When it comes to Vietnam, the vast majority of travelers agree on two things: the country’s cuisine is to die for (and if you hurry me, the whole hand) and the most beautiful city in Vietnam is HUE An. Small, quiet, with unique architecture and very pleasant to walk around. It’s definitely worth a stop here on your Vietnam trip. And so that you don’t miss any of its charms, here are the top 5 things to see and do in HUE An:
- See the Japanese Bridge and cross it
The old town is the great jewel of the city, full of centuries-old buildings that remained standing during all this time, even surviving the wars. Walking around here is like traveling back in time: colonial houses from the French period, temples, pagodas, lanterns … and also a good handful of cafes, restaurants and shops (many, very many). We are not surprised at all that it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
One of the most famous tourist spots in HUE an Old Town is the Japanese Bridge (Cau Nhay Ban), a covered bridge made of wood and concrete, which has become the symbol of the city. It was built by the Japanese who lived in the city around the year 1590, to connect their neighborhood with the Chinese side, which was on the other side of the river. The truth is that the bridge is more beautiful seen from the outside than crossing it, which also costs. But we have good news: there is a joint ticket (HUE an Old Town Ticket) worth 120,000 VND (just under € 5), which allows access to five attractions in the city (the ones you choose), including this bridge, and it is worth it. Curiosity: you will see statues of dogs and monkeys on the bridge. The reason? They say that its construction began during the year of the dog and was finished in the year of the monkey.
- Taste the local gastronomy and take a cooking course
In addition to its beautiful buildings and temples, HUE An is known for being one of the food capitals of Vietnam. What’s more, it has a lot of local dishes that you have to try. Specifically, we recommend these 3:
Cau Lau: a plate of rice noodles that are served with pork, carrots, bean sprouts, croutons and soy sauce.
- White Rose: they are a kind of rice dumplings, steamed and stuffed with prawns.
- Won Ton: of Chinese origin, this dish is made with fried rice pasta, stuffed with pork. Here it is served with a sauce made of tomatoes, peppers, and onion.
And everything will taste richer when you discover that for about € 0.15 you will be able to drink a very cool bia today (draft beer). This is nice! Here we tell you the rest of the typical dishes of Vietnamese gastronomy. Let’s go … bloat up to eat and have some delicious beers, it’s one of the best things to do in HUE An
- Take a boat ride (best at sunset)
The Thu Bon river is one of the great attractions of the city and yes, when the sun goes down, the river goes down too … It gets very popular:-p It won’t be a romantic boat ride alone, but it doesn’t matter: it’s a touristy, yes, without a doubt, however, it is one of the best things to do in HUE An. We have no evidence but no doubts.
The boat trip costs around 100,000 VND (€ 4), although you can also enjoy a walk (on top of it free) to the shore. Or, better yet, do both.
- Visit (at least) one old house
HUE An was an important commercial enclave in the past and you know what happens when a city attracts merchants… money! And when someone earns little money, one of the first things they do is… make a big case! Effectively. In the center of HUE An, you can visit several of these old houses. The most recommended are:
- The Phung Hung House, which mixes Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese architectural elements.
- Quan Thang House, traditional and old, remained practically intact since the death of its owner.
- The Tran Family House and Chapel, built in the 19th century, is one of the most beautiful examples of Chinese architecture in the city.
The entrance to these houses has a cost, but you can use one of your 5 HUE an Old Town Ticket vouchers.
- Take an excursion to My Son
About 40 km from HUE An are the ancient ruins of My Son , which was once one of the most important religious centers in the region. Maybe if you have already visited archaeological sites such as Bagan, Angkor, Sukhothai or Borobudur, these may seem a bit poor, but if you think about it with perspective and apply a little imagination, a visit to My Son will be wonderful! It helps a little to do it with a guide…
Today there are more than 50 temples (some in poor condition and others almost swallowed by nature), all built between the 4th and 14th centuries, almost nothing! We were quite surprised, really, and we really enjoyed this half day tour from HUE An. We went on a hired tour from a local agency that cost us about € 11 (it included minivan to the site, guide in English and return by boat, with food).
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