Why is Hue an ideal place to explore the history of Vietnam?


With more than 4 thousand years of history, Vietnam is a haunted destination for history and culture buffs. And the most well-known place which possesses many significant vestiges of the ancient Vietnam is Hue – a former imperial capital located in Central Vietnam.

A tailor-made Hue historical tour is hence designed to enable tourists to take a closer look at the vivid evidence of a glorious past of Vietnam. Millions of travelers from different parts of the world visit Hue each year. Let’s see why this city is that worth traveling with huetravelreview.

1. The origin and history of Hue

Hue people always take pride in their city’s long-lasting history. Because of the mispronunciation of the term “Hoa”, the city was named “Hue” in 1307, after the Champa king Jaya Sinhavarman III had given up Hue and Danang to Vietnam to marry a princess of the Tran dynasty (1225 – 1400).  However, it was not until 1687 that Hue was chosen by a Nguyen Lord to be the political center of “Dang Trong” (south of Vietnam). Under Tay Son Dynasty (1778 – 1801), Hue was turned to be the Capital of the whole country.

Hue has a long-lasting history

Hue has a long-lasting history (Source: Internet)

Gia Long (1802-1819), the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, conducted a large-scale construction and his successors, namely Emperor Minh Mang, contributed to the completion of the royal architectural system of Hue.         

The city remained the nation’s capital until 1945 when Emperor Bao Dai, the last king of the Nguyen dynasty, abdicated and a communist government (Vietnam now) was established in Hanoi. Nowadays, thanks to its high value in culture and architecture, the Citadel of Hue has been considered an important tourist and cultural center of Vietnam.

2. The important value of Hue

Taking a tailor-made Hue Historical Tour, tourists will be surprised by the architecture of the monuments and palaces in this small city. Some worth-experiencing things to do in Hue are:

Explore the Imperial Citadel and Royal Tombs

During the reign of the Nguyen Lords in Dang Trong, the complex of Hue royal construction consisting of walls, palaces, mausoleums, and temples was carried out on either side of the Perfume River. It faced south, taking Ngu Binh Mount as the royal Screen (to prevent evil impacts). However, at that time, this complex was still on a small scale and located on only an island which was separated from the Perfume River and one of its tributaries – Kim Long River.

Hue Imperial Citadel

Hue Imperial Citadel (Source: Internet)

Under the Nguyen Emperors' period (1802 – 1945), together with several new constructions, the urban center of Hue was replanned and enlarged into the large scale and majestic city as we can see today. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city's collection of buildings was placed coherently in a way much in accordance with oriental philosophies.

Khai Dinh Tomb

Khai Dinh Tomb (Source: Internet)

Nowadays, the complex of the Imperial Citadel of Hue consists of more than 100 architectural works which reflect the life of the Emperors as well as the mandarins under Nguyen’s reign. The two most distinguished works are the Imperial Citadel on the northern bank of the Perfume River which was constructed based on the Beijing’s Forbidden City and the Royal Tombs of Gia Long, Tu Duc, Minh Mang, and Khai Dinh Emperors. The whole complex was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1993.

Listen to Royal Music

Hue Royal Court Music

Hue Royal Court Music (Source: Internet)

The Royal Court Music of Hue is a huge appeal to foreign tourists. It is the music which was performed in important royal events in the past. Royal Court Music was originated from 8 types of ritual music under the Le Dynasty and has been improved into 2 kinds: “Dai Nhac” and “Nha Nhac” since the Nguyen Dynasty. The Royal Refined Music was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 1993. It is an interesting experience to listen to the royal music while being aboard on a Dragon Boat alongside the Perfume River by night.

Go to the Pagodas

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda (Source: Internet)

Hue is renowned as a city of pagodas, with hundreds of temples and pagoda within the city. Some of them date back 300 years ago. The most famous among them is Thien Mu Pagoda on Ha Khe Hill on the northern bank of the Perfume River. 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. Besides its significant religious value, Thien Mu Pagoda also offers wonderful landscapes to discover.

Visit Quoc Hoc Hue (Hue National High School)

Another should-visit place in a tailor-made Hue Historical Tour is Quoc Hoc Hue (Hue National High School). Quoc Hoc Hue is the oldest school in Vietnam which used to be the school for children from royal and noble families. After more than 100-year history, the school today still well preserved the French colonial-style construction and is considered the largest and also the most beautiful high school campus in Vietnam. This surrounding makes a great picture of the red French designed buildings in harmony with green background of a lot of large shady trees and stone benches.

Hue National High School

Quoc Hoc Hue (Source: Internet)

Apart from its beautiful surroundings, Quoc Hoc is also famous for its tradition of patriotism, industriousness, and academic achievements. Many famous political leaders (President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, etc.), poet (Xuan Dieu, Huy Can, To Huu, etc.), scientists (Ta Quang Buu, Ton That Tung, etc.), and musicians (Tran Hoan, Chau Ky, etc.) were students of this school. Also, its students have got several prizes in national and international competitions.

This is the right place for those wanting to take photos of natural settings, understand more about French colonial architecture, and watch Hue female students in white “ao dai”, sparkling in the nice background.

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