A word of warning: if you have to do a boat trip from Hue (we heard the motorbike tour is better) then make sure you pay no more than 20,000 VND RETURN for a motorbike taxi. We were told by the girl on the boat that this is the price each way, but this turned out to be false. Also, don't pay the motorbike taxi driver; you pay the cashier at the end of the journey.
Huế is the old, imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam and as such has an abundance of old buildings and history to impart on visitors. Of the things to see and do here, a trip to the citadel is a must -- it has an outer wall of around ten kilometers and within it there is much to explore, including the Forbidden Purple City, which is like its own citadel within the citadel. Due to the rich history of emperors that reigned over imperial Huế, there are also endless tombs of the leaders during this era and important historical figures such as Ming Manh, Khai Dinh, and Tu Doc. The tombs are absolutely spectacular in their design and architecture. Along with the tombs, you will also find many pagodas that are also well worth a visit.
If getting in and around the outskirts of Huế and seeing how the locals live is your thing, ask at your hostel about bicycle tours that will drop you around and teach you about how the rice paddies are harvested, how they process the rice to make rice paper, as well as conical hat making and incense making. Many of the bicycle tours will also take you over the famous Thanh Toan bridge, or "the Japanese Bridge," which is now famous for a local fortune-telling woman that spends quite a bit of time here. It is worth the small change to get your fortune read, because she is quite an entertaining woman and is famous in Huế.
Huế also has an abundance of Vietnam War history given that it was on the border of North and South Vietnam during the war but fought for the South. The famous Battle of Huế during the Tet Offensive was fought here and you can visit various historical sites and war museums for more information on these things.
Hostels in Huế are located a little way out of the city center, but motorbike riders and tuk tuks help you get around once you are settled in.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Huế hostels. Welcome.