Located in the Central part of Vietnam, Hue once was the place of imperial power until 1945 .The glorious past may have faded, Hue regardless remains an important economic and cultural centre of the nation. Moreover, the city is now emerging as a thriving travel destination. With all of its spectacular features, Hue definitely shouldn’t be missed on your “to -go” list.
Among numerous tourist attractions in the city, Hue Imperial Citadel always stays on top of any destination list suggested. The citadel construction began in 1804, after the Emperor Gia Long’s consultancy with geomancers to choose the most suitable location for the capital of his newly-established dynasty. The building completed in 1832, under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang – Gia Long’s successor. Over the past 200 years, the citadel has gone through endless ups and downs. Noticeably, in 1968 a fierce fight broke out between North Vietnam’s soldiers and US troops, which caused not only considerable casualties to both sides but also sadly substantial damage to the Imperial Citadel. Fortunately, its originality is still relatively preserved with nearly 140 small and large constructions staying intact. Restoration is being undergone hoping to bring back its glorious time. Referring to Hue Citadel, it would be a shortcoming not to mention its splendid architecture. The whole complex is a blend of traditional Vietnamese building art together with French influence, which can be easily spotted in the style of the French military architect Vauban combined with Oriental palace characteristics. Wandering around magnificent palaces and temples of grandeur architecture in the Purple forbidden Citadel and enjoying the serenity of royal tombs would be an unforgettable experience for tourists, especially those with endless appetite for foreign cultures. It is like getting lost in the country’s rich and beautiful history.
Another noticeable destination is Dong Ba market, the biggest traditional commercial centre of the region. Previously, a market called “Qui Gia Thi” was opened under Emperor Gia Long reign marking the return of Nguyen dynasty to Phu Xuan (Former name of Hue). However, the market got destroyed in 1885 and revived 2 years later with its current name, Dong Ba. During the old days, Dong Ba served as the main source of food for the palaces, hospitals, army camps and dormitories of the surrounding universities .Nowadays, the market has changed significantly, including its location and architecture. Yet, Dong Ba’s functions still stay similarly important to the lives of the city dwellers. This market always buzzes with the sound of women’s bargaining, the smell of fish, vegetables lingering through Vietnam’s hot and humid air. Here, various products ranging from agricultural specialties to modern machines could be easily found along with special cultural gifts and souvenirs of Thua Thien Hue. One of them is “non la bai tho”, which together with “Purple Ao dai” is a symbol of Hue elegant women and its charming cultural values .In addition, people will also be amazed by small but colorful vendors of street food with fragrant aromas offering mouth-watering plates of Hue delicious cuisine. Your visit should not be called “complete” unless you try “Bun Bo Hue”, which many locals argue to be the best Vietnamese noodle soup, even better than “Pho”- Vietnam’s nation dish.
For those fascinated in religious sites, Thien Mu pagoda will be surely an ideal choice. “Thien Mu” means “Heaven Fairy Lady”, which rooted from a legend about an old woman appearing on the hill where the pagoda stands today, telling local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country's prosperity. Geographically, it lies on a beautiful spot overlooking the Perfume River, beside a river road that runs along Northern bank, about 3.5 kilometers west of Trang Tien bridge. The pagoda can be easily spotted aloof by its unique bell tower which features images of the Buddha and inscribed with traditional Vietnamese calligraphic writing. Also, it is preserving “Dai Hong Chung”, an enormous bell dating back from the 18th century. The bell is considered a treasure for the great size of 2.5m high and 3,285 kg weigh, thus, it gets praised as a great achievement of Vietnam bronze casting technology. Thanks to the old folk and its magnificent architecture, Thien Mu is becoming a popular tourist attraction with a great number of travellers from both inside and outside the nation. Put your feet step by step to the top of the tower, look over the sparkling Perfume River in the beams of warm sunlight, you will find yourselves at peace.
Contrary to many foreigners’ beliefs as a country of wars and conflicts, Vietnam is granted with stunning landscapes and Hue is one of them. Pay yourselves a visit, enjoy life and experience all of these, you absolutely will be attracted by the allure of this dreamlike city.
Source : Indochina travel, Vietnam travel