Vietnamese Court Music

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Court music of Hue royal is a kind of court music, so it has noble and elegant tone. It symbolizes the kingship of the everlasting prosperity of the dynasty. Therefore, Nha Nhac was respected by Vietnamese monarchs as the most featured Vietnam culture. Now, it also attracts too many Hue tours of travelers from other areas in Vietnam and even other countries. 

the-performance-of-Nha-Nhac-Hue-court-music-hellovietnam

The performance of Nha Nhac Hue court music

According to the history, the Vietnamese music has come from the Ly dynasty (1010-1225), but it flourished, most notably in the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). Basically, ritual music in Vietnamese royal music, as well as ceremonial music played at weddings or funerals, are usually divided into two main groups: the faction of martial arts and the faction of literature. The division of instrumental ensembles in royal orchestras in Hue was from the beginning of the nineteenth century and its origin was found in the rules of many worshiping ceremonies in the villages of the Vietnamese in the North. The music of the Nguyen Dynasty was often called Hue royal court music because it had been in Hue for nearly 150 years.

During the Nguyen Dynasty, thanks to the thriving economic and social conditions, the royal dynasty paid much attention to Nha Nhac. At this time, the music system is very various, with hundreds of music style. Hue royal court music is often accompanied by court dance.

In Hue royal court music system, there is also a repertoire of string instruments, including the lute, the flute, and the bamboo flute combined with percussion. To make the clear, pure and deep sensual sound. The musicians often perform ten songs at the same time.

Nguyen dynasty records include 12 ceremonies, each of which contains full chapters and 126 chapters with full original lyrics and translations. The instrument is composed of 6 types of the orchestra. The orchestras have specific instruments and no less than 30 genres in hundreds of instruments. For example, the orchestra has 42 musical instruments of the two percussions and steam. The percussion of the vibrating membrane is 20 drums.

All kinds of orchestras, musical instruments, music pieces, chapters are performed by the best musicians, singers, and dancers of the country. Music has become a twin with great feasts with magical voices and capacity to sympathize with heaven and earth, spirits, ancestors. It is also the priceless and permanent value of the nation. Hue music, cultural heritage music which contains the principles of structure, the philosophy of Eastern philosophy.

Since 1975, the Government, the Ministry of Culture and Information and leaders of Thua Thien Hue have had many policies and decisions to preserve this unique cultural form. In particular, on November 7, 2003, Hue royal court music was recognized by UNESCO as the masterpiece of intangible cultural heritage and oral tradition of mankind.

In the commentary on Nha Nhac, UNESCO said: “Vietnamese traditional music has the meaning of elegant music … In the traditional Vietnamese music genres, only Nha Nhac reached the national stature. Vietnamese music was from the eleventh century to the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue royal court music reached maturity and completed.

Now Hue royal court music is not only the precious capital of Vietnamese but also the invaluable asset of humankind. With outstanding values, Hue royal court music will continue to be preserved effectively, contributing along with various types of cultural and natural heritage in Vietnam assertion of a country rich in cultural traditions in the region and the world.

Nha-Nhac-in-the-festival-in-2012

Nha Nhac in the festival in 2012

Hue city has two world cultural heritage. In 2004, the third Hue Festival was held. Many stages have been organized to perform Hue Folk Music and have achieved success.

Today, orchestra, composition, chant, dances of Nha Nhac can be used in different forms of performance on occasions such as Hue Festival, Folk festival, Buddhist festival, Chamber music, in diplomatic ceremonies, performances for tourists, performing for the people in festivals or traditional New Year. Thus, Nha Nhac has more conditions, space performance, and compared more. The music has returned to the people, so its artistic value will also be preserved, permanent and incessantly promoted.

Hue royal court music is one of the invaluable assets of our nation. That value has lasted with the nation and was honored by humanity. The conservation of its promotion in contemporary society is a very heavy work, but the initial results have been very encouraging.

These days, there are more and more tourists who take Hue culture tours join the performance of Hue court music shows. They think that discovering the Nha Nhac outstanding culture of Vietnamese is top things to do in Hue

The Nha Nhac was watched by a huge number of the audience

This is something about Nha Nhac – Court music of Hue royal, we hope you guys will have memorable Hue tours and enjoy this special kind of Vietnamese music.

The beauty of Hue in each season

When referring to Hue, people often think of the gentle Hue girl in the white ao dai with cute sweet voice. Indeed, this beautiful memory is now still the first impression of the visitors every time travel to this city. For some people who haven’t travel to Hue, Perhaps they used to dream of a trip to this dreamland.

