Famed for its magnificent riverside Citadel, delectable cuisine and relaxing ambience, Hue (pronounced “hway”) is history meeting modern delights. The city lies on the banks of the atmospheric Perfume River in Central Vietnam, a few kilometres inland from the South China Sea, and will provide a bit of a welcome respite for the weary tourist.

Hue shot to prominence in 1802 when it became the seat of power for the Nguyen Dynasty, and it remained the nation’s capital until 1945 when a revolution led by Ho Chi Minh dethroned Emperor Bao Dai. The Imperial City within the Citadel was badly damaged during the American War but is still a marvel to behold – a sprawling walled complex of pavilions and temples, one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam.

The Perfume River snaking through a city centre filled with elegant mansions and ancient pagodas, Hue is pleasant to stroll around even on its notoriously drizzly days. And with several good beaches a mere bike trip away too, the city of Hue certainly merits a few days of unhurried exploration.

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