Thua Thien-Hue Province is located in Central Vietnam. It is next to Quang Tri Province to the north, Danang to the south, and Quang Nam Province to the south-west. This province leans up against the Truong Son mountain range and is washed by the East Sea, along its 120km seashore.
The weather is submitted to tropical monsoon climate divided into four distinct seasons: fresh spring, very hot summer, mild autumn and windy, cold winter. The dry season lasts from March to August. It is hot with temperate rarely reaches to 39.50C. The rainy season lasts from September to February. It is quite cold with average temperature is 19.70C, but sometime down to 8.80C. In this time, it rains a lost, sometime lasts all day. If tourist would to avoid rainy, they come to Danang City, 108km from south of Hue. In the mountain area, the weather is cool with the annual temperature is between 90C and 290C. The most convenient time to visit the area is from November to April.
Thua Thien-Hue offers very diversified and beautiful landscapes. Nature and human beings create a harmoniously beauty with Bach Ma (White Horse) National Park and other attractive beaches such as Thuan An, Lang Co and Canh Duong.
The province provides a well-balanced blend of royal heritage and folk culture. As a matter of fact, tourists discover dozens of handicraft villages, with annual festivals that are painstakingly organized.
Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early 20th century.
Besides, tourist is able to enjoy many traditional famous dishes and find out about sophisticated handicraft here.
Hue Citadel has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since December 1993, Hue Royal Musical (Nha nhac) has been declared as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage since November 2003.
Transportation by train, road, air and water routes is very convenient.
Road: Thua Thien-Hue Province is 654km from Hanoi, 1,051km from Ho Chi Minh City, 85km from Danang. The province has the National Highway 14 that links Hue with Central Highlands. It is also on the National Highway 1A that connects Hanoi and Ca Mau.
Train: The Thong Nhat Express trains from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh stop at Hue Railway station. The local trains come to some other provinces.
Air: Phu Bai Airport serves flights: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City and Hue - Hanoi.
Location: Bach Ma National Park is approximately 50km south of Hue City.
Characteristics: It has a temperate climate much like that of Da Lat, Sapa and Tam Dao. However, since it is located so close to the sea, the temperature in winter never goes below 4C (39.2F) and the highest temperature in summer never exceeds 26C (79F).
Given these advantages, the French transformed Bach Ma into a summer resort in the early 1930s. The area comprises 139 villas and auxiliary buildings, such as the post office, bank, tennis court, etc. Unfortunately, the war and lack of maintenance have significantly affected these constructions. In 1986, after 10 years of reunification, the State established a network of 87 natural reserves including Bach Ma. On 15 July 1991, the Bach Ma National Park was officially founded.
Bach Ma has breath-taking natural landscapes. The highest peak is Hai Vong Dai (Sea Observation Post), 1,450m high, where people can have a panoramic view of the immense sea and surrounding scenery. Do Quyen Waterfall is astounding and huge in the wooded mountain. It is more than 300m high and 20-30m wide. It is amazing to watch the silver water running into the bright red of water-rail flowers. Bac Chi Waterfall, about 20m high, roars all year round. Five lakes - a system of large lakes - has clean and cool water, created by the block of black granite stretching along Kim Qui Spring. This is a good place for camping, bathing, and outdoor activities.
So, tourists usually add the park to their itinerary. With highly-valued natural resources, Bach Ma does not only gratify thousands of visitors but also attract scientists. The best time to visit Bach Ma is from February to September. Admission is 10,000VND. It is open from 7AM to 5PM.
Location: 1,100km from Ho Chi Minh City, , 105km north of Danang
Access: one hour and a half by plane or 20 hours and 35 minutes by train from Ho Chi Minh City, 3 hours by car from Da Nang
Main attractions: Vietnam’s former royal capital and recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Highlights include old citadels, magnificent royal tombs, solemn ancient pagodas and royal families’ old houses.
Of the ancient capitals in Vietnam, Hue is the only one, the unique city that still remains the intact appearance of a Middle Age complex of the monarchic construction consisting of walls, palaces, and royal tombs. These precious vestiges in Hue have not only turn the city itself into a living museum highly appreciated by the whole country, but also have earned the city the honorable recognition as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1993.
Situated in the middle of hills on the southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor’s points of view, personality and tastes. This is majestic Gia Long Tomb, imposing Minh Mang Tomb, poetic Tu Duc Tomb and magnificent Khai Dinh Tomb. All tombs were constructed during the reign of the respective kings for which they were named. Each tomb was laid out with statues and monuments in perfect harmony with one another to form a poetically natural setting. The following elements were incorporated in all the tombs: walls, triple gate (Tam Quan Gate), Salutation Court, Stele House, temples, lakes and ponds, pavilions, gardens, and finally the tomb.