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Hue has only two seasons: the rainy season, and less rainy season

Weather and climate in Hue are quite different, especially in the midst of the tropical and subtropical central strip with typical tropical climate. There are no spring – fall – autumn – winter as Hanoi, nor the rainy season and dry season as in Saigon, Hue has only two seasons: the rainy season, and less rainy season.

The rain has become a feature of Hue on both the weather and the image, so many people call it Hue by the name the city of the rain. Certainly, this is a new and exciting discovery of Hue travel experience that not all tourists know.

Located in transitional climate from sub-montane to monsoonal interior, this is the main reason why Hue has no distinct and characteristic seasons as in many other regions. In Hue, there is only long or sudden rain. Winter of Hue only when the northeast wind overflow but not too cold like other provinces in the central region. At the same time when affected by the Laos wind, the heat in Hue is also pleasant, not as harsh as other regions.

Many people are concern about when is the best time to travel Hue. With Vietnam local guides, every season of the year is the best time to travel this city.

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The rain has become a special “specialty” of Hue

Rainy season: The rainy season of Hue begins in September and lasts until December. According to the experience of Hue tourism season, the rainy season is an interesting time for exploring. For a long time, the rain has become a special “specialty” of Hue, and the rainy season is also the most beautiful moments. The romance and sadness of Hue in the rain have long been the inspiration of poetry and music.

Walking on the Hue streets in the gentle rain, feeling the cold winds blowing, watching the streets with the slow pace in the rain you will see how great of Hue. Come to Hue to feel the peaceful and romantic feeling of life, sip a cup of coffee with soft music or immersed in sweet songs about Hue are also interesting experiences that tourists get when traveling in the rainy season.

Less rainy season: From the end of December until about April, Hue stepped into the less rainy season with the sparse rain. If you do not like the long rains, this is a good time to visit this land. The weather of Hue on this occasion is quite mild with northeasterly winds.

At the same time, if you come to Hue on this occasion, visitors also have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of traditional Lunar New Year on the land of the ancient capital. According to the experience from some Vietnam local tour operators, indeed Hue tourism, January and February are the beautiful time of Hue. Hue is vibrant but very romantic and peaceful of Tet. The pace of human life becomes faster, more rhythmic to prepare for a warm traditional Tet. On this occasion, you can enjoy the traditional dishes of Hue and explore the diverse cuisine of Hue.

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January and February are the beautiful time of Hue

The remaining months of the year of Hue include May, June, July, August, the weather of Hue is quite hot with high temperature, due to the tropical monsoon climate with high thermal radiation.

  • Here are some suggestions when traveling to Hue

Huong River is a sweet symbol for the romantic city, so it would be flawed if visitors ignore dreamlike Huong River. In addition, the ancient ruins of Hue city with unique architecture and interesting historical stories are also a highlight that tourists should visit once.

Going to Hue without visiting the imperial capital is certainly not a complete trip. In addition, temples and tombs in Hue are also ideal places for tourists to discover and experience the cultural life – beliefs of Hue in particular and Vietnamese residents in general. Don’t hesitate to travel to this beautiful city as Vietnam local tour operator always provide the best tour and travel tips for you.

Ao dai in Vietnam Culture Tour

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Today Vietnam culture tour will introduce you to an ancient city – Hue. You can enjoy specialties there and the most impressive thing is the people, friendly and beautiful. Ao Dai in Vietnam culture tour.                                                                               

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Modern Aodai

Ao Dai Hue before 1945 not only different from the ao dai Hanoi, Saigon but also diversified to suit the social position, labor characteristics of many classes of women Hue. Hue style ao dai makes the beauty of Nam Phuong Queen in the Forbidden City. The “Ao Dai noi than” worn by labor does not detract from the gentle grace of the girl sailing on the Huong River … Ao Dai has a special position with Hue women by the edict of Minh Mang King issued and by the regal lifestyle, living conditions of the people of the capital. In the outskirts of Hue such as Huong Tra and Phu Vang, there are still traces of textile villages that produce items such as brocades and famous embroidery villages such as Son Dien and Duong Xuan.

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Aodai Hue

Talking about Ao Dai, it became the traditional costume of Vietnamese women, the beauty and sophistication of the ao dai is a combination of tradition and modernity. It exposes the woman’s curves, because of that combination has created a really special dress for Vietnamese women. Luxury and comfortable, Vietnamese dresses are more diversity in color and innovation more and more style but still keep the tradition of this type of costume.

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Romantic violet Aodai

From the old days, when the technology was rudimentary, the fabric was woven into small pieces so it was necessary to put together four pieces to make a new shirt, known as a four-piece dress. The dress consists of two pieces in the back of the back (called the jacket), the edges of the two pieces are connected to each other and hidden inside, the two pieces are knotted and put down into two dresses in the middle, so not necessary to wear buttons when wearing. This is the image of a rustic, modest four-piece Ao Dai.

