5 Things to Do in Hue Vietnam

Imperial City Hue Vietnam


5 Things to Do in Hue Vietnam


Do you know the way to Hue?


If you wondered about the pronunciation of this city in Central Vietnam, my silly sense of humor and long “a” sound point you in the right direction.


Hue is noted on most tourist guides for its impressive, imposing and colorful Imperial City.


But it is so much more than this highly-visited tourist spot.


You could spend days enjoying the region around the urban center, with its temples, peaceful drives and lush green settings.


Factor in a bevy of excellent restaurants and neighborhood wanderings and you have the blueprint for a fun, fulfilling visit to this lovely town that sits on the Perfume River.


If you are visiting Hue soon here are 5 things to do in and around the city.

1: Grab a Cup of Tea


After spending a day cruising around Hue’s charming outskirts Kelli and I enjoyed tea with our Vietnamese buddies.


Tea house Hue Vietnam


Grab a bubble tea, kick back, relax and enjoy a chill evening with friends and loved ones.


Note; I could use some work on my Jenga game. Either that, or the effects of the bubble tea threw off my ability to balance blocks.


2: Spend a Day at the Imperial City


The Imperial City is on every tourist’s watch list. For good reason.


This iconic attraction is an impressive walled palace that was the site of an intense, bloody battle during the Tet Offensive.


We enjoyed the architecture of the buildings quite a bit but the manicured, gorgeous gardens really pulled us in.


Drink plenty of water prior to your visit and carry an umbrella or wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun. You will be fully exposed during much of your Imperial City stay so slather on your sun block too.


Moats. Thick walls. This fortress has all the trappings of an old school, impregnable citadel.


Visitors are met with a huge Vietnamese flag flapping in the wind as you make your way over the moat into the city. You can walk around on your own but for a small fee just hire a rickshaw driver to take you around for the day.


Fun fact; the guy we hired went back through his guidebook to show off a famous Hollywood actor whom he drove around many years ago. He spoke a few words of English but kept saying, “Marlboro Man.” 


Eventually – through a few more cues – I understood that he ferried around Sam Elliot. I’d have definitely appreciated a Double Hamster mustache reference to get me on track.


3: Stroll around the City


Go for a day-long stroll around the city.


You will find no shortage of places to see, visit and photograph in this central Vietnam gem.


Make sure you wander through the neighborhoods off the beaten path to get a feel for the texture of the place. Palpable, friendly, kind energy throughout this area.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner; you are covered in this town of many eateries.


Kelli and I enjoyed Vietnamese and Italian fare, as well as some tasty Western style burgers and fries at the DMZ Bar, a fascinating place with some eye-catching design and a genuine war-time feel to it.


The military themed restaurant is a fabulous spot for lazing away a hot, humid, steamy afternoon.


4: Motorbike the Surrounding Area


We found a sweet hotel in town.


Said hotel was run by a manager who established a neat program.


Fluent English-speaking guests who stayed at the hotel could teach English to young Vietnamese students if they so pleased.


Kelli and I gobbled up the opportunity. Sounded like loads of fun. And it was.


Here’s the kicker; as a token of their gratitude the kids would take you around Hue and the surrounding areas on motorbike, showing you off the beaten path temples with monks doing aerials – I am not kidding – ponds with snake head fish, and other stuff that the average tourist does not see in Hue.


You can motorbike on your own too. Get lost. Find beautiful, serene spots well away from the hustle and bustle of Hue.


5: Pose with this Chipmunk


I mean, why not?


Me and chipmunk Hue Vietnam


I found this chap by the Big C in Hue. He seemed like he wanted some company. I obliged.


Sometimes when you travel for a few years it gets easy to fall into the lock-step routine; visit tourist spot, take pictures, marvel for a moment, then sprint to the next tourist spot.


If you are open you will spend more time doing fun, silly type stuff. The exact type stuff that encourages snap shots with huge, life-sized chipmunks in Hue, Vietnam.