Hue in vietnam, Vietnam explorer: October 2011

Hue, a poetic city of Vietnam

Hue is one of places, which has many cultural heritages. It is located in central of Vietnam, just a few miles from the East Sea. It is considered as the most royal city in Vietnam. It has enough charm to keep you staying as long as you can. Up to now, there is no places like  Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City. On the Northern bank of Perfume River has relics consisting of palaces, which were constructed as arc defensive ramparts with 11km length. This valuable construction includes more than 100 arichectural works which were extremely reflected the life of Emperors and mandarins under Nguyen’ reign. Situated in the middle of hills on the Southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Nguyen Kings. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor’s points of view, personality, and tastes.  Moreover, Trang Tien Bridge which connects the citadel area with the new town across the Perfume River is itself a major attraction, a lovers' lane of sorts and a national symbol. You'll see local photographers selling their services in the little riverside park on the new-town side. Except from visit beautiful places, you can try to taste local cuisine specialties. There are a lot of interesting thing in Hue. Come and experience!

Huong River, Perfume River brings a pleasant beauty

Perfume River (Huong River) - Hue City
  Perfume River is truly a priceless godsend to Hue City. The Perfume River is 30km long. That is from Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary. In this region the stream runs quite slowly. The color of the Perfume River becomes darker when it runs along the foot of Ngoc Tran Mount .The river brings its fragrances of tropical flora. Probably that's the reason why the name of the river has been the Perfume River. Many people think that Hue city has peaceful, gentle and tranquil landscapes mostly thanks to the Perfume River. This river brings to the city a thoughtful rhythmical individuality and the pleasant-sounding limpidity  from a land of age-old culture.   The Perfume River has two sources, both of which begin in the Truong Son Mountain range and meet at Bang Lang Fork. The Ta Trach (Left Tributary) originates in the Truong Dong Mountains, It flows Northwest towards Bang Lang Fork. The shorter Huu Trach (Right Tributary) flows through the Tuan ferry, landing towards Bang Lang Fork. This river brings a individual beauty. 

century old high school in Hue

Quoc Hoc High School is a secondary school in Hue city  Thua Thien Hue province,  Vietnam. Built  on October 23, 1896 Century Old High School  is the first and oldest high school in Vietnam . It was built on the site once known as the Admiral's Palace , a royal naval base established in 1806 (the fifth year of King Gia Long’s reign). Quoc Hoc High School is located on the bank of Perfume River. It is a beautiful campus with many large shady trees, stone benches, and French architectural designed buildings. It is also the largest high school campus in Vietnam. It contains a big football field, basketball court, five badminton courts, a swimming pool and a medium stadium.

The school was built on the site of a former squadron headquarter - a royal navy headquarters.
In 1915 when the decree annulling Emperor ancient exam in the province and the ancient exam of the capital in the North were issued, Quoc Hoc high school was rebuilt.
The rows of thatch roofed apartments were torn down and replaced by two rows of buildings, the wall made of brick, the roof covered with tiles. It was solid and comfortable according to the western European architecture. Most of the architectures are still extant.

Going to Tu Duc's Tomb is going to a sacred place

Tu Duc's tomb is located in a narrow valley in Thuong Ba village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue City.
ltuduc2.gif (13241 bytes)The tomb lies in a boundless pine forest, 8 km from Hue.
Its construction started in December 1864 and finished in 1867.

There are about 50 gates, buildings, terraces and pavilions inside the complex. It is about 12 ha in surface.  The tomb is divided into two main parts: the temple area and the tomb area itself. The temple area starts with the Vu Khiem entrance and the romantic Luu Khiem lake. On the lake, there are Xung Khiem Pavilion and Du Khiem Pavilion. The temple part continues with three Thanh stone steps to Khiem Cung Gate leading to Hoa Khiem Palace. It was the Emperor’s working place and is now used as an altar devoted to the Emperor and Empress. , there are Phap Khiem House and Le Khiem House for the military and civil mandarins On its sides. The next part is the tomb area. On the left of the temple is the necropolis itself slopping upward with the Honour Courtyard, the Stele Pavilion, and the seplucre. It is right behind Bai Dinh (Honour Courtyard), with two rows of magnificent military and civil mandarins, is Bi Dinh (Stele Pavilion) with the biggest stone  in Vietnam.

Tu Duc’s tomb is not only one of the most beautiful works of the Nguyen dynasty, but it is also a romantic scenery of mounts and lakes
The most interesting part of this tomb is that despite the grandeur of the site and the amount of time Tu Duc spent there, he was actually buried in a different, secret location somewhere in Hue. Even today, the mystery of Tự Đức’s real tomb still keeps in secret.