To 1884, Western culture began to enter Vietnam and brought about many changes with ao dai. From here, the ao dai steps past another page and reveals many styles of today’s Ao Dai.

Today, ao dai Hue is not just a pure costume but has become a symbol of a typical, tourism product of the ancient capital. Long dresses became an indispensable gift of women when visiting Hue, especially in Vietnam culture tour. The foreigners who love this service often call it “short-time” ao dai. The long dress shops along the streets as Mai Thuc Loan, Ben Nghe, Nguyen Sinh Cung … year-round busy customers.

 If you visit Hue only one day, even half a day and want to own a long dress style Hue, visit the tailor shop in the city and choose tailoring services in just three, four hours. The way of dressing in Hue so also different from many places. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thao, owner of Thao Trang ao dai on Quoc Su street (next to Dai Noi), said: Ao Dai is a beauty product of the women, it must make the wearer charming, elegant but comfortable. Therefore, it is not easy for everyone to practice tailoring. A skilled technician takes years to practice. Unlike the long dress in many other areas, Hue tailors often focus on the contour deviant. They pick up every fiber from the piece of cloth to sew it and sew the edges around the shirt. Maybe so, when wearing on, the Ao Dai is very fly, not reveal and seam.

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palm-leaf conical hat

Since ancient times, the palm-leaf conical hat has become an integral part of the lives of the Vietnamese people – culture of Vietnam. Today, leaf cones appear everywhere, from urban to rural, on golden fields or small alleys to timeless colors. From the use of rain or sun cover for Vietnamese farmers to become a gift that foreign tourists interested while traveling Vietnam.

Referring to the unique products of traditional handicraft villages in Hue, perhaps palm-leaf conical hats are known more than all. By hundreds of years, palm-leaf conical hats are not only close links to sunshine, rain cover sticking to the daily life of each Hue people, but moreover, it has become a cultural specialty “hat poem” associated with the image of the daughter of Hue.

Looking at the small, rustic hat so everyone would think it is easy to do and only a little effort but the truth is completely different. When you have the opportunity to go to Hue conical hat village and learn about the process of making a hat that will completely change your mind! As a handicraft product, people make hats by using full of their hand tools. The staff must perform about 15 steps from the palm forest to pick the leaves, then dry the leaves, open, ironing, pick the leaves, build the corners, cut, cut leaves, bristles, etc to have a palm-leaf conical hat weight lightly and beautiful.

Vietnam-DMZ – 17th latitude zone

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Quang Tri is a land in the central area of the country and is home to some of the most desirable places to visit but not many people know about. This place is also the place of many memories of Vietnam war in the area of the 17th latitude – where once divided Vietnam’s two regions in the war. DMZ means Demilitarized Zone.

After the Geneva Accords were signed in 1954, the restoration of peace in Indochina, Vietnam was divided temporary into two parts at the 17th parallel, at Hien Luong Bridge crossing the Ben Hai River (Vinh Thanh Commune, Vinh Linh, Quang Tri).

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Geneva Accords

Under the Agreement, the demilitarized zone of the 17th latitude (Vietnam Demilitarized Zone – V-DMZ) was established under international supervision, so that after the general election in 1956, the temporary area will be deleted. Tour to Vietnam for visitors who love to learn about Vietnam history cannot ignore this area.

After the Demilitarized Zone – DMZ was established, from the dividing line in the middle of the Hien Luong Bridge, each side held a bridgehead under the supervision of an international expert. In theory, the DMZ is 1.6 km (one mile) from each side, from the banks of the Ben Hai River, starting from the Vietnam-Laos border to the coast.

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Hien Luong bridge from above

After Ngo Dinh Diem formed the South Vietnamese government with all-sided military support from the United States, the DMZ – war without guns happened with loudspeakers or race on the height of the flagpole.

The construction works of the north of Hien Luong bridge to confirm the growth and independence of Vietnam, calling for the unification of two regions. Since 1966, at the northern side of the bridge has been built a tall welcome gate, in contrast to the wooden gates on the other side.

On the shore of Hien Luong Bridge – Ben Hai river years separated, only a short distance apart, a river is only about 100 meters wide, but many families have to live separated without the opportunity to be reunited. For people in Vinh Linh, Quang Tri, this is just a separation in the family, but for the country, the Vietnamese people, it is too painful, as the bowel is divided into two. During the fierce war years, the people of the two sides only looked to the shore, see the red flag flying over the flagpole and cry. But in the separatist scene, we strengthened our determination to expel invaders.