Based on the ancient practice of geomancy, the Citadel was designed and planned around the natural elements in the area north of the Perfume river. The complex faces southeast, taking Mount Ngu Binh (Royal Screen Mount) as a natural screen. Two islets in the Perfume river, Ta Thanh Long (Left Green Dragon) and Huu Bach Ho (Right White Tiger) play the role of sentinels for the Citadel.
Hue also bears its uniqueness in the diversification and perpetuation of spiritual and cultural values throughout centuries. Hue is a representative of romance, gentle beauty, and delicate art of Vietnam. It is considered as the city of religion, an important centre of Buddhism, where 10 pagodas have been standing for over 300 years as well as a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early of the century still exist. Thien Mu Pagoda, or Celestial Lady Pagoda, is one of the most beautiful and ancient architectural structures of worship in Hue. The most striking feature of the pagoda is its Phuoc Duyen Tower, a 7-storey masterpiece dedicated to a Buddha who appeared in human form. To the left of the tower stands a pavilion sheltering an enormous bell which weighs 3,285kg and is of 1.4m circumference.
The city is where the royal music is originated, where traditional dishes and sophisticated handicraft were born and have been preserved until today. Hue and its famous river, the Perfume River, have become the inspiration of many works of literature, poetry, art, movies… Moreover, all over the world only in Hue that one can find the uniquely gentle, lovely image of school girls riding bicycles or walking under the trees in their uniform – the Vietnamese national dress “Ao Dai”, with long black silky hair, in the conical straw hat with a poem written inside that can only be read when held up to the light.
The royal music or the so-called “Nha nhac” (literally means “tender music”) has been raising its prominence on the world's stages after being recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Its root can be traced back to the courts of royalty in 13th century and was used to entertain the royal families and mandarins in annual ceremonies and special events such as coronations, funerals, and official receptions. Thanks to “Nha nhac” Vietnamese philosophy and cosmogony could be preserved and transmitted throughout generations until nowadays.
Hue Royal ballet is a unique artistic heritage developed from Vietnamese Dynasties, consisting of over fifteen great dancing plays, performed under the circumstances of offerings, congratulation, protocol, royal party and classical drama based on narrative. A play often requires a lot of dancers to perform, with special techniques and skills of Vietnam royal dancing and singing, which has been developed and promoted over generations.
These two forms of art are specially favored by foreign tourists when paying visits to the country. Enjoy a royal dinner in a royal boat on the Perfume River while watching “Nha nhac” performances has become an indispensable part of any tour to Hue.
For leisure moments of indulging yourself in the embrace of nature, Lang Co Beach & Tourist Area is idyllic with white-sand dunes, pleasure-houses designed in Hue traditional styles combining the architecture of mausoleums, palaces, temples, pagodas. Lang Co pristine beach provides spaces for not only seaside activities but also exploring springs, caves, waterfalls, lakes and stone grounds of natural and virgin beauty.
Location: The school was built on the site of a former squadron headquarter - a royal navy headquarters (1806 or the 5th year of Gia Long's Reign).
Characteristics: Hue National School was founded in order to train those who would serve the feudal colonial government, so in the study curricula French was the main subject. The conditions of the students accepted by Hue National School:
In 1915, when the decree annulling Emperor ancient exam in the province and the ancient exam of the capital in the North was issued, Hue National School was rebuilt. The rows of thatch roofed apartments were torn down and replaced by two rows of buildings, the walls made of brick, the roof covered with tiles. It was solid, and comfortable according to the western European architecture. Most of the architectures are still extant.
In 1932, the school opened many specialized classes and its name was changed into Khai Dinh Lycee. During the resistance against French Colonialists on December 19, 1946, the school was moved into two places and followed the resistance:
Location: Lang Co Beach is about 10km long in Lang Co Town, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien - Hue Province, located next to the National Highway 1A, near Hai Van Pass.
Characteristics: Lang Co has become officially the 30th member of the "World's Most Beautiful Bays" club (Worldbays Club) since June 2009.
With attractive natural landscape, lies on the most beautiful curve of the country, Lang Co has almost everything that the nature can offer: green mountains and tropical forests, smooth white sand, full of sunshine and cool, blue and clear sea as crystal. It is the 3rd bay of Viet Nam, after Ha Long and Nha Trang named in the list of 30 most beautiful bays in the world.
