Thien Mu Pagoda
The seventeenth century pagoda is the oldest and most picturesque in Hue, built in 1601 by Emperor Thieu Tri and perched majestically on a hill by the banks of the Perfume River. Next to the main tower’s seven intricate stories is a pavilion sheltering an enormous bell called Dai Hong Chung, cast in 1710 by Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu. Thien Mu is also memorable for its unique Buddhist architecture, historical war relics and a beautiful green garden and surrounding pine forest.
Imperial Palace and Forbidden City
The sprawling complex of the palace and forbidden city was where the most important Emperors lived and ran the country. The inner part is known as the Forbidden Purple City and was modelled on China’s famous Forbidden City, reserved for Vietnam’s elite. It’s here that you will be most surprised by the stunning architecture and grandeur, slowly being restored to its former glory.
Even though the temples, pavilions and gates were damaged during the war and many remain in the same state, you can’t help feeling inspired by the elegance and attention to detail on the stone carvings, beautiful marbled interiors and long walkways.
With fading red, ochre and blue paintwork adorning the ornamental carvings and archways, it’s a great place to imagine you’ve stepped back in time.
Perfume River Tour
Little plastic tables will be laid out between the chairs, with half a dozen or so dishes of meat, fish, prawns and vegetables, followed by fresh fruit such as local water melon and pineapple.
That’s the magic of Hue - some of the most interesting and unique architecture, culture and history that you’ll find in Vietnam, but without doubt the most tantalising food that you’ll ever eat.