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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in hue
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in hue, Bed and Breakfast!
Hue (Vietnamese:Hu?) is located in central Vietnam and is the former imperial capital.
A second-class sleeper ticket from Saigon to Hue costs 455,000 dong and offers a wonderful travel experience. The traveller gets to sit, lie and sleep in a very small cabin for 23 hours with five other people (nearly always Vietnamese), eat four plain but tasty and filling Vietnamese meals, listen to a fine selection of Vietnamese pop songs on the PA, and see some incomparably beautiful countryside, particularly in the last section between Da Nang and Hue. It's an excellent way to see the country and meet ordinary Vietnamese, who are unfailingly friendly and helpful, even to travellers who have not bothered to learn a word of their language. The trip is especially recommended if you like babies.
Public buses from all the bigger Cities connect to the main Bus station (Ben Xe Hue). Although Open-Tour Buses take you directly to the hostel area, they charge more and sort of keep you from contact with locals.
Like other Vietnamese cities, Hue is served by metered taxis, unmetered cyclos, and motorbikes. Taxi drivers are usually reasonably honest, but make sure they turn the meter on. With cyclos and bikes, you need to know where you are going and how much it should cost, or you will be overcharged. Drivers do not see this as cheating - you are rich and they are poor. No trip in Hue should cost more than 20,000 dong.
Hue is quite compact, so you can reach most of the sights easily on foot.
Hire a bike and join the locals as they swarm across the bridges and along the main roads at a leisurely pace. Available for a few dollars a day from hotels and shops.
Hue's prime attraction is the old Imperial Citadel, seat of the Emperors of Vietnam from 1804 to 1945, when the Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in favour of Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary government. The citadel was badly knocked about during fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in 1947, and again in 1968 during the Tet Offensive, when it was shelled by the Viet Cong and then bombed by the Americans. Some of it is now empty fields, but most of it has been restored. It is a great sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, shops, museums and galleries, featuring art and costumes from various periods of Vietnamese history. It is also delightfully peaceful - a rare commodity in Vietnam. Allow several hours to see it properly.
The other great attraction in Hue is the Tombs of the Emperors, which are located along the Perfume River south of the city. They are accessible by taxi or bike from the city, but the best way to see them is to hire a river boat and go for a cruise, which takes between four and six hours and costs between 30,000 dong (for a group) to 150,000 dong (for a boat all to yourself). This cost includes an excellent lunch, but does not include the admission to the tombs themselves, is usually 55,000 dong, or the cost of a bike trip between the wharf and each of the tombs, which can range from 50,000 dong to 150,000 dong, depending on how hard you bargain. The bike operators are pretty shameless about overcharging tourists so be prepared to be firm.
The tombs themselves are worth the cost. They mostly date from the late 19th or early 20th centuries, when the Emperors had been reduced to figureheads under French colonial rule and had little else to do than build themselves elaborate tombs. The finest of them are the Tomb of Tu Duc, the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Tomb of Khai Dinh, all of which are fine examples of Vietnamese Buddhist aesthetics and architecture. Khai Dinh's tomb dates only from 1925 and is well preserved. The older ones have been allowed to crumble into picturesque semi-ruin, although some are now being restored. Also on the rive cruise agenda is the Thien Mu Pagoda, perched on a bluff over the river and housing some very fine gold and silver Buddha images.
Definitely find local avocados in any westernized food you can. Great little place by the DMZ worth checking out.
Lots of cheap traveller hotels and mid-market hotels as well.
The Demilitarized Zone DMZ is well worth a day trip (cheap tours offered from lots of Hue agents). This was supposedly the buffer zone between the North Vietnamese Army and the Americans during the Vietnam War of the 1960s, but saw intense fighting. Sights include former airfields, bases, part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and tunnels used by the locals to hide.