After Nha Trang we head on an overnight bus directly to the furthest northern destination on this trip, the city of Hue. Hue is a unique imperial city in Vietnam established in the early 1800s and we found a majority of it’s architecture is influenced by French colonization. We arrive to the city at around noon and have the afternoon to explore the city’s central attraction, The Citadel. If you’ve been to the Forbidden City, the structure and layout have some resemblance.
Day 4: The Citadel, Hue, Vietnam
Entry: 150,000 VND *Super user tip, you can buy a combined ticket from your homestay/hotel which will allow you access to the citadel + tombs at a cost saving rate
The gardens in the Citadel
West entrance to the Citadel
Day 5: A Lake, Tomb, and Pagoda
With a full day in Hue, we rent a motobike and explore the surrounding lakes near Bach Ma National Park. To reach the park, you must arrive by car, so we decided to skip this part. Just 10 km before the National Park entrance is Thiền Viện Trúc Lâm Bạch Mã, a Buddhists temple in the middle of a lake. The ride around the lake is serene, peaceful and tranquil.
Khai Dinh Tomb: Entry fee 100,000 VND, 5,000 motobike parking
From the lake we head back north to the outskirts of Hue where we stop at Khai Dinh Tomb. The tomb sits aside a hill and consists of 5 tiered layers with the central chamber holding the emperor. It’s an impressive site from afar. The mid level tiers contain stone soldiers and animals. The final room displays ornate mosaic of glass, metal and other materials – a technique borrowed by the French.
Temple of Literature: Entry – FREE
North of Khai Dinh Tomb is the Temple of Literature. It’s really not much except the one facade wall then two lines of literature tablets but it’s worth a quick stop and very close to Thien Mu Pagoda.
Thien Mu Pagoda: Entry – FREE
The Pagoda is our last stop before making our way back to the homestay for a rest. It’s actually not that impressive, but it’s free so you also can’t complain 🙂