Set on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945 under the Nguyen Emperors, and later French colonial rule. Since the early nineteenth century it has been regarded as Vietnam’s centre of learning which, with its tradition of Buddhism, gives the city a sophisticated air. Hue witnessed some of the most aggressive action of the American War, including the 1968 Tet offensive, but in spite of this many monuments to its Imperial past remain, and UNESCO declared the city a World Heritage Site in 1993.
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Top things to do in Hué
Visit the Royal Mausoleums
The final resting places of the Nguyen emperors are dotted around the hills surrounding the south bank of the Perfume River. They were also designed for recreation; somewhere the emperor could fish, hunt and enjoy the company of his concubines in his twilight years. Each tomb is of individual construction but usually features a pavilion, detailing the lifetime accomplishments of the dead emperor; a temple for worship to the emperor; a sepulchre, where the emperor's remains are enclosed; a decorative courtyard and a lotus pond. The Tomb of Tu Duc and of Hai Dinh are two of the best examples and a good place to learn more about this fascinating era of Vietnam's history.
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