are recommended to come here when the ceremony is celebrated.

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The royal ceremony is particularly restored on the Hue festival to pray for a happy, peaceful country and prosperous people. This particular performance could not be found anywhere else. Hence, do not hesitate to add Nam Giao Esplanade to your list of Hue attractions for your upcoming vacation.