Bach Ma National Park where you can be close to nature


Bach Ma National Park is located in central Vietnam, Thua Thien Hue province. Bach Ma National Park is one of the biggest attractions in Hue . It covers an area of 22,000 ha in the districts of Phu Loc and Nam Dong. It was created in 1991 to protect the centre of the last corridor of forest stretching from the South. China Sea to the Annamite mountain range at the border with the Lao PDR. This area is home of  variety of animals and plants with steep mountains and dense forests.  There is tropical monsoon forest above 900 m   the sub-tropical forest .  Bach Ma is recognised as one of the biodiversity centres of Indochina. The highest point is in the park. Bach Ma mountain   is 1450 m above the sea level and only 18 km away from the coast. Visitors have been coming to Bach Ma since the 1930s  when the French Colonials built a hill resort here to escape the hot and humid plains during the summer. The National Park has restored some of the villas  built at that time, and is upgrading the services they offer. The rich flora and fauna also attract many tourists. Bach Ma National Park is home of 233 species of birds and 55 species of mammals, as well as extensive vegetation of more than 500 species. Thus, the park does not only  beautiful landscapes, but it also allows for scientific research.

Travel Lang Co beach to get wonderful experience


Lang Co beach bordered a section of the 1A National Highway, nearly Hai Van pass, and 24 km from Bach Ma area. The beach is a long stretch of fine sand with a gradual slope and shallow waters. Coming to Lang Co beach,  tourists can enjoy diving, mountain climbing and expeditions with local fishermen. Moreover, there are many kind of shrimps, lobster, sea shrimp, crab, butter-fish, mackerel fish, oysters in this beach. Tourists can buy them as the gifts for their family or friends. Tourists also can enjoy spectacular views of Lang Co from the Hai Van Pass and from the trains linking Da Nang and Hue. The beach is best enjoyed between April and July. .

The old tomb of Gia Long in Hue

LGiaLong3.gif (14206 bytes)In fact, the tomb of Gia Long is a group of tombs which include those of the Emperor's relatives. The whole compound is spread on a joint mountain with 42 small and big mounts, Dai Thien Tho is the biggest. The tomb of Gia Long is well known for its beauty. The Emperor's Tomb is located on a flat, big hill. In the front, Thien Tho Mount forms a natural screen,. In the back , seven hills raise like natural defenses. On the left, 14 peaks form the "left blue dragons" (Ta Thanh Long). On the right,  other 14 peaks form the "right white tigers" (Huu Bach Ho). To visit Gia Long's tomb, tourists can go by boat about 18 km along the Perfume river. Then land directly at the wharf of the tomb or tourists can go about 16 km by car to Kim Ngoc wharf and walk for some more kilometers.

Tomb of Minh Mang 's in Thua Thien Hue province

The Stele Pavilion (Bi Dinh) in Minh Mang’s Royal Tomb containing the Duc Than Cong stele.The Minh Mang Royal Tomb in Hue is the final resting place of one of the Nguyen Dynasty’s  a King  whose reign represents the apex of Nguyen power over the country. The Tomb is situated 12 km outside the city, on Cam Ke Hill,  on the west bank of the Perfume River. The tomb is a standard architectural complex which consists of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.) were designed on an symmetric axis running from Dai Hong gate to the foot of La Thanh (Surrounding Wall) behind the Emperor's tomb. Tourists visit Minh Mang’s Royal Tomb will be required to stop at a parking rest stop at the entrance.  Visitors  will walk about 500 yards  to reach the first stop: Dai Hong Mon Gate. Dai Hong Mon is It is the main gate to enter the tomb.The center gate was opened only once to admit the body of the Emperor. After the Emperor’s burial the center gate was closed for good. Visitors must enter through the two side gates which were for the use of mandarins and other members of the royal family. 
Behind Dai Hong Gate is the Honor Courtyard. Visitors go to Bi Dinh   with  two rows of statues of mandarins, elephants and horses.  Visiting Minh Mang’s tomb, everyone is impressed by the majesty and symmetry of the architectural constructions.

Khai Dinh Tomb's one of the royal tombs in Hue

The Tomb of Khai Dinh is located in Chau Chu mountain . Khai Dinh’s tomb is smaller than the tombs of other emperors in surface. However it is very elaborate. It is the result of the interminglement of different architectural trends such as European and Asian, as well as ancient and modern.
The overall construction of the tomb is an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps. Entering the tomb area, visitors will climb a 37 - step gate with the biggest dragons in the country. Climbing 29 further steps, tourists is reaching the imperial audience court. There are two rows of statues are facing towards the court center. These statues are made of stone, a rare material in Khai Dinh's tomb. The courtyard is flanked  by two high and imposing pillars on both sides. The room of the Khai Thanh palace constitutes the main temple. The statue, the grave and altar of Khai Dinh is in this palace. The tomb of Khai  Dinh is one of the most surprising among the royal tombs of Hue.

