Hue is Vietnam's former imperial city, sitting quietly on the banks of the picturesque Perfume River in central Vietnam. Much like Beijing, the capital of China, Hue is packed with palaces, pagodas, tombs, and temples. So a visit to this historic city will help you gain insights into the lives of the Nguyen royal family who ruled the country from 1802 to 1945.
A good place to start is the Citadel which houses the Forbidden Purple City. Besides, be sure to admire the elaborate imperial tombs scattered along the Perfume River, such as Tu Duc, Minh Mang, and Khai Dinh. For a glimpse into the lives of the local population, head to the Dong Ba Market brimming with stalls and shops selling everything from conical hats, footwear, potteries to fast food.
As you explore the city, remember to sample some of Hue's fabulous food for it takes pride in having created two-thirds of Vietnam's culinary specialties. Famous dishes include bun bo (beef noodles), banh loc goi (steamed dumpling stuffed with shrimp or pork), nem lui (lemongrass skewer), and va tron salad (fig salad), which you can easily find in local restaurants.
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