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Ancient picture of the bridge

At that time, people in the two regions contain a belief and aspirations, only two years after the general election, North-South will be unified. While the north side obeys all the terms of the signed agreement, the South Government, backed by the United States, determined to turn the South into a new colony and split our country.

The war years fierce, the coast of Hien Luong – Ben Hai place the hard battle between the army and the people of the North with the South. In particular, there are “flag” battles that last 1,440 days and nights. At times, can not fight with our flag, the United States was sprayed bombs to collapse, tearing the flag of the north. Only from 5/1956 to 10/1967, 267 flags were hung respectively on Hien Luong bridge. The statue of Diem mother and the national flag was restored at the gallery. During the war, when the national flag was torn, she stayed the whole night to patch the flag so that the flag forever fly on the Northside.

Historical vestiges of Ben Tat Bridge, a destination for DMZ tours in Vietnam, along with memorial site has been built to pay tribute to heroes and soldiers that died to serve the country. During the war, this was an important place to transport weapons and supplies to the battlefield, located on the 17th parallel.

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Ben Tat Bridge

The hamlet tunnel of Vinh Moc, a project demonstrating the resilience and strength of our troops and people. Throughout the war years, this area has become a safe haven for residents, avoiding the destruction of enemy bombs.

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The entrance gate of Vinh Moc village

Tung Luat wharf, an important crossing point on Hien Luong river. In the period from 1968 to 1972, under the rain and storm of the enemy’s bullets, the force of the 771, Tung Luat militia, In total, this place has supported more than 78,000 boat trips, transported more than 2 million people and tens of thousands of weapons and supplies to the Southern battlefield.

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Tung Luat wharf – a historical site

In July, prepare your Vietnam tour packages and return to the historic site, we feel how much change has come from the heroic history of this place. Walking on the historic Hien Luong bridge, watching the yellow star flag fly on the flagpole, we are strengthened by the heroes ahead and more love Vietnam.

Attractions in Hue you should never miss

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Once the national capital, the political, cultural and religious center of Vietnam, the city of Hue possesses a large number of historical monuments as well as cultural spots which are a huge appeal for travelers. Also, Hue attracts visitors with its poetic and peaceful landscapes.

Take a look at the following destinations along the dreamy Huong River (Perfume River) to prepare for your Hue Vietnam trip.

1. Citadel of Hue and Royal Tombs

Imperial Citadel of Hue

Night in Hue Citadel

Royal night in Hue Citadel (Source: Internet)

The most important monument in the whole World Heritage Site of Hue, the Imperial Citadel is absolutely a must-stop place for any Vietnam Hue tours. It is a complex monument built between the 19th and the 20th century under Nguyen Dynasty and was the place where Nguyen Emperors and their Royal families lived and worked. There are many spots to explore inside and outside the Citadel, namely Imperial City (Hoang Thanh), Forbidden City (Tu Cam Thanh), Thai Hoa Temple, Inner City (Dai Noi). Visitors will have chances to see the masterpiece of Eastern Architecture as well as the glorious past of Nguyen reigns. The citadel of Hue is exactly what you cannot ignore when having a Hue Vietnam Trip

Emperor Tombs

Minh Mang Tomb

Khai Dinh tomb – the masterpiece of architecture (Source: Internet)

Along the Perfume River stand several tombs of Nguyen Emperors such as Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Gia Long, and Tu Duc. Each tomb reflects different points of view of each king. Whereas Tu Duc Tomb looks poetic, Minh Mang Tomb is very imposing and shows the cluster of Western and Eastern influences. Those tombs are nestled to the Southern Bank of Perfume River, lying at the foot of majestic mountains which provide travelers with both natural and cultural experiences.

2. Thien Mu Pagoda

As a regional center of Vietnam, Hue consists of several Buddhist pagodas. The most attractive among them is the beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda (Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda). Located on Ha Khe hill on the northern bank of Perfume River, Thien Mu Pagoda has become an integral part of Vietnam Hue Tourism. 

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda from above (Source: Internet)

In the 17th century, after hearing the story about an old woman appearing on the hill where the pagoda stands today, Lord Nguyen Hoang decided to build a Buddhist temple with the belief that it would entail nation’s prosperity. Since then, the pagoda has gone through many times of restoration. Thien Mu was constructed with Buddhist architecture sites such as the striking Phuoc Duyen Tower – the unofficial symbol of Hue, the enormous Dai Hong Chung bell, and the magnificent Dai Hung shrine. 

Phuoc Duyen Tower

Phuoc Duyen Tower, Thien Mu Pagoda (Source: Internet)

Visiting Thien Mu pagoda, not only can you see the important regional place of Vietnam Buddhism but also explore the beauty of its landscapes and architecture. Nowadays Thien Mu pagoda has become a destination for any Hue Vietnam trip and visitors can reach there by car and by boat.

