The capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 during the reign of the Nguyen dynasty emperors, Hue is a city with a wealth of historical sites. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1993, the Citadel is only one of many well-preserved historical sites in the city and its environs. The city is also renowned as the seat of Vietnamese Buddhism. This fact is illustrated by a cruise on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagaoda, or pagoda of the Heavenly Lady, a Buddhist shrine dating from the mid-seventeenth century. Located on the banks of this famous river, it is easily recognizable by its octagonal tower. In addition to the Citadel, the Nguyen Dynasty emperors left behind numerous mausoleums and edifices in the surrounding countryside. Prominent among these is the tomb of Minh Mang, which represents the perfect harmony between nature and architecture, and the intricately decorated tomb of Khai Dinh with its beautiful altar and impressive bust of the emperor. Besides these historical sites visitors enjoy a stroll through through Dong Ba market which offers an array of goods and produce, ranging from fresh vegetables to conical hats. No trip to Hue would be complete without a feast at a local reastaurant in order sample some of Hue’s famously refined and special “Royal” cuisine.

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