Tomb of Thieu Tri

Mien Tong was the eldest son of Minh Mang  King. He took the throne under the name  "Thieu Tri" on the 11th January 1841. Thieu Tri's  tomb lies in Chu Chanh village, Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district.  The tomb was built in 1849. It was divided into two parts: the tomb area and temple area.
- The tomb area includes  bronze gate leading to big Binh Dai. The two rows of stone statues are on the left and right of the court are typical for the sculpture in the first half of 19th century.
- The temple area :  In the main temple, on the edges of the roof and Hong Trach gate, are engraved over 450 word boxes including poems with educational and literary values. 

Dong Khanh tomb's in Hue

Dong Khanh Tomb is located on the land of Cu Si hamlet, now Thuong Hai village, Hue City. Dong Khanh Tomb belongs to Hue Royal Citadel.
It's construction lasted through the lives of four Nguyen Emperors (1888-1923) that's the reason why it bears the stamp of two architectural inclinations of two different historical periods. The tomb includes 2 areas: The worship temple and the tomb area.
hue-dongkhanh.gif (18769 bytes)- The worship temple: 
  In the main temple and its dependent houses, visitors can find the familiar splendid red and gilt pillars with decoration of four seasons and four holly animals.  Moreover,  there are 24 drawings which consist of illustrations from "Nhi Thap Tu Hieu", historical references about pious examples in China.
- The tomb area:
The design of the tomb is almost completely Europeanized from its decorative models to the building materials.

Duc Duc tomb in Hue

ducduc1.gif (13999 bytes)Duc Duc tomb is  the smallest and least ambitious royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. However,  it possesses a special charm. The whole rectangular tomb has a surface of 3,445m2. Behind the gate, the Honour courtyard does not contain any stone statues .  Next  is another three-layer triple gate. It is decorated with ceramic chips. Inside are three altars which dedicated to the three emperors: Duc Duc (in the middle, with his wife), Thanh Thai (on the left) and Duy Tan (on the right). These two patriotic emperors (Thanh Thai and Duy Tan) and tombs of the Emperor's relatives  rest  in the back of Long An. 

Bloating fern – shaped cake is a specialty in Hue

Bloating fern – shaped cake is a variety of small steamed rice cake or rice pancake in Vietnamese cuisine. It is white  color.  Its  feature is a dimple in the center, which is filled with savory ingredients including chopped dried or fresh shrimp, scallions, mung bean paste, crispy fried shallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and oil. 

The ingredients include rice flour, tapioca flour, dried pigskin, ground shrimp, green onion and oil.

The way to make this kind of cake is quite simple:
- Put rice and tapioca flour into a large bowl. Make 3 cups of cold water, season a little salt and a tablespoon of cooking oil then stir to make the flour melt in water.
- Put cold water into and place cups in the mould, boil the water for about 10 minutes, when the cups are hot, put flour into half of cup, steam in 15 minutes, when the cake is cooked, take out and let it get cold.
- Shrimp skinned and get out black line on the back, meat minced with shrimp, scent with salt, pepper and tops of onion
- Cook until the oil is boiled, put spring onion into and mix regularly in 5 minutes, ladle out into bowls, put shrimp and meat into and fry, then lift down.
- Place cake in plates, put shrimp and meat on cakes, sprinkle onion fat, enjoy with fish sauce and green chili
 Bloating fern – shaped cake is  a very popular nosh in Hue.  Come and enjoy!

Beef noodle, a popular dish of Hue


Hue’s beef noodle  is the most popular dish in Hue. Its origin is from the Royal Hue City of Central Vietnam. The way of making a bowl of Hue’s beef noodle is not simple.  The broth is from cooking beef bones for a long period of time as well as a variety of different spices including lemongrass. A typical version of Hue beef noodle must include pork, roast beef, pig’s blood, Vietnamese salami, Hue’s style salami, shrimp sauce and chopped lettuce. In Hue, you can enjoy a good bowl of this noodle at restaurants in front of No. 84 Mai Thuc Loan Street  at night.  A bowl of  Hue’s beef noodle  can be delicious when its broth is clear, sweet, and has a fatty taste and aromatic smell. Having a fuming bowl of beef noodle with a little fish source and lemon, you are sure to feel cheery thanks to the peppery taste of chilli, sweet taste of the broth and meat. 

The imperial Hotel is an ideal accomodation for tourists to rest

The Imperial Hotel in Hue is one of the best possible accommodation facilities when tourists are on a trip to this city. It  is situated on the bank of the Perfume River  and one km  away from Hue Train Station.The Imperial Hotel stands near the heart of the city. It is an international 5-star hotel.
Guestrooms at the Imperial Hotel are luxuriously furnished. They have the  views of the Perfume River, Ngu Binh Mountain and the Royal Palace. Each room has  wooden floor,  a satellite TV, work desk and free high-speed internet access. Other facilities at Imperial Hotel include a club with slot machines and state-of-the-art casino games. The staff are carefully selected and professionally trained to meet the international 5-star hotel standards. The Japanese and European public relation staff are always readily available to ensure information provision and to take care of each and every demand of our guests to their highest level of satisfaction. At Imperial Hotel Hue, tourists can easily communicate with our staff in English, French, and Japanese.