So stunning, in the Nguyen Dynasty, the Royal Step-over Palace named Tinh Viem (abating the hot weather) had been built here for the king's family members. The French also left their traces here, related to the name of this land. Lang Co, it is probably derived from "Lang Co" (literally means Stork Village) or L 'An Cu (An Cu - Settle down) - its original names when the French pronounced as Lang Co. Nowadays, many modern resorts has been going to build here. It seems like nobody can resist a nature beauty like Lang Co town. This small and peaceful town will give you the most relaxing time and many games at the beach. In addition, you will have good time to enjoy the seafood with various kinds of shrimps, lobster, sea shrimp, crab, butter-fish, mackerel fish, oysters... and not far from the beach are some attractions such as Chan May scenery, Lang Co fishing Village.
Located on the "Central Heritage Road", Lang Co is very close to other famous attractions such as the Imperial City of Hue, Hoi An Ancient Town, Son Tra Peninsula where the famous Son Tra Natural Reserve and beautiful beaches located, and so many more. The beauty of Lang Co Bay, Hai Van Pass, Bach Ma National Park and a fishing village in this area always attract many tourists by a wonderful harmonious combination between human and nature.
Lang Co is 60km from the centre of Hue City but about 40km from Phu Bai International Airport. If visitors drive to Lang Co from Da Nang City through Hai Van Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia, the distance will be about 25km. However, the longer way, about 40km, is still the choice of many adventure lovers to drive on the pass to contemplate the beauty and majestic of Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Bay from above.
Location: Thien Mu Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe Hill, on the left bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Long Village, 5km from center of Hue City.
Characteristic: It was built in 1601, and then Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan had it renovated in 1665. In 1710, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu had a great bell cast (2.5m high; 3,285kg) and in 1715, he had a stele (2.58m high) erected on the back of a marble tortoise.
Several kings of the Nguyen Dynasty such as Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri and Thanh Thai, all had the pagoda restored. Phuoc Duyen Tower (at first called Tu Nhan Tower) was erected in 1884 by King Thieu Tri. This octagonal tower has seven storeys (21m high). Dai Hung shrine, the main-hall, presents a magnificent architecture.
As well as bronze cast statues, it shelters some precious antiques: the bronze gong cast in 1677, the wooden gilded board with Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu's inscriptions (1714). On both sides of the pagoda are a room for the bonzes and a guest-room for visitors.
The pagoda is surrounded by flowers and ornamental plants. At the far end of the garden stretches a calm and romantic pine-tree forest. The pagoda was heavily damaged in 1943. Bonze Thich Don Hau hence organized a great renovation of the pagoda that lasted for more than 30 years.
Nowadays the pagoda is very well-maintained and very welcoming to all visitors.
Location: Deriving from Truong Son Mountain, the two springs Ta Trach (Left Tributary) and Huu Trach (Right Tributary) meet at the junction of Bang Lang fork and create the Perfume River.
Characteristics: Looking like a silver sword upright to the sky, Perfume River is really an invaluable godsend to Hue City.
From Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary, the Perfume River is 30km long (The river level is not much above that of the sea) so that the river runs very slowly. The colour of the Perfume River is darker when it runs along the foot of Ngoc Tran Mount - the Jade Cup Temple (Dien Hon Chen) - where there is a very deep abyss.
The Perfume River is beautiful sight from its source, and runs among mountains, forest trees, plants, etc, bringing with it fragrances of tropical flora. The river runs slowly through the verdant and shady villages of Kim Long, Nguyet Bieu, Vy Da, Dong Ba, Gia Hoi, Dinh market, Nam Pho, Bao Vinh, mingling with the odors of flowers of Hue... The river with the shimmer blue limpid colour is like a pearl in the sun. Boats are rowed up and down with remote, meditative and deep folk melodies at deep night. It is an eternal pleasure for many generations of tourists who go boating to behold the poetic landscape, to listen to the folk melodies of Hue in tranquil nights.
The views on both sides of the river with the citadel, town, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples, etc. and their reflections in the waters make the already loveable river even more poetic and musical. Many people think that Hue city has peaceful, gentle and tranquil landscapes mostly thanks to the Perfume River. This river brings to the city a meditative poetic characteristics and the harmonious limpidity exhaling from a land of age-old culture.
Together with the Perfume River, 105m Ngu Binh Mount is the second invaluable gift endowed by Nature to Hue. These two mingle with each other creating the Romantic Mountain and river beauty of Hue. For a long time, this beautiful mount and the blue limpid Perfume River have become the symbol of Hue city. Therefore, people often call Hue "The land of the Perfume River (Huong River) and Ngu Binh Mount" or "Huong-Ngu Land".