Since 1993, the Complex of Hue Monuments has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.
The complex is considered as the most well-known tourist attraction that you should visit as soon as landing on Hue. Beside being renowned, the mausoleums are cultural history marks and the pride of the local. Most of them are located in the Southwest of the city.
Another name of this mausoleum is Thien Thu tomb, built from 1814 to 1820 under the direct supervision of King Gia Long. The tomb has a foundation of a flat hill surrounded by 34 mountains. This is a wonderful picture of the harmony combination of the nature and architecture, which emphasizes the luxury of the King.
It is also called Hieu tomb, situated on Cam Ke Mountain, about 15km from the city centre. The mausoleum consists of unique architectures including palaces and castles. In addition, it plays a role as a library with nearly 600 cells sculpted poets on Bi Dinh, Hien Duc gate, Sung An, and Minh Lau palace. The Minh Mang tomb expresses the profoundness as a social institution as the character of a talented king.
Also known as Khiem tomb, it is one of the most impressive royal designs of the Nguyen dynasty. About 5km from the city centre, the tomb possesses nearly 50 architectures having the word Khiem in their names. Particularly, there is the Minh Khiem theater which is considered as the oldest Vietnamese theater having been preserved until today.
The tomb is the combination of various Asian – European architectures. It is also the culmination of the art of making porcelain and glass mosaics, therefore, it attracts a lot of tourists who come to admire the subtle structure and highly artistic values.
If you have more time, don’t hesitate to head to other mausoleums in Hue, such as Thieu Tri, Duc Duc, and Dong Khanh.
This is the common name for the cluster of the Imperial City and Forbidden Gate, which were constructed in 1804. The Imperial City has more than 140 parts serving for the central government system. The whole building stretches on a nearly-square area with the length of 2500m each arris.
Here are some must-visit spots when you come to the Imperial City.
Built in 1833 under the reign of emperor Minh Mang, the Gate is the place for important rituals of the royal. The gate is both magnificent and ancient.
It is the most crucial architecture of the Imperial City. Constructed in 1805, the palace was the venue for celebrations of 13 Kings from Gia Long reign to Bao Dai reign. It has a large front yard with a throne to be used as the king's seat in meetings. With a large area containing many cultural values and beautiful architecture, the Thai Hoa Palace is a site you should not miss when visiting the Imperial City.
It is one of the five royal garden inside the Imperial City. It used to be the studying place and playing ground of princes with a large area and spectacular design.
Furthermore, there is a vast range of temples for you to drop in, including Thai temple (worshiping the Kings under the Nguyen dynasty, built in 1802), Hung temple (worshiping Nguyen Phuc Luan – father of King Gia Long), The temple (worshiping the Kings under the Nguyen dynasty, built in 1821), Trieu temple (worshiping Nguyen Kim, father of King Tien – the first King and the founder of the Nguyen dynasty).
The Quoc Hoc of Hue was constructed on the foundation of a training place for marines of the Nguyen Dynasty army. At first, the school consisted of only two rows of cottages, then, in 1914, they were replaced by buildings made from bricks with tiled roof based on the European style, and the buildings have still maintained until today.
This is a favorite destination for those who are big fans antique and unique style since they will have a chance to capture photos full of red – the typical color of the school.
Similar to Ben Thanh market in Saigon, Dam market in Nha Trang, Dong Ba market is another symbol of Hue. The market has been opened since the Gia Long reign, and after some events, in 1887, it was renamed Dong Ba by the King Dong Khanh.
The first name of the temple was An Ton, established by Zen master Minh Hoang – Tu Dung in 1695. The temple is well-known for its important role in the revival and development of Vietnamese Buddhism in modern times.
Another name for this attraction is Linh Mu pagoda, which is located on the Ha Khe hill, on the left bank of the Huong river. This is one of the oldest pagodas in Hue. When mentioning to the pagoda, people often recall the Phuoc Duyen tower built in 1844 by the King Thieu Tri. The 21-meter-high tower consists of 7 floors in the shape of octagon, each floor worships a Buddha.
The Thien Mu pagoda is an unofficial icon associated with the elegant beauty of Hue, so you must pay a visit to it once coming to the land.
The conical hat has been associated with the ancient city for hundreds of years and become a cultural accessory of Hue girls in ao dai. If you have time, don’t forget to drop in the craft village so as to witness the process of making the hats by skilled ladies.
In Part 2, we are going to take you to some pretty natural landscapes, including beaches, lagoons, and garden houses.