3. Perfume River (Huong River)

Absolutely, who travel to Hue – Vietnam should spend time visiting the poetic Perfume River. It is a river flowing across Hue city center, which is regarded the most romantic river scenery in Vietnam. 

Trang Tien Bridge

Trang Tien Bridge on Perfume River – the symbol of Hue (Source: Internet)

The Perfume River owes its name because before reaching Hue City, it flows through several forests of aromatic plants, bringing along fresh and pure aroma. That river has been the inspiration to many artists, composers, and poets. Tourists can take an excursion along Perfume River to explore the romance of Hue. The river flows through many cultural spots of the ancient Hue City. You will come across some Emperor Tombs, Hon Chen Shrine, and Thien Mu Pagoda. Moreover, the bridges on the river like Tho Vien, Phu Xuan, and Truong Tien are incredibly fascinating. 

Night on Perfume River

Night on Perfume River, Hue (Source: Internet)

The river is even more poetic at night. When lights are on, the scenery alongside Perfume River becomes more peaceful and romantic. Imagine that you are on a boat, watching the moonlight and hearing Hue traditional music – a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Amazing, isn’t it? 

Flocks of tourists come to Hue every day, thus well proving the attraction of this peaceful city in Central of Vietnam. The places above are recommended by huetravelreview.com when you haven’t decided where to visit in Hue, Vietnam. 
 

5 Hue destinations beyond the Ancient Citadel

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Your Hue itinerary could easily go something like this: spend a day in the Imperial city and devote the rest of your time in the tombs. These places are worthwhile though but there are many more types of outdoor activities await in Hue and here is a closer look at them:

Explore Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park (Source: Internet)

Bach Ma ranks top on our list of best places to visit in Hue. The trails of the park are lined with medicinal plants and up on the tree trunks are some stunning orchid varieties. The park teems with wildlife and home to one of the world’s rarest mammals, the saola. If you are very quiet, you may even catch a glimpse of some shy animals in the dense wood. A good walk in the park allows for plenty of fresh air, while exploring the nature of the park at your own pace, and still gaining from a local tour guide’s knowledge. A 2 km hiking brings you to the top of a small waterfall and you can test your endurance by descending a steep set of stone stair nearby. Although there is a good handrail, the 689 steps is a real challenge; but the grandstand view from the bottom of the cascade is worth your every effort. Since Bach Ma is a tropical forest, bring water, bug repellent, raincoat and bags for your garbage (supporting Vietnam eco-tourism) with you.

Saola in Bach Ma National Park

Saola-one of the rarest mammals on Earth (Source: Internet)

It takes just over an hour on the coastal route to get to the park from Hue by car or motorbike. The local bus will drop you off at Cau Hai village, 3 km from Bach Ma national park entrance at 60.000 VND. From the bus stop, you can either start your trek right away or hire a motor taxi for 20.000 VND to save your legs. Tourist buses are more expensive but comfortable. The two reliable bus lines that service the route are Sinh café and Hanh café. You will be dropped off right at the park entrance.

Spend the night in a traditional Vietnamese fishing village in Tam Giang Lagoon

Tam Giang Lagoon

Tam Giang is the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia (Source: Internet)

This is a chance to connect with Vietnamese indigenous population in a better way. Tam Giang Lagoon is considered one of the best places to visit in Hue for a reason. During your stay in the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia, you will collect oysters and clams, pick up the bamboo weaving technique and go on a fishing boat alongside with locals. Another excellent opportunity involves going to a floating market held every morning in Ngu My Thanh Village.

Since there is no bus line that serves the 15 km route from Hue City to Tam Giang Lagoon, hiring a motorbike or a car is the best way to get there. You can take either the Highway 1 or the road in Hue City, which winds through ancient villages and towns. Most experienced travelers will take the latter option to taking in the view of green paddy fields and rows of casuarina trees.

Hike up Vong Canh Hill

Vong Canh Hill

The commanding view from Vong Canh Hill (Source: Internet)

Near the scenic Perfume river and commands views of the whole region, the hill is not far from Tu Duc tomb. The name Vong Canh derives from its most exciting asset: the sweeping views in every direction. Vong in Vietnamese means to observe and while Canh is the word for scenes. After taking a short walk to the top of Vong Canh, before your gaze will be a lush green forest backed by mountains and the great river fading far into the distance. Ancient temples are framed in verdant patches of label, orange, and tangerine. Tiny villages are strung out along the river bank with orchards and corn fields dot the pine forest. The hill itself is covered in pine and daisy; a perfect spot for a nature walk or a picnic.

