A Day At The Imperial City Of Hue
Visiting the Imperial City of Hue when in Vietnam will no doubt be a highlight of your trip. With amazing architecture, an impressive history and the most stunning grounds you will certainly be in awe.
Looking for accommodation in Hue? I recommend Thanh An Guesthouse 2
The Imperial City of Hue the biggest draw for tourists coming to this area. We made the surprisingly comfortable overnight train journey from Hanoi just for this reason! The city of Hue itself is full of culture and history and the Imperial City of Hue just adds to this even more. It is easy enough to spend a whole day exploring, though under the hot Vietnamese sun you probably wouldn’t want to.
The History Of The Imperial City Of Hue
The Imperial City Of Hue was built in 1362 and in 1993 was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Between these two periods of time the walls of the city have witnessed a lot of history. It even served as the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 during the reign of the Nguyen dynasty.
In the 19th century, Gia Long was the first emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. He made this dynasty with questionable tactics of blood and attacking those other emperors and rulers in the region. The goal was to take over their land and unite them all into one single empire, which he was ultimately successful at.
This dynasty would be the last in Vietnam and would rule for 143 years. The city of Hue would be the capital and there was a reason they choose Hue as their base. Supposedly the river and mountains that surround Hue looked like snakes and lions, well at least it did according to the geomancers. It would be the perfect location to recreate a version of the Forbidden City of Beijing.
With that become the process of building the enormous complex envisioned. A 10 kilometer moat was dug on the outside with each 2 kilometer long and 6 meter high wall enclosing the square fortress we call the Imperial City of Hue.
On the inside was everything you would expect of a country’s capital. From offices, palaces to residences and gardens. Though, the most important part was built in the middle, The Purple Forbidden City. This is where the emperor and those closest to him would live and work.
How I Book Cheap Transport In Vietnam: 12.Go Asia
The Imperial City Of Hue Entrance Fee
The entry ticket to visit the Imperial City Of Hue costs $6.60 / 150,000 VND.
It is well worth the price, though if you have a little bit more money in your budget I would recommend hiring a guide to teach you about the amazing history.
Opening Hours For The Imperial City Of Hue
The opening hours for the Imperial City of Hue is from 8:00am-5:30pm Friday to Wednesday.
On Thursdays the Imperial City of Hue opens at 8:00am and closes at 10:00pm. This allows visitors to experience the Imperial City of Hue by night and being able to see the grounds in a whole new way.
How To Get To The Imperial City Of Hue
The Imperial City of Hue is located at Thành phố, Huế, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam.
It is an easy enough to walk to, though there are plenty of taxis or rickshaws that will be able to take you there as well.
What To Wear To The Imperial City of Hue
I was honestly not sure what to wear when I was visiting the Imperial City of Hue. Coming from Thailand where I am use to covering up when visiting religious and important buildings, I thought it would be necessary to cover up the shoulders and knees. Though, this proved irrelevant as people were wearing shorts and singlets with no worries.
So, you do not have to be like me, covered completely up and walking around in the Vietnamese heat.
What To Expect Inside The Imperial City Of Hue
These days the Imperial City of Hue is no longer what it was. Throughout time the buildings have suffered much damage and some of the grounds have become over grown. The Forbidden City was never properly maintained and had issues with frequent termite infestations as well as typhoon damage.
Though, during the American War is when the Imperial City of Hue suffered the majority of the damage which has left it how it stands today. When the American forces entered Vietnam in 1968 they ordered the city be retaken, due to the communist takeover techniques implemented by Nguyen dynasty to originally gain control of the land.
As a result the Imperial City of Hue was badly bombed. Now only 20 of the 148 buildings which once stood on the grounds are still intact. Nevertheless, the restoration and reconstruction of the Imperial City of Hue is an ongoing task nowadays thanks to being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
My Honest Opinion About The Imperial City Of Hue
I actually loved visiting the Imperial City of Hue. It was completely different from anything I had seen in South East Asia thanks to the Chinese inspired architecture. Just be prepared to be walking around for a long time. The grounds of the Imperial City of Hue are massive! We spent about three hours walking around and definitely could have spent longer if it was not so hot.
I recommend visiting when it opens in the morning to avoid the unbearable heat, especially considering there is not actually that many shady spots within the Imperial City of Hue. Also, bring water and food with you. We went to purchase bottled water within the city walls at one of the little cafes and it was ridiculously over priced, about $4.00 for a small bottle!
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Hue I recommend checking out Thanh An 2 Guesthouse. It is on the other side of the river in more of a local area and it is just a short walk from the train station and some awesome eateries. We paid $3.50 each, $7.00 per night for a private room which had a balcony, two double beds and a private bathroom. It even had its own bathtub which was magical after walking around the Imperial City of Hue!
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