The former capital of Vietnam during the reign of Nguyen dynasty (1802 – 1945), Hue is full of historical and cultural charms.  Renowned for its architectural distinction, diversified culinary delights and deep cultural significance, it is not surprising that this captivating city has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993, the first of the 5 World Heritage Sites in Vietnam.  In addition to this highly esteemed title, the special and soothing music of Hue was recently given UNESCO’s recognition as a World Intangible Heritage.  


A definite “must” for every traveller into Hue is the Imperial Citadel situated on the northern bank of the famous Perfume River.  This walled fort surrounded by a 10km moat, is by far the most prominent historical site in Hue housing the former residence of the royal family.  A visit to the Imperial Citadel reveals the intricacies and complex system of feudalism that is typical of the Nguyen dynastic rule.  The 37-metres high Flag Tower, just opposite the Imperial Citadel, carries the accolade of being Vietnam’s highest flagpole.    


Besides the Imperial Citadel, the tombs of former Nguyen emperors nearby gives a glimpse of the each emperor's idiosyncrasy while they ruled.  Nguyen emperors spent much time and thoughts planning and building their "eternal homes" during their living and reigning days.  The tomb of emperor Minh Mang, the 2nd emperor to rule during the Nguyen dynasty, shows his penchant for orderliness, whereas the tomb of emperor Khai Dinh, the 2nd last to rule in the dynasty, reveals the extensive French influence in his upbringing and tastes.  


Your visit to Hue is not complete unless you tune in to traditional Hue music while enjoying gastronomical delights such as minced prawn dumplings, or Hue’s unique pancake of prawns, meat and bean sprouts all wrapped up in rice paper etc.  Hue food doesn’t just stop at tingling your tastebuds leaving you wanting for more, it also tantalises your visual keeping you fully entertained while you feast.   These foods were formerly found only in the Imperial Citadel having been created and prepared solely for royal enjoyment. 


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