With its proximity to Hue City and several tombs and pagodas, Vong Canh can be reached by motorbike or car. The motorbike rental rate is between 100.000 VND and 120.000 VND per day.

Are you interested in these spots? Travel with huetravelreview.com to discover more stunning landscapes in Vietnam!

Hue food tour review for first-time travelers

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Hue is not only known for an old city with numerous royal relics but also its fantastic food scene. Having experienced a wonderful travel in Hue this autumn, I thought that a walking food tour gave me a nice insight into the unique cuisine of this foodie city. If you want to learn some things about Hue cuisine and culture before your trip to central Vietnam, check out my food review!

1. Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue (Source: Internet)

After nearly a day on the train from Hanoi to Hue, I felt deadly hungry so I decided to start my Hue travel by a bowl of bun bo Hue at Bun bo me Keo – a popular food place to the local. Though I had eaten bun bo in Hanoi several times, trying this iconic dish in Hue is such a different and special experience.

The main ingredients in a bowl bun bo are rice noodle, a pig’s leg, beef, cow’s blood cubes and some meatballs. It is served with various herbs like shredded banana flowers, bean sprout, lettuce and shredded cabbage. Bun bo’s flavors are hot, spicy and sweet. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that bun bo is the soul of Hue cuisine since this delicious dish can be easily found in every city’s corner for the price of about VND15,000 to VND30,000.

2. Com hen (rice with mussels)

Com Hen

Com Hen (Source: Internet)

It is said that in the past, com hen with cheap and easy-to-find ingredients was a dish for the poor. Nowadays, it becomes a must-try for any tourists coming to Hue. I had the chance to taste com hen when getting on a river cruise along Perfume River (Huong River) at night. It seemed to be a quick and easy meal, however, it required a skillful chef to make it a specialty. The most difficult step is preparing the mussels, boiling and winnowing the mussels to split off the shell and the sand inside. Next, mussels are stir-fried with chopped onions, shrimp paste and pork rinds before mixed with cooked rice and served with roasted peanut, herbs, bean sprouts and shredded banana flowers.

3. Banh beo tom chay (steamed rice cake)

Banh Beo Tom Chay

Banh beo tom chay (Source: Internet)

Hue’s streets at night were very quiet and peaceful so I left the hotel at 8:00 p.m to walk down the street and had a walking Hue food tour with some of my friends. Coming along Vo Thi Sau street, I decided to have a late night meal at Hang Me Me – a small and famous food store in Hue. I ordered a plate of banh beo tom chay which is more commonly known as banh beo.

The name of banh beo (water fern cake) originated from the shape of the cake which looks like a water fern (beo) in Vietnamese. Rice flour and cornstarch are mixed with water to make a kind of dough, then, it will be poured into tiny bowls and steamed. Banh beo is served with a topping of minced stir-fried shrimps, chopped spring onions, and special fish sauce. Its flavor was the mixture of sweet shrimp, spicy and salty sauce.

4. Banh bot loc

Banh bot loc

Banh bot loc (Source: Internet)

After finishing the full plate of banh beo, I ordered a plate of banh bot loc. Banh bot loc is made from tapioca with stir-fried shrimps and pork and wrapped in fresh banana leaves before steamed in a large cooking pot.

Banh bot loc is not only a specialty in Hue but also a popular dish that you can find around the country. You can try it in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, but it never tastes like banh bot loc in Hue. I was charmed by its flavor since the moment I ate the first banh bot loc in here. It tastes soft, a little bit tough, sweet, salty from shrimp, fatty from pork and spicy from fish sauce. Be careful! Once you take your first bite, you cannot stop!

5. Che hem

Che Hem in Hue

Che hem in Hue (Source: Internet)

I came to a small che hem restaurant on an alley of Hung Vuong Street the next day and was strongly impressed.

Che is a very common sweet dessert in Vietnam, from the north to the south, che can be found everywhere, from street hawkers, traditional markets to restaurant. However, che Hue, especially che hem was absolutely a different experience to me. “Hem” means alley in Vietnamese since che Hue is originally sold in small food stores located in alleys. There are various ingredients in a cup of che: red beans, black eye peas, green peas, lotus seeds, coconut milk, some kinds of fruits and many more. I ordered a special cup of che with all of the ingredients according to the recommendation from my tour guide. It tasted so good, so tasty, chill and not too sweet. My tour guide told me that visiting Hue without trying che hem is such a great pity and I totally agreed with him.  

When setting your foot on Hue for the first time, you should not miss the chance to take a food tour around the city to enjoy the unique and tasty dishes and learn more about Hue culture

Follow huetravelreview.com so that you can discover more about Hue through the interesting articles. 

