One of the most ancient cities of Vietnam, Hue was the imperial capital throughout the 143-year reign of the Nguyen Dynasty. Famed for the piety of its monasteries and the splendour of its royal palaces and mausoleums. Hue endured a great deal of damage during the Indochina wars, but extensive restoration work has revived much of its cultural legacy, including the famous moated Dai Noi citadel on the banks of the brilliantly named Perfume River. At the heart of the citadel lies the ‘Forbidden Purple City’ where the Emperor, his Queen and five ranks of concubines, servants and eunuchs resided amid fabulous pomp.

No less architecturally impressive are the Nguyen’s ornate tombs, dotted over pretty farmland to the south of the town, best reached by bicycle or river cruise

Hue is best visited in the spring between February and April when temperatures are mild and pleasant and there is barely any rain. However, if you can bear warmer weather, aim for the biannual Hue Festival between April and June, an eclectic celebration of Vietnam’s history, featuring street performances, live re-enactments of royal events, boat races and plenty of music and food!

Our favourite tours with Hue

Vietnam in Style | 10 days from £2295 pp

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