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Visiting and experiencing Hue Imperial City - Preserves ancient architecture

Content 23/02/2024 45

Hue Citadel is one of the rare places that still retains ancient Vietnamese architecture. Coming here, visitors will have the opportunity to admire unique and long-standing palaces, temples, mausoleums, citadels, etc. Let's join HoaBinh Tourist to find yourself a little peace and quiet amidst the noisy and bustling life out there right now.

Some details about Hue Imperial City

Hue Citadel, also known as Thuan Hoa Citadel, is located on the north bank of the Huong River in the territory of Thua Thien Hue province. This is an ancient citadel in the ancient capital, where the Nguyen Dynasty used to have its capital (from 1805 to 1945).

This place possesses a large space with more than 140 unique architectural works, palaces, and temples with many historical values. Moreover, it is located next to the poetic and charming Huong River, making this place both ancient, majestic, peaceful, and poetic.

Currently, Hue Citadel has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage. Tourists coming here to visit, in addition to admiring the time-stained relics, also have the opportunity to learn about the heroic history of our nation through preserved artifacts.

What time should I go to Hue Citadel?

Hue Imperial City is located in Central Vietnam, so the climate is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The dry season will last from March to August with an average temperature of 35–40 degrees Celsius, which is hot and humid. The rainy season occurs from October to January of the following year, with temperatures that can drop below 10 degrees Celsius. It is cold and rainy, and sometimes there are storms and floods.

Spring in Hue Citadel will start from late January to late February with relatively cool and fresh weather, suitable for fun activities and sightseeing. In particular, from September to November is considered the most ideal time to visit Hue Imperial City. Because at this time, the climate is quite mild, not cold and not too hot, and it is also the flower-blooming season, which will make your trip more interesting and wonderful.

How to get to Hue Citadel

Currently, there are many ways to move to Hue Citadel; each way will have its own advantages. Depending on your preferences, budget, and time, you will choose the appropriate way to travel.

  • Plane: Traveling by plane is chosen by many tourists because it saves quite a bit of time. If you choose to go from Hanoi, you will depart from Phu Bai airport, while in Saigon, it will be Tan Son Nhat airport. Ticket prices are not too high, only between 1,000,000 VND - 2,000,000 VND/person/way.
  • Passenger car: This method of transportation is quite suitable for those who have a lot of time and want to rest during the journey. In Hanoi, you can choose to ride Hoang Long, Camel Travel,... In Ho Chi Minh City, you can choose to ride buses like Minh Duc, Tam Minh Phuong, Huong Ty,... Bus ticket prices range from 250,000 VND to 650,000 VND/person/trip depending on the departure location.
  • Train: Traveling by train to Hue Citadel will take a lot of time. On average, it takes about 14 - 18 hours to get to the ancient capital from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. In return, this method will give you the opportunity to see many beautiful sights along the way - something that is not possible when traveling by bus or plane.

Places to visit in Hue Imperial City

Hue Citadel is famous for a series of massive, large-scale architectural works and timeless beauty. To visit this land, tourists should once visit the Imperial Citadel, Forbidden City, Ky Dai, Quoc Tu Giam School, and Bao Vinh Ancient Town to deeply feel the ancient and majestic beauty, but no less the poetic and charming part.

1. Imperial Citadel

The Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden City are collectively called the Citadel, located in the middle of the Hue Citadel. This is a place of worship for deceased kings and is also the location of the highest offices of the ancient monarchy.

The Imperial Citadel was built over 30 years and is the largest-scale project in Vietnamese history. This place includes more than 100 architectural works, including shrines, temples, and palaces. Among them, the most prominent are Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Ngu Phung Pavilion, Dien Tho Palace, and the Forbidden City.

Ngo Mon

Ngo Mon is the main entrance to Hoan Thanh, located south of Hue Citadel. This is considered a massive, magnificent, but quite complex architectural complex. If viewed from afar, this place looks like a splendid, magnificent castle, but it is also extremely harmonious and close to nature. So that anyone who visits Ngo Mon can deeply feel the soul and emotions of the people of Hue.

Thai Hoa palace

Thai Hoa Palace is a building that symbolizes the power of the Nguyen Dynasty at that time. This was once the coronation location of the Nguyen Dynasty king and where important court ceremonies took place.

Thai Hoa Palace has a total area of 1360 m2, built in the same architectural style with a match-stacked roof and a palace roof covered with lapis lazuli tiles. In the palace, there are 80 lacquered wooden pillars shaped like dragons playing with clouds. All combined together, they create a majestic Thai Hoa Palace.

Ngu Phung Floor

Ngu Phung Floor is an architectural complex consisting of nine floors seamlessly connected together. Each floor is designed and built in an elegant and unique style. In particular, the roof is covered with blue and yellow tube tiles, the floor is firmly built with stone bars and bricks, and the top is paved with cement tiles in the French style.