Hue Tour – A handbook from A to Z (Part 1)

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Hue is one of the top tourist attractions in and out of the S-shaped country because of the long-standing culture, and beautiful natural scenery and is a world-recognized historical monument. Hue tourism attracts a large number of tourists of Vietnam.

Read this article from huetravelreview.com to get an useful guide when traveling in Hue.

Means when traveling in Hue

transportation to Hue

There are so many ways to come to Hue (Source: Internet)

Airplane: Phu Bai Airport has just opened after the upgrade to serve Hue tourism. There are many daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Hue with airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, VietjetAir, Jetstar with ticket cost from 900,000 VND/turn.

Train: From Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi there are also many trains to Hue. For those who have plenty of time and want to experience beautiful scenery along the way, then this mean of transport is so suitable.

Ticket price from Hanoi to Hue: 350,000 VND – 800,000 VND depending on the type of seats.

Ticket price from Saigon to Hue from 400,000 VND – 1.200.000 VND depending on the type of seat.

Coach: This type of mean to Hue is often the North-South sleeping-car. Ticket prices and quality are not much different; you can refer to the ticket prices of the Hoang Long, Phuong Trang, TheSinhTourist, etc.

In Hanoi, you can take the coach to Hue at Giap Bat Station, Nuoc Ngam Station, Luong Yen Station, with ticket price from 300,000 VND.

In Saigon, you buy tickets at the Mien Dong Station, with fares from 450,000 VND.

Note: It is advisable to buy in advance, or call in advance to avoid ticket expiration.

Travel around Hue: You can rent a motorbike to travel and explore Hue. Renting cost from 100,000 VND to 150,000 VND/car/day.

Taxi: Mai Linh, Thanh Cong, Taxi Vang, Huong Giang … In my experience, Thanh Cong is the cheapest company with good quality. Tel: 02343.57.57.57

Mai Linh: 02343898989

Vang Taxi: 02343.797979

Gili Taxi: 02343.828282

Huong Giang Taxi: 02343.878787

Places to visit in Hue Vietnam

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda

It is still home to many monks and a holy site visited by many everyday (Source: Internet)

Also on the north shore of the Perfume River about 3km from the Citadel, tourist can get there by booking a dragon boat along the river, or for those feeling more active, a pleasant bicycle ride. The Thien Mu Pagoda is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. Today it is the home of the Austin motor vehicle which drove Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem Regime. It is still home to many monks and a holy site visited by many tourists everyday.

Hue Citadel

Hue Citadel

Hue Citadel (Source: Internet)

This is the most historic relics in the complex of Hue ancient relics recognized by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage on December 11, 1993. Then, every two years, hundreds of thousands of people come here for a cultural tour that explores the typical culture with the active cooperation of the French Republic. The price for sightseeing is VND55,000/person. This is a tourist attraction in Hue which you should not miss when arriving in Hue.

To be continued!

Hue Tour – A handbook from A to Z (Part 2)

Canh-Duong-beach1508141895

Hue is one of the top tourist attractions in and out of the S-shaped country because of the long-standing culture, beautiful natural scenery and the historical and world-recognized historical monuments. Hue tourism attracts a large number of tourists of Vietnam.

Places to visit in Hue Vietnam

Tombs of the Emperors

Khai Dinh Tomb

Khai Dinh Tomb (Source: Internet)

7 tombs in all scatter the countryside around Hue and are monuments to 9 of the 13 rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty, usually built and designed during the emperor’s lifetime. The 3 most visited are Minh Mang, Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. The remaining 4 are less visited but still have interesting features, with Duc Duc, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan being housed in the same tomb.

Ngu Binh Mountain

From past to now, Ngu mountain and Huong rivers are two of the most beautiful landscapes of Hue. When mentioning Huong River, immediately people think about Ngu mountain and vice versa. Both of them create the impressive beauty of Hue tourism.

Bach Ma Mountain

Standing on top of Bach Ma Mountain, visitors can admire the splendid panorama of Hai Van Pass, Tuy Van Mountain, Cau Hai Lagoon and the sparkle of Hue city at night.

Thuan An Beach

Thuan An Beach

The beauty of Thuan An beach (Source: Internet)

Thuan An is a place to attract a lot of Hue people to cool and swimming in the summer. The busiest period in here usually lasts from April to September which is the hottest weather. In addition, visitors to Hue can visit the nearby Thai Duong Temple with the legendary Thai Duong goddess worshiped by the villagers, or visit the Am Linh Temple worshiping whale spirit, the holy animal of the Coastal people.

