Hue, the capital of Vietnam’s last feudal rulers, the Nguyen Dynasty, has long been known for royal palaces and tombs but also has hidden charms to offer visitors.
Around January to April is The best time to visit Hue when temperatures between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius. If you are planning a three-day holiday in Hue, we offer some suggest for your journey.
Please note that tourists should dress politely – sleeveless tops and shorts above kneecaps not recommended – when entering the places like Pagoda or Temple
Thien Mu Pagoda
Hue is home to many famous ancient temples of Vietnam, but the oldest one is Thien Mu Pagoda. This is one of the symbols of Hue where Built in 1601 by the Nguyen lords, Thien Mu Pagoda (The Pagoda of the Celestial Lady) is on Ta Khe Hill on the northern bank of the Perfume River around five kilometers from the Imperial Citadel.
Though it can be accessed by car or motorbike, a dragon boat tour is highly recommended for tourists to explore the beauty of Perfume River -Huong river and its surroundings.
In the past dragon boats were only used by kings and royal families but now it is a popular choice for tourists.
When sailing near the temple, the first thing that attracts attention is the seven-story octagonal tower named Phuoc Duyen. Phuoc Duyen tower is a famous symbol associated with Thien Mu pagoda. The 23m high tower, consisting of seven floors, was built in front of the pagoda. Each floor of the tower has a statue of Buddha. Inside there is a spiral staircase leading to the top floor, where the golden Buddha image was formerly worshiped.
Hon Chen Temple
Hue Nam or Hon Chen Temple, situated on Ngoc Tran Mountain in Huong Tra Town, around eight km from Hue, is a hidden gem where Mother Goddess Thien Y A Na and other goddesses are worshipped.
Hon Chen Temple is surrounded by green trees and overlooks the Perfume River. It is the most sacred place for the people of Hue and is at its busiest during the third and seventh lunar months with traditional festivals that combine the centuries-old Mother Goddesses worship traditions and royal ceremonies.
The best way to reach the temple is by boat. From downtown Hue, you can take a taxi or motocycle to a wharf on Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street in Huong Thuy Town and take a boat to Hon Chen Temple for VND30,000 and entry to the temple costs VND50,000.
In front of the temple, locals sit on their boats and sell fish to pilgrims to drop into the river to pray for luck and peace.
Gia Long tomb
The tomb of King Gia Long, who founded the Nguyen Dynasty, is 20 km from downtown Hue and close to Hon Chen Temple. So, after visiting the temple, you can move to visit the mausoleum in Dinh Mon village, Huong Tra District, on the west bank of the Perfume River.
Inside the burial area is the royal court-yard with imposing stone sculptures of horses, elephants and humans. In the center of the burial area are the graves of King Gia Long and his wife, Queen Thua Thien Cao, next to each other. It is the only royal mausoleum in Hue where a king and queen are buried together.
It is not advisable to ride a motorbike from Hue to the mausoleum due to the steep roads and deserted forests. Entry to the mausoleum is VND100,000.