In particular, the frame of the Ngu Phung Pavilion is made of 100 ironwood pillars lacquered with gold, which not only creates stability for the building but also helps highlight the authority and luxury of the royal palace at that time. If you have the opportunity to visit, take the opportunity to explore every corner here to fully admire the beauty of one of the most outstanding architectural works in Hue Imperial City.

Tho Palace

Dien Tho Palace is one of the typical palaces of the Hue Imperial Citadel, built in the western land of the Forbidden City, with Phung Tien Palace to the north and Truong Sanh Palace to the south. Legend has it that this is the place where the Queen Mother and Queen Mother of the Nguyen Dynasty previously lived.

Dien Tho Palace has a large scale, with many unique and massive architectural works inside, making everyone who visits admire and praise it. Through many historical ups and downs, this place has had certain changes - some buildings have been built or destroyed, but luckily it still retains its original majesty and antiquity.

2. Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is the innermost citadel, located in the heart of the Imperial Citadel and belonging to the Hue Citadel. This place was built in 1804 with the purpose of serving as a living space for the Nguyen Dynasty in general and the Nguyen King in particular.

According to recorded documents, in the Forbidden City, there are 7 entrances and about 50 architectural works of different sizes, divided into many areas. Among them, the most typical ones are Duyet Thi Duong, Thai Binh Lau, Ta Vu, and Huu Vu.

Duyet Thi Duong

Duyet Thi Duong was built in 1826 and is Vietnam's oldest theater. During the Nguyen Dynasty, this was the venue for performing ancient royal operas to serve the artistic enjoyment needs of kings, mandarins, princes, messengers, etc.

In recent years, Duyet Thi Duong has been one of the most popular destinations in Hue Imperial City. When visitors come here to visit, in addition to admiring the unique and ancient architecture of the theater, they can also enjoy Hue royal court music, an indispensable feature of this land.

Thai Binh Lau

Thai Binh Lau is a two-story wooden building located in the middle of a rectangular campus, surrounded by a lake and green trees. It looks very poetic and charming. This place was built in 1919–1921 to serve as a reading and resting place for the king in his free time. Over a long period of time, Thai Binh Lau not only did not lose its inherent beauty but also kept its own breath and became more unique, attracting a large number of tourists to visit.

Ta Vu and Huu Vu

Ta Vu and Huu Vu were officially built in 1819 on the left side of Can Chanh Palace, located in the Forbidden City, belonging to the Hue Imperial City. This is the working place of the Privy Council, the place to prepare ceremonies before starting the afternoon ceremony, and the place to organize banquets and poetry pavilions.

This place has undergone many renovations, so it has more or less influence from European architectural style with tiled floors and concrete ceilings. But that does not mean that Ta Vu and Huu Vu lose their inherent attraction; it only makes this project more unique and novel.

3. Ky Dai

Ky Dai is located in the Nam Chanh fortress area, in the middle of the southern face of Hue Citadel. The overall Ky Dai is quite large, including the flagpole and flag platform. In particular, the flag tower is built of bricks with three floors that look like three dead-end towers stacked on top of each other.

Ky Dai is considered a typical symbol of the ancient capital of Hue. Tourists often choose this place as a place to visit and take photos to both keep as memories and show pride in the brilliant history of our nation.

4. Quoc Tu Giam School

Quoc Tu Giam School was built in Hue Citadel in August 1803 with the original name Quoc Hoc Duong. This is the only relic of a feudal university remaining in Vietnam.

This place plays a very important role in the history of education and examinations in our country, as it trained and produced many talented people for the Nguyen Dynasty at that time. Currently, Quoc Tu Giam School has been transformed into the Museum of History and Revolution of Thua Thien Hue province - a place to preserve valuable artifacts of the ancient capital of Hue through the ages.

5. Bao Vinh ancient town

Bao Vinh ancient town, was once the busiest trading place in Hue Imperial City in the early 17th century. Most merchant ships from Macau, China, and European countries come here to buy, sell, and exchange goods, making the atmosphere always bustling and vibrant.

Bao Vinh Old Town has a typical architectural style of ancient galangal houses in the market street style with a 2-storey structure, wooden ribs, and low tile roofs. The row of houses by the river is designed in the style of an ancient quadrilateral house, with sides facing the river bank.

Currently, this place only has about 15 ancient houses scattered, interspersed with modern houses. But that does not mean that Bao Vinh Old Town has lost its inherent nostalgic, idyllic, and poetic beauty.

Tourists coming here will be able to admire with their own eyes the fairy-tale beauty of the old rows of houses nestled next to the romantic, peaceful Perfume River. Then, somewhere in my heart and mind, I always sob about beauty that will last forever through the years.

