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The Nguyen Dynasty is Alive and Well at the Imperial Capital of Hue

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Ever want to get up close and personal with Asian Emperors? You can’t get any closer than in Hue, Vietnam where the legacy of the Nguyen Empire lives on. Scattered throughout, some of which you have to get to by boat, the tombs and mausoleums cast an aura to the area, as if the Nguyen Dynasty has never died. Filled with imperial flavor and colorful history, those akin to Southeast Asian and Vietnamese history should not miss this town.

Before embarking on a journey to meet the emperors, head inside to the Citadel first. The place is grand and quite impressive, surrounded by a two by two kilometer wall and then guarded by a moat. Inside the citadel is the Imperial City, with a perimeter of almost two and a half kilometers. Built in the same mold as the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, The Imperial City was Hue’s center and served as the the country’s administration until the capital was moved. Step in and realize what it feels like to be king!

The town is also famously known to have the charmingly named Perfume River flow through it. In autumn, flowers fall into the water, giving the river a perfume-like aroma and eventually its name. This is also the river you will need to be on in order to see some of the tombs. And it is quite a charming place in itself; walkways and parks dot much of the riverside.

As one might expect, these emperor’s final resting beds were elaborately and magnificently designed, with some taking decades to plan and build while the ruling emperor was still alive. Once a spot for a tomb was decided, artificial lakes and elaborate gardens were added. Although different in design, all of the tombs contain three unifying elements which include a temple, a high stone tower with details of the emperor’s reign and a compound that enclosed the tomb. Many of these mausoleums resemble palaces because they also served as the temporary residences of the emperor during their reign.

Exploring the UNESCO town of Hue and gaining insight about Vietnam’s imperial past is a delight. You’ll surely cherish your Day in Hue, experiencing the fascinating history and spectacular beauty of this town. All of the highlights will be covered, including the grand Citadel, the romantic Perfume River and the impressive tombs of Khai Dinh, Tu Duc and Minh Mang.

Look into our Vietnam tours page and be inspired to explore more!

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