Perfume River Cruise
One of the most notable features of Hue is the meandering Perfume (Huong) River that divides the city. As both the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda are situated on the river banks, taking a simple, yet comfortable cruise along the Perfume River offers a relaxing alternative to the Imperial Hue tour. The standard boat trip also takes you to Hon Chen Temple and the most rewarding mausoleums, usually those of Tu Duc, Khai Dinh and Minh Mang. A day’s boating on the Perfume River is a good way to soak up some of the atmosphere of Hué and do a little gentle sightseeing off the roads.
Visit the Tam Giang Lagoon
Tam Giang Lagoon is one of the two largest brackish water lagoon, the most representative in Vietnam. The most beautiful moments on the lagoon are at sunset when it turns purple. A few fishing boats return with the whole lagoon’s surface shaking in the breeze. Most of photographers coming here are mainly attracted by these images. If you are looking for a place to see sunset in Hue, do not hesitate to join sunset at Tam Giang lagoon.
Thien Mu Pagoda or Pagoda of the Celestial Lady
Built on a hill overlooking the Perfume River, 4km southwest of the Citadel, this pagoda is an icon of Vietnam and as potent a symbol of Hue as the Citadel. The 21m-high octagonal tower, Thap Phuoc Duyen, was constructed under the reign of Emperor Thieu Tri in 1844. Each of its seven storeys is dedicated to a manushi-buddha (a Buddha that appeared in human form). Visit in the morning before tour groups show up.
Touring the Tombs of the Former Emperors
Explore Hue’s landmark attraction, the Citadel. Originally constructed in 1804 as the seat of imperial government, it is comprised of six-foot thick brick ramparts and 10 fortified gates, all encircled by a 100-foot wide moat.
With a number of royal tombs set in and around the city, Hue knows how to honor its leaders. With that, the once-capital of Nguyen Lords is a place of historical, artistic, and political significance. Some of the Imperial Tombs to visit includes Minh Mang Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb.