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After trying to blend in with locals in Hanoi and travelling Halong Bay independently, Brendan and I were hit square in the face by mass tourism upon arriving in Hue. In certain parts, there were more tourists than locals on the streets and we couldn’t have lunch or dinner, without being constantly bothered by touts.

Hue was once the capital of a kingdom, more exactly the seat of the Nguyen Lords, which dominated much of southern Vietnam back around the 17th to 19th century, and even the national capital till Hanoi took over in 1945. Accordingly, there’s lots to see in and around Hue. The citadel however, was mostly under construction and while it was still beautiful to explore the big complex, it was a bit of a bummer that a big part of it was being remodeled and hidden under scaffolding.

We decided to rent scooters, which after all only cost 3$ a day, and set out to explore the Tu Duc and Minh Mang tombs outside of town. Obviously, there were quite a few tour busses doing the exact same thing, but being on scooters allowed us to avoid the crowds for the most part and at the same time we were able to discover some amazing backroads and little villages. While the Citadel was crowded, there were only a couple people strolling through the Tu Duc Tomb and Minh Mang, which is a bit more out of the way, was completely deserted.

Both tombs are definitely worth a visit and I daresay even more impressive than the citadel itself. But enough said, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:

Tu Duc Tomb:

bridge in the tomb

Tu Duc Tomb

Tu Duc Tomb

Tu Duc Tomb

Tu Duc Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb:

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb

The Citadel:

Room in the Citadel

arch in the citadel

a group of tourists

building in the citadel

citadel

About The Author

Tiffany is a Swiss travel writer, digital nomad, and photographer, who, after a fateful journey through Africa, has decided to get her passport renewed, sell all her junk, and live out of a suitcase in various corners of the world, as well as share the experiences with other travel enthusiasts. This blog is intended to inspire you to pack your bags, leave everything behind for a while, and make you go discover the world. Check her out on .

4 Responses

  1. Charlie

    Great photos, it’s nice to see some of the places I didn’t get to in Hue. In fact, when we were there, there was nearly no other tourists! It was the first place in Vietnam where there weren’t Western backpackers everywhere. I think that a lot of people had just skipped it and gone straight onto Hoi An instead (and I think that there aren’t quite so many tourists in November possibly). Thought Hue was really beautiful actually, and enjoyed cycling around.

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Oh nice, we must have gotten pretty unlucky then, it was almost as bad as Hoi An. Hue is a great place though and there’s so many things to do and the crowds spread out a bit.

      Reply

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