[Wanderlust Tips March 2019] Travel to Thua Thien – Hue in the evening, where to go and what to do to have the most enjoyable experiences? Here are eight suggestions from Wanderlust Tips.
FOLK SONGS ON THE PERFUME RIVER – DAYDREAMING TO THE MELODIES OF HUE
Listening to folk songs performed on The Perfume River is a unique offering of Hue, a tradition that has been preserved and developed over hundreds of years. Every visitor to Hue should sit on a dragon boat and listen to the sweet melodies of Hue folk songs whilst floating in the midst of The Perfume River. Those who love Hue and wish to see into its soul can find it here in this delicate art form.
TOP TIPS: Tickets are VND100,000 for Vietnamese and VND150,000 for foreigners. During the daytime, there are also boat tours of The Perfume River visiting famous sights along the river and listening to Hue folk songs. The price depends on the tour company and the number of guests.
THE IMPERIAL CITY BY NIGHT – SHIMMERING MYSTERIOUS BEAUTY
The Citadel at night is adorned with flickering lights, giving it a mysterious beauty that is completely different from in the daytime. In particular, the “the Timbre of the Palace” at Duyet Thi Duong theatre and The Changing of the Guard at the Meridian Gate offer stunning performances. Since the 14th December 2018, the times of the weekly firing of the cannons at the Hue Flag Monument in the Imperial City have been changed to 9pm on Friday and Saturday every week in summer and 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday in the winter.
TOP TIPS: Hue Citadel is officially open from 6.30pm to 10pm every night. Entrance fee: VND150,000 per adult and VND30,000 per child from 7 to 12 years old.
NGUYEN DINH CHIEU WALKING STREET – A HUB OF ENTERTAINMENT, SHOPPING AND DINING AT NIGHT
Located in Hue City Centre, along The Perfume River and next to the shining Trang Tien Bridge, Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street is the ideal destination for sightseeing, walking, shopping for cute souvenirs and enjoying the specialities of Hue. The walking street is divided into 11 zones with different kiosks for small stalls selling souvenirs and specialities of Hue. This is also a place where young people come to organize music concerts, acoustic performances, flash mob dancing, or street drawing exhibitions, which attracts both youngsters and tourists, creating a joyful and bustling spot in the evenings.
MUST SEE: The ironwood pedestrian bridge on the Perfume River stretches from Truong Tien Bridge to Phu Xuan Bridge and the XQ Co Do Gallery.
ENJOY LOCAL LOCAL SPECIALITIES – DIVE STRAIGHT INTO THE FLAVOURS OF HUE
For a long time, Hue cuisine has been famous all over the country, from the quintessential royal dishes to the rustic and idyllic street food, it never fails to leave a great impression and sense of nostalgia on visitors.
TOP TIPS: Evenings are an ideal time for tourists to explore this culinary paradise. Some suggested addresses include: Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking street and Le Loi street – home to lots of dishes such as bánh bèo chén (waterfern cakes), cơm hến (rice served with mussels), bún hến (mussel vermicelli) and Hue sweet soup; the area opposite the Hue University of Education (34 Le Loi) has rows of baked sweet potatoes, grilled squid and grilled fish; Dong Ba market gate (2 Tran Hung Dao) sells bún thịt nướng (rice noodles with grilled meat) and nem lụi (Hue lemongrass skewers); Nhat Le street and Nguyen Du street are places where you can find a hot and crispylocal speciality called bánh ép (pressed cake); if you are a fan of snails remember to visit Oc Minh Nghia (253 Phan Boi Chau).
TOUR THE CITY BY CYCLO – AN EXCITING CULTURAL EXPERIENCE IN THE ANCIENT CAPITAL
The cyclo is a popular vehicle that fascinates many visitors to Hue which can take you through the streets, the citadels, the quiet gardens and along the river, allowing you to get lost in the tranquillity. At night, the lights flicker through the leaves forming silver dancing spots of light all over the streets.
TOP TIPS: A tour by cyclo allows you more freedom to stop and take photos or even stop at a streetside teashop for a cup of tea while your driver waits. Some cyclo drivers in Hue seem like professional tour guides, they speak English and even French and they have a rich knowledge of the local history and culture. Some of them will even recite a poem for you. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to your cyclo driver to learn some fascinating facts and stories.
CAFÉS WITH A VIEW OF THE PERFUME RIVER – A QUIET MOMENT IN THE DREAMY BEAUTY OF THE ANCIENT CAPITAL
Hue is home to many charming cafés with beautiful views and great coffee. After dinner, you can visit a quiet café and watch the city after dark. On The Perfume River, folk songs performed on dragon boats echo through the air, immersing you in the true tranquillity and beauty of Hue.
TOP TIPS: There are many cafés in Hue with a stunning view of The Perfume River including King’s Panorama Bar on the 16th floor of the Imperial Hotel (8 Hung Vuong), Lumière Lounge inside Midtown Hotel (29 Doi Cung), Vi Da Xua Café (131 Nguyen Sinh Cung), Rodo Cafe (Le Duan street) and Co Huong Café (2 Tran Hung Dao).
PHAM NGU LAO STREET – AN EXCITING ATMOSPHERE IN A TRANQUIL CITY
Pham Ngu Lao Street is located on the south bank of the Perfume River. Nobody knows exactly when or precisely why this street became the gathering place of westerners in the city. It is a small street filled with ancient homes mixed with modern tube-shaped houses.
TOP TIPS: Along the street you can find many souvenir shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, hotels and tour operators. The street becomes most crowded after nightfall and along with the surrounding neighborhood including nearby streets like Chu Van An, Le Loi and Vo Thi Sau, is now the hub for foreigners.
MUST SEE: There’s a folk group that performs here at the home of writer Buu Y (No. 9 Pham Ngu Lao) every Saturday. Saturday, a place that regularly welcomes tourists to enjoy and learn about the art of Hue folk songs.
BARS – EXCITING MUSIC AND NIGHTLIFE
If you wish to find some cheap thrills in this quiet city, visiting a bar or pub at night is your best option. This is where you can let loose with friends and fill your nights with great music and drinks.
TOP TIPS: The most popular bars are: Pro Phương Nam Club (41 Ba Trieu), Asta – The Club (9 Hung Vuong), Victoria Night Club (7 Pham Ngu Lao), DMZ Bar (60 Le Loi), Brown Eyes Bar (56 Chu Van An), Tipsy Pub ‘n’ Bistro (16 Pham Ngu Lao), Why Not Bar & Restaurant (26 Pham Ngu Lao), Cococlub (53 Ham Nghi), Le’s Garden Bar (14 Pham Ngu Lao) and Hangout Coffee and Bar (48 Nguyen Tri Phuong).