Take a cruise along the Perfume River, during which your expert guide will elaborate on the eight relatively intact royal tombs scattered along the river valley. Each was built when the emperor was still alive and was meticulously planned right down to the last detail. Hidden for years by sworn vows of secrecy, they are now open to the public.
Visit Thien Mu Pagoda where you will meet with the senior resident monk in his private chambers, which are normally off-limits, and learn about Buddhism and his monastic life.
The Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site, appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while you will be explained about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court.
The serene Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of feng-shui and the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, its architecture showcases elements of eastern art and western design.
Garden houses are an important heritage of the lives of former aristocrats in Hue as most garden houses have a connection with the Imperial Court. Some are the descendants of royalty or mandarins; others received patronage from the royal family. Visit a local garden house, an excellent sample for glimpse of traditional Vietnamese architecture, massive pillars support a large tiled roof, the family altar in the middle, a large rectangular lily-pond separates a screen, designed to keep out evil spirits, and the house. Another classic example of a garden house is the former home of Princess Ngoc Son, a classic structure with three bays and two wings. The highlight is a small artificial rock garden. The present owner also has a fascinating collection of artifacts and mementos from the days of the former Royal Empire.
Tha Om restored royal home is a harmony of nature and royal architecture, where the green space is replete with a water-lily pond, orchid pots and chatter of birds, offering peace of mind to visitors. Enjoy a meal at their beautifully-furnished dining room with elaborately carved reliefs. Chat to the family to learn about their daily lives and how they bring the quintessence of the Royal ambiance and culture into their home.
Most Hue people believe that Buddhism is a plan for living in such a way as to derive the highest benefit from life; and vegetarian food is not only good for your health but also to avoid destroying living beings. Visit a local pagoda for good luck prayer ceremony, sip a cup of tea with the monks over a talk for a glimpse of how Buddhism effects on local’s life in Hue, followed by a pure vegetarian lunch.
Enjoy an ancient custom inherited from the days of Nguyen Dynasty, a Royal martial arts performance held in a garden inside the grounds of a private martial arts school. View a fascinating 30 minute performance of different martial arts, reminiscent of the past heroic plots of Vietnamese patriots acting out against the colonialists’ suppression.
Thuy Bieu village, located near the famous Perfume River is one of the oldest and most unique villages in Hue. Take a bicycle trip, passing by family temples, orchard gardens and paddy or corn fields before visiting a local home where the family members have been making incense sticks for generations. Engage in a casual talk with them to get a glimpse of their everyday daily lives and effort to keep the traditional craft alive.