Heading north from the Chan May pier, discover the beauty of Vietnam’s former capital city, Hue. After disembarking from the ship, our guide will be waiting to provide transport north to Hue. During the ride, learn all about Vietnam’s imperial history and how the royal family made the “Forbidden City” their home. Hue served as the home of the Nguyen Dynasty from the 17th to 19th centuries, with the ‘Citadel’ serving as the epicenter of their dynasty. The citadel housed the Forbidden City, which was accessible only by the royal family and their servants. Inside the city were royal tombs, halls, temples and living quarters, which were all but a mystery for most their existence. The American war brought destruction to much of the citadel, however a large portion of the grand city still stands. While learning about the royal history, there will be some beautiful scenery passing by, offering glimpses into a much more rural Vietnam. From rice paddies tilled along the roadside and oyster farms dotting the seascape to antiquated trains, scars of war, and tiny developing villages, the ride in to Hue truly captures the essence of Vietnam’s past, present and future.Upon arrival into Hue, the itinerary will be started with a cyclo ride into the UNESCO-protected Imperial Citadel, which offers a unique glimpse into why Hue looks the way it does today. The guide will explain the unique royal history of both Hue and the Citadel, and also its destruction during the war. While many parts are still in tact, there are other aspects of the citadel that are currently beingreconstructed.
After the citadel, a visit will be made to the Thien Mu Pagoda. This pagoda is a Buddhist temple dating back to the early 17th century, which is still active today. On site at the pagoda is the original Austin car driven south during the war by a resident monk who self-immolated in Saigon to protest the war. To this day it remains one of the most famous images from the Vietnam/American war.
After the visit, lunch will be held in one of the best restaurants in the city. Enjoy sampling what makes Hue’s cuisine so famous and what marks some of its ‘royal’ roots. Follow this experience up with a visit to the Khai Dinh tomb, which was built for the former emperor and is one of the most elaborate and beautiful of the city’s royal tombs. Transport will be provided back to Chan May pier, which will be the perfect time to reflect on the day’s experience and to ask any remaining questions about the city of Hue.