"Poem" hat in Hue

lagnonbaithotayho1 Conical hat has appeared and brought  a legend. The legend of the conical hat is related to maternal love and the history of rice growing in Vietnam. The legend says, when a deluge of rain was falling , a giant woman was wearing on her head four huge round leaves as large as the sky itself and stitched together by bamboo sticks. The leaves protected humankind. The giant messenger from the sky twirled round the leaves on her head to dispel clouds and rains.  One day mankind dozed off as they listened to stories narrated by her. When they woke up, the goddess was gone. The Vietnamese built a temple in her memory and honored her as the Rain-shielding Goddess. Following her example, people went into the forests to fetch broad and round leaves which they stitched together on a bamboo frame to make the hat.   Now, the two best known and best liked are the conical hat of Chuong village in Ha Tay province, north of Hanoi, and the "Bai Tho", hat of Hue, the old imperial city. Poem conical hat in Hue is more precise. Walking around Hue City,  tourists will catch the images of local ladies in white ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) and non la (conical hats) on their heads walking in the street.  It is no doubt that the ao dai is the traditional dress for Vietnamese women which firstly reveals hidden charms of Vietnamese women in tourists’ eyes.  The conical hat is the second thing to make a strong impression on tourists to Vietnam by its charm and romance.

Canh Duong beach, an attractive beach in Hue

Canh Duong is the most beautiful beach in Thua Thien Hue province. It is about 60 km from Hue city. The beach covers an expansive area of 8 km in length and 200m in width. It is located between the two mountains: Western Chan May and Eastern Chan May, all of those create a very beautiful and attractive landscape.. The most beautiful and striking feature of the beach is its shape.  Besides the characteristic arc shaped feature the gradual slope with the white powdery sands coupled with the turquoise blue water are the attractive traits of the beach. This place is quite windless  so you can take part in many beach activities as well as water sports activities. You can play beach volley ball or go scuba diving or swimming here. You can also relax under the shade of the lush green groves. The best part of being here is that it is not very crowded. You can watch the sunset in the sea water at the Canh Duong Beach, Hue.

Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue

Thien Mu Pagoda( Heavenly Lady Pagoda)  is one of Hue's many landmarks ready to be enjoyed. The temple was built in 1601. Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. Thien Mu Pagoda is located on Ha Khe hill, on the north bank of the Perfume River, a few miles Southwest of central Hue. According to legend, the people around this area used to see a vision of an old lady appearing on the hill where the pagoda now sits. Upon seeing people, she always said that someday a great leader would build a pagoda at this site to bring peace to the country. One day, when Lord Nguyen Hoang passed by this area, upon hearing the story, he ordered the construction of the pagoda . He named it  Thien Mu Pagoda - Heavenly Lady Pagoda.  Thien Mu Pagoda appears. Going up the stairs to the entrance of the Pagoda complex, you will stand in front of one of one of the most photographed landmarks of Viet Nam: an octagonal, 27 meters high tower, Phước Duyên tower which is the iconic part of the Thiên Mụ Pagoda. The tower with the seven floors symbolize different reincarnations of Buddha which was built in 1844 by Emperor Thiệu Trị (1807-1847) .The view from there to the hillside and to the Perfume River is spectacular. The pagoda behind the tower is worth for visiting.

Hue Imperial city is ancient citadel of Vietnam

The  Hue Imperial City is a walled fortress and palace in the former capital of Vietnam.
The grounds of the Imperial City are surrounded by 2 kilometer wall . The wall is surrounded by a moat. The water from the moat is taken from the Huong River (Perfume River) that flows through Hue. city. This structure is called the citadel. Inside the citadel is the Imperial City with a perimeter of almost 2.5 kilometers. Inside the Imperial City is  the imperial  enclosure which is  called the Purple Forbidden City in Vietnamese. The enclosure was reserved for the Nguyen imperial family. The last Emperor of Vietnam stepped down in the mid 20th century. The Purple Forbidden City had acquired many dozens of pavilions and hundreds of rooms. Although improperly maintained (the city suffered from frequent termite and typhoon damage) ,it  remained an imposing spectacle. All of that changed in 1968.  American military forced in Vietnam, they reacted to the communist takeover of Hue and  ordered the city retaken. American bombs blasted the majority of the city into rubble, sparing only a handful of buildings. During the past few years, most of the destroyed buildings have already been reconstructed by the cooperation of the Vietnamese government, UNESCO, and other organizations. 

Khải Định tomb