Canh Duong Beach

Canh Duong Beach

This is the ideal beach and vacation resort for visitors to enjoy (Source: Internet)

Being one of the most beautiful beaches in Hue, Canh Duong is about 60km from Hue City arched in the middle of the Chan May Tay and Chan May Dong with amazing scenery. The beach is gently sloping, fine white sand, clear blue water and relatively airy. According to Hue travel experience; this is the ideal beach and vacation resort for visitors to enjoy.

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market is the largest market in central Vietnam (Source: Internet)

Dong Ba Market, a tourist attraction in Hue, is the largest market in central Vietnam. This is definitely a place to visit to immerse yourself in the local culture. Tourists can observe all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as the sampan landing, the bus station, and the bazaars. This market is considered a paradise for snapshots of daily activities as well as for shopping with everything from souvenir items to bronze goods, Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical poem hats, just to name a few. Should you find interest in Vietnamese food or culture, you’d better come here to explore.

Hue cuisine

Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue (Source: Internet)

When visiting Hue, you should try to enjoy the following top five foods: Com Hen (rice with mussel), Bun bo Hue (Hue-style beef vermicelli), Banh Beo (water fern cake), Banh Khoai (delicious pancake), Mam tom Chua (sour shrimp sauce). huetravelreview.com are sure that you will never regret when trying to eat the food above.

Explore the folk culture of Vietnam through Hue festivals

Fish-praying-festival-in-Thai-Duong-Ha1508296171

Hue is the old capital of Vietnam with a rich history, diverse culture, and hospitable people. This is a wonderful land of unique folk festivals attracting thousands of tourists every year, and Hue is also one of the most attractive destinations when tourists want to experience a Vietnam festival tour.

The long-standing tradition in Hue is a pride of Vietnamese culture, which will surely impress and satisfy any tourist coming to Hue. There are so many things to do in Hue, let’s take a look at some of the most famous Hue festivals and activities with huetravelreview.com.

Hon Chen Temple festival

Ceremonies at Hon Chen Temple are amazingly solemn. Before the sacrifice ceremony, the villagers receive all the Gods to the village by palanqueens covered by religious decoration. The main ceremony is held at the communal house. The most important and solemn greeting ceremony is for Thien Y A Na Holy mother from Hue Nam to Cat Hai communal house. This festival is a quintessence of folk culture on Huong River with full of twin boats, colorful flags, and incense sticks, local people and tourist all together pilgrimage to Hon Chen Temple that worships the Holy mother.

Hon Chen temple festival

Hon Chen Temple Festival (Source: Internet)

Fish praying festival in Thai Duong Ha

The festival is annually held on January 12 to commemorate the village's king, Truong Quy Cong, a nickname of Truong Thieu, who was originally from Hanoi and helped local people with fishing and trading boats. This festival has a special practice that celebrates marine activities every three years. In the yard people do "grid games", describing how to grid on the shore. Many local people participate in this great festival of Thua Thien Hue every year.

Fish praying festival in Thai Duong Ha

Fish praying festival in Thai Duong Ha (Source: Internet)

Traditional boat racing

The festival lasts one day and is held annually on the National Day of Independence. It is actually a whole new festival which started to be held after the 1975 Southern Liberation Day. The race venue is Huong River before Quoc Hoc Hue University. The festival’s aims are to create favorable conditions for young men and women to have the opportunity to compete on the waterways, thereby helping to improve their health and creating a happy and healthy atmosphere for all everyone. Moreover, the race is also the tradition of the local people to pray for good weather and bumper harvests. This is a cultural beauty of local people in the coastal fishing village. Along with the people of fishing villages, the festival also attracts a large number of domestic and international visitors to participate in, helps to promote and attract tourists in the New Year.

Traditional boat racing in Hue

Traditional boat racing in Hue (Source: Internet)

Sinh village’s wrestling festival

Being held on the 10th of January lunar year, the festival of wrestling is organized at the village of Lai An Village, Phu Vang District (TT-Hue). This is a traditional cultural activity, famous for the public martial arts performance. Wrestlers will play in a circle. The festival is also a chance to have fun in the early spring and encourage young people to improve health and courage. Sinh village’s wrestling festival promotes the authentic martial arts, it is not important who the winner is so wrestlers are not allowed to seriously hurt the others and all the wrestlers participating will be rewarded.

Sinh village wrestling festival

Sinh village’s wrestling festival in Hue (Source: Internet)

The best time to travel Hue is at the beginning of the year (normally January or February during the Lunar New Year) or in the middle of the year if tourists want to experience and participate in some of Hue festivals. Besides folk cultural festivals, Hue has remained a lot of historical vestiges which were built under Nguyen Dynasty, the unique cuisine, and kind-hearted people. Don’t hesitate to book a tour and it will not disappoint you.