The cuisine of Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City in particular and Hue in general have a unique and diverse cuisine. Visitors coming here can enjoy many delicious dishes at extremely reasonable prices. From simple and rustic to sophisticated and luxurious, each dish here has its own flavor, attracting diners from all over.

1. Hue beef noodle soup

Coming to Hue Imperial City and not enjoying beef noodle soup is truly a mistake. This is a very famous dish in the ancient capital, chosen by many tourists every time they visit.

Unlike other places, beef noodle soup in Hue has a unique flavor with a clearer and richer broth. Soft and chewy vermicelli noodles, served with raw vegetables, beef tendons and sausages, and fragrant crab rolls, put a piece in your mouth, and all the senses are awakened. It's truly delicious and hard to resist.

2. Mussel rice

Mussel rice is available in most shops and restaurants in Hue. This is a rustic dish, but very delicious. If you have the opportunity to visit this land, you must definitely try it.

Mussel rice is made from smooth white rice grains, cooked and cooled. After cleaning the mussels, stir-fry them and season to taste. Every time a diner comes in, each plate of attractive mussel rice will be served with mussel broth, which has a delicious taste!

3. Pressed cake

Pressed cake is a strange dish made from simple ingredients such as: tapioca starch, eggs, pork, green onions, etc. Often served with cucumber, crunchy papaya, laksa leaves, and sour dipping sauce, the pressed cake can be eaten soft or crunchy, depending on the diner's taste. You can tell the maker your wishes to enjoy a cake that suits your taste and is delicious.

4. Beo cake

When talking about Hue cuisine, it is impossible not to mention beo cake. This is a quite special dish because it is placed in small bowls. On top is the orange color of fried onions and shrimp, mixed with a little yellow pork rinds and green onion fat. Just looking at it makes you want to rush in and eat it right away.

When enjoying beo cake, diners will put sweet and sour fish sauce on top. Then use a spoon to take each portion of banh beo into your mouth and chew slowly to feel all the wonderfulness of this divine dish.

5. Hoi cake

Hoi cake in Hue is prepared similarly to xeo cake for the Southern people but will be different in shape. Here, the chefs will make banh hoi in a round mold, filling it with bean sprouts, shrimp, egg yolks, rolled raw sausage, etc. on top. Then fry it until golden and crispy, then take it out.

Hoi cake will be served with raw vegetables and a special dipping sauce made from 10 different spices. Everything seems to blend on the tip of the tongue with all the flavors of sweet, sour, fleshy, sour, fatty, etc., making anyone who has enjoyed it remember it forever.

6. Roasted pork wet cake

Roasted pork wet cake is very famous in the ancient capital, a dish chosen by many tourists every time they visit Hue Citadel. Wet cake is made from rice flour, wheat flour, and tapioca starch, so it will achieve the perfect chewiness and softness. When eaten with sweet and crispy roasted pork, fresh green vegetables, pickled bean sprouts, fragrant fried onions, and fragrant lemon garlic chili fish sauce, there's nothing better.

7. Roasted pork filter sweet soup

Roasted pork sweet soup is an extremely unique dish among the Hue people. Anyone who has enjoyed it will never forget the delicious and attractive taste of this dessert. The roasted pork sweet soup has a soft and chewy dough on the outside, and the inside is roasted pork braised salty with wood ear mushrooms. Each cup of sweet soup will be served with ice and fragrant pandan leaf juice. Just put it in your mouth, and you will feel extremely refreshed.

Some notes when visiting Hue Citadel

To make your visit to Hue Citadel as complete and enjoyable as possible, you need to note the following:

  • Choose appropriate clothing. Hue Citadel is a place with long-standing historical and cultural values. When traveling here, you should choose appropriate clothing to avoid being revealing and offensive. This not only helps you easily move around and take beautiful pictures, but also shows respect for the ancient capital.
  • Read carefully the notes at each attraction: At some attractions in the Hue Citadel, there will be certain rules that you must comply with when visiting. For example, do not touch the artifacts, do not record or take photos of the interior, etc.
  • Read the map in advance. This is an experience shared by many people after visiting Hue Citadel. Reading the map in advance helps you get to your destination as quickly as possible, avoiding getting lost and wasting time.
  • Maintaining general hygiene. This practice is highly encouraged, not only in Hue Citadel but also in any location. The act of maintaining general hygiene helps keep the environment clean, the air fresh, and the places to visit always beautiful.

Hue Citadel, whether in the past or now, always carries with it an ancient, quiet, and poetic beauty not mixed with anything else. If you have time, take a tour with your friends, relatives, and family to this ancient capital to feel all the wonderful and interesting things that no pictures or books can describe. If you have any questions, please contact HoaBinh Tourist via our hotline at 0939.311.911 - 0913.311.911 for dedicated support.


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