Saturday, 11 May 2013

Hue Central Vietnam Travel Guide

Hue sits on the Perfume River in Central Vietnam 700km (438 Miles) from Hanoi in the North and a little bit further to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) which is 1100km (690 Miles) to the South. The Pronunciation is a two syllable type word spoken literally has  Heway. The Weather in Hue is quite hard to predict on a daily basis.

The Picture is a Sunset over the Perfume River taken in late February.

When I visited last it was 32 Degrees one day and we stayed by the pool, and the next it was much cooler and about 22 Degrees and perfect for exploring. You can never be sure of the weather here but as a guide the Dry Season is March to August and high temperatures of 35 to 40 Degrees Cent. Then the Rainy Season kicks in until January, with a flood season from October. Average Temp then is about 20 Degrees Cent. Spring is from January to late February, changeable, but a nice time to visit.

Hue is not really a place where you can spend that long visiting, but it is worth a visit. It has a backpackers area, with lots of bars and restaurants. The DMZ bar (Pictured Right) one of the most famous sits on the Main Road that runs to the Station, it is however a good 4 Kilometers away, the road is very straight so easy to find. I used the Travel Agents in the DMZ bar and the girl in there was great, she hopped on her bike to get our train tickets, and charged me about £1, well worth it. The food is great here for snacks and the area is surrounded with excellent restaurants.

Citadel Hue  The star attraction in Hue is the Citadel and it is open daily from 0630 - 1700 and the cost is 105,000 VND which is just £3 or $5 at the time or writing, and it is certainly worth the entrance fee. In parts of the Citadel (its huge inside) they are renovating parts and so of course the money does help with that. You need at least two hours to look around. I suppose you could whizz round in an hour, or you could take all day. But I would say two to three hours is about right. The buildings really have been through the wars there are signs of bullets and such like all over the place. There was the 1947 war with France and then of course the 1968 offensive with USA.

The restoration has been going on now for 20 years and you can see that they have quite a few more years to go! However there is still plenty to see I can assure you of that. The inside of areas restored, or indeed never effected are quite stunning. The outside of the walls measure 10km so you can see it is a large area, and joggers use this to gauge time and distance when running around the outside. Inside the Citadel grounds you can get Elephant Rides.

The Picture is the Emperor's own Hospital, well he probably needed one with over 100 wives!

From the Back Packers area and Hotels is walkable, but another method of getting to the Citadel is by Cyclo. The Cyclo's are a bit of pain in Hue to be honest they do hassle tourists too much. You should always be very clear about the price that you are paying. If you don't fancy that, then the best option is to get your Hotel to call a Taxi, and then arrange with him to pick you up about 3 hours later. We found a small cafe right by the Citadel in a small market, it was very well priced and great local food!

Dongba Market  You will get various views of this market just depending on who you talk to, some have good experiences, some bad. It has to be said it is a typical market but some traders are a real pain and will follow you around and be to be quite honest a pest! Most will leave you alone, and you can walk around the through the tight walkways at your leisure. It is more of a local market, and of course most of the things aimed at the Tourist are fake. I would be cautious about visiting, but with the usual sensible care it is perfectly safe. It is quite a walk from the Citadel especially after walking around it!  Plenty of Cyclo's around though!!

Tombs of the Emperors You can visit the Tombs of the Emperors which is along the perfume river by Taxi Bike, or of course by Boat. There are all sorts of options, but most do not include the entrance fee to the Tomb, but really they are not that expensive. A tour will also include stop or stops at different shops such as silk which of course is aimed at you buying something. Its all a bit hit and miss as to how good your experience will be on these tours, check with your hotel, or the travel agent in the DMZ bar. Just picking up a tour in the middle of Hue might not be the best value, but could be entertaining! A tip is that they are all open from 8 til 5 and the groups usually get there at about 10 til 3, so you can avoid peak times if you plan carefully.

Here is List of Hue Hotels on Agoda

Here is List of Hue Hotels on Late Rooms

Direct Link Train Timetables for Hue

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