This Asian destination is rife with history, culture and offers a World Heritage Site for you to discover.
Like many countries in Asia, Vietnam used to be ruled by dynasties of families, feudal lords and emperors with grand palaces. Located along the banks of the picturesque Perfume River lies Hue, one of Vietnam’s historic sites and former capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. Today, the city represents the fascinating history of the Vietnamese medieval empire — you’ll be able to find complex of monuments, tombs, collection of old pagodas, imperial buildings and temples. Widely known for preserving its rich historic values, Hue was subsequently recognised as a World Heritage Site in 1993.
Bach Ma National Park
The national park is well known for its natural landscape and refreshing atmosphere where the highest mountain, Bach Ma, towers at 1,450 m. The French had built hundreds of villas in the location during their reign and some of these classic villas have recently been restored and are now opened as hotels. Home to over 1,900 species of flora and fauna, Bach Ma attracts plenty of hikers and those who are looking for somewhere to get away from the heat.
Tip: Keep a lookout for the native Red-shanked Doucs, a species of old-world monkey that is the most colourful among the primates. Also, two of the rarest mammals on the planet — the Saola and the Muntjac — have recently been discovered in the park. Other interesting species include the Asian Elephant, White-cheeked Gibbon, Crested Argus, Annam Partridge, Edward’s Pheasant and Langur.
- Hai Vong Dai (Sea Observation Post): Enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the lagoons and the East Sea
- Silver Waterfall (Do Quyen): Be amazed by the magnificent waterfall that is over 300m high and 30m wide
Hue’s prime attraction is the former seat of the imperial government. This walled city is a sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates and museums which showcase the opulence of Vietnam’s days of imperialism.
This collection of elaborate tombs located along the Perfume River were built by Emperors in the 19th century during the French rule:
- Tomb of Tu Duc: Emperor Tu Duc ruled the country of 35 years (the longest reign of all emperors in the Nguyen Dynasty). His tomb is set against a poetic scenery of vast pine forests, a pretty lake and a majestic pavilion complex.
- Tomb of Khai Dinh: Built in the Chau Chu Mountains, the royal tomb in influenced by French architectural styles. As Emperor Khai Dinh incorporated a great deal of Western and Eastern elements of the tomb, it took 11 years to be completed. Keep a lookout for the two massive dragons that form the side rails of the 37 steps at the entrance gate of the tomb.
From Hue, you can cycle to another World Heritage site at Hoi An. From Hue’s back roads, the scenic ride takes you towards the picturesque Lang Co beach and the dramatic Hai Van pass before reaching the well-preserved ancient port town of Hoi An, meandering through small fishing villages, lagoons, rice paddies and forests. You’ll be able to opt for either a one-day trip (82 km) or a two-day journey (112 km).
Hue is accessible from Hanoi by train (approximately 12 hours) and plane (approximately 1 hour). Alternatively, there are direct flights from Singapore to Danang, from where it will be a two-hour taxi ride to Hue via the scenic Hai Van pass.