Visit Hue in Vietnam    
Apr 15 2014

The historic capital of Vietnam, Hue, sits astride a truly majestic and beautiful river, the Song Huong (Perfume River). The north-bank is host to its share of hotels and restaurants, but the area is dominated by the old fortified city known as the Citadel, spread across more than 5 square kilometres of ground, crowding out development on that side of the river. As a result, guesthouses, hotels and restaurants have sprung up on the south bank, starting with the river road, Le Loi Street, and stretching further south. The south bank of the river has been developed as park cum promenade, with an eclectic variety of public sculptures on display. Hue is the capital of Thua Thien Province, with a population of about 340,000. Its location in central Vietnam, just south of the DMZ, made it a scene of heavy fighting during the American War. It's 15km west of the South China Sea and about 540km south of Hanoi and 644km north of Saigon. While the city is also known for the manufacture of textiles and cement, tourism has become its bread and butter. Hue's complex history has earned it a reputation as a political, cultural and religious centre, but nowadays, visitors to contemporary Hue will find a city that only dimly reflects on its past, and only does so as a begrudging nod to its western visitors. Like Halong Bay to the north, the complex of tombs, pagodas and palaces throughout Hue and its surrounds has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.