Hue, Vietnam - A Historical City, A UNESCO World Heritage Site


One wish of mine is to visit as many UNESCO sites as possible in this lifetime. I guess this will not come as a surprise since I love to travel, hence it seems that I will more or less travel to some UNESCO sites during my travel trips. Just last month in October, I had the opportunity to join in a media trip to visit Central Vietnam... Of which, I got to visit not one, but two UNESCO sites located in Hue and Hoi An. Read on to find out more about the two places that our group visited while we were in Hue, Vietnam.

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(1) UNESCO World Heritage Site in HUE

Visit the historic Imperial City of Hue, a 19th century Citadel, modelled after Beijing’s Forbidden City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site once stood as Vietnam's former Royal Capital City. It was a city within a city, but all walled up and guarded. Here, the Perfume River winds its way through the Capital City, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Inner City. Marvel at its rich architectural and beautiful landscaping within the Royal Palace compound.

The Flag Tower of Hue Imperial City
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Ngo Môn, also known as the Gate of Noon
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Ngo Môn, also known as the Gate of Noon, is the main gate into the Imperial City. It was used by the sovereign as an observation point for troop movements and ceremonies. This gate was also once exclusively used by the royal family and their eunuch servants. This is also where you purchase the entrance tickets to visit the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thai Hoe Palace, also known as "Palace of Harmony'.
It was an important ceremonial venue.
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The Duyet Thi Duong (Duyệt Thị Đường) Royal Theatre
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One of the massive porch areas in the Citadel
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The enormous complex features hundreds of monuments and ruins, such as the Forbidden Purple City (once the Royal Family’s residence but badly damaged during the Vietnam War), the Imperial City and the Inner City, royal tombs, pagodas, temples and a museum. Some buildings have been restored, whereas check out some others whose conditions have stood the test of time, hence the original rustic look.

(2) Tomb of Khải Định

One of the seven royal tombs in the former Vietnamese Imperial Capital of the city Hue is the Nguyen Emperor Khai Dinh’s Royal Tomb. Despite his unfortunate death in in 1925, the construction of his tomb was only completed in 1931, 11 years after it started in 1920. Located at the side of the Chau Chu Mountain, it is a total of 127 steps from the street level. Exhausting as it may sound, but the stunning Baroque-style architectural designs, influenced by the Europeans, will leave you amazed.

Reinforced concrete steel monument at 
Khai Dinh’s Royal Tomb
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Upon completing climbing up the steps, one will reach the porch area where there are the twelve stone statues which act as the King's bodyguards. Take a close look at the concrete steel monument that has carvings that were done so intricately. Look towards the mountains and get a good view of the natural scenery right infront of you.

These are stone statues that are to "guard and accompany"
the King while he continues his "rest".
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Enter into Khai Thanh Palace and marvel at the majestic glass and porcelain design around the hall. Look up towards the ceiling and admire the painting of nine dragons frolicking in the clouds. Also, check out the the tomb of the King, where there is a bronze life-size statue of him sitting on his Throne. One cannot help but to notice that the design of the whole place is heavily influenced by the European style... And this was because the King had a liking towards that.

Everywhere in Khai Thanh Palace are picture-worthy!!!
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The Le Residence Hue Hotel and Spa building was built in 1930 as part of the former colonial governor’s residence overlooking Hue’s Perfume River. This architectural treasure was restored and re-opened in 2005 as a deluxe hotel, and is now a gem in the Accor Hotels’ stylish MGallery portfolio. A quick room tour was conducted after lunch, and I was VERY IMPRESSED with the room decor! How I wish to stay there! What exclusivity and luxury!

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Indulge in a French-Vietnamese fusion meal at the
hotel’s La Perfum restaurant and have a
memorable gastronomic experience.
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This trip was made possible with the kind cooperation with Jetstar Asia airlines and the participating hotels and tourism board in Central Vietnam, via Will be having future posts of the trip in more details, and more photos... Be sure to stay tuned to check them out! :)

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