We didn’t stay in Hue Vietnam for more than two days, despite the fact that the city has numerous beautiful tombs to see and things to do.
Hue abandoned amusement park
Actually, the place I’m more interested to see in Hue Vietnam is an abandoned amusement park. The park is closed but has a security guard at the entrance. It turns out he saw here a business opportunity to put some money in his pocket and charge tourists for access to the site and show us the direction to follow. Entrance to the park is supposed to be forbidden, but the park is not empty and has in fact turned into a major attraction of Hue.
Hue abandoned amusement park is far from the city center and there are no buses going there. Why would there be buses if the park is closed? Haha
So, the only way we found to get to the amusement park was by Grab car. There are plenty Grab cars in the city center, but if you step out this further you will not have this service any longer. Our Grab driver told us that. He asks us if we want him to wait for us otherwise we will not have any car near the amusement park to call. We thought we could walk to the next destination but it turned out to be a bad idea as it was excruciatingly hot and this place sits in the middle of nowhere.
The admission fee is cheap, not even a euro, but the park turned out not to be as interesting as I was expecting. The main attraction is a dragon several meters high, it’s imposing, but otherwise, the place has nothing much to see but a few abandoned slides and a field that looks like an audience venue. We didn’t spend much time here. I was expecting it to be as interesting as the abandoned amusement park I have seen in Yangon, but it wasn’t. The area is big and that’s what takes most of your time… Other than this we just took some pictures and admired the quietness of the place. Except for the dragon. The Dragon has many people inside, many Vietnamese youngsters. Still, it is a cool sight and a great sculpture.
We didn’t stay more than 1 hour in Hue abandoned amusement park. We went back to the entrance to realize we don’t wanna walk and like our previous Grab driver told, we are not able to call a car. Fortunately, when we were thinking about what to do, there was a group of tourists coming. Unlike us, they asked their driver to wait for them. We took this opportunity and ask them if we can use their driver while they are exploring the park and once they are finished their driver will be back again. We got lucky with this one. Our next destination was the Mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc where we stayed almost all afternoon.
Tomb of Tu Duc
We had lunch nearby as there are a few places where you can eat. Hue Vietnam is a city for visiting temples and tombs. There are actually 7 royal tombs scattered around the city, all surrounded by large complexes with various structures around it including temples.
We visited only this one, the tomb of Tu Duc. It took us almost all afternoon to visit not only because the complex has so much to see, but also because it was so hot that sleepiness invaded our bodies. Walking 5 minutes and stopping another 5 was inevitable. Often we would also stop near guides to hear the explanations they gave to their groups.
The complex is really big with so much to see! The buildings and the tomb are very beautiful. It is worth a visit! We realized that we will not visit other major Hue tombs so we walked around the area to find a tomb marked on the map as an unknown tomb.
Hue Vietnam unknown tomb
It was hidden among the trees and forests. I was actually not expecting it to be that big. I was expecting to see a smaller tomb as many we came across before reaching this one. There are many small tombs in the area in the middle of the forest. They are quite thrilling to find as they lay unexpectedly in the middle of the bushes. Walking until here was a cool activity. We walked in the middle of the villagers that were singing Karaoke and had a little feeling of what it’s like to live there on those dusty roads.
I’m sure not many tourists come here. Not only for the surprised looks of the locals but also because it is located in the middle of nowhere. This tomb has a mysterious feeling. It stands wonderfully in the middle of many plumeria trees. It was exciting to discover it.
Hue imperial city
Besides this, we have also visited Hue Imperial City.
This is a huge complex that will take you long hours to visit. It has wonderful buildings and great architecture to admire. I’m sure it also has many histories behind, so I would actually advise a guide to explain to you what you see. In places like this, a guide makes sense otherwise you learn nothing about such a rich place full of stories and greatness to be told. I remember listening to a guide telling some story about the king and how he turned a king at such a young age. I definitely regret not hiring a guide at the Imperial city. Hue Vietnam is a city full of history as it was once the most important city in the country, and this place will tell you a lot about Vietnam and its history. Don’t do the same, hire a guide.
This place is super crowded. Not with foreign tourists but mainly with Vietnamese. Vietnamese are obsessed with white skin. For them, the whiter is your skin, the more beautiful you are. My friend has a really light skin tone and she was grabbing all these Vietnamese’s attention. They inclusively came to ask her where she is from, and all of a sudden there was a big group of Vietnamese pointing at her and saying repeatedly: Bo Dao Nha (Portugal in Vietnamese). They were pointing at her like: look she is from Portugal. Portuguese people might be very beautiful haha. It was a funny moment.
Hue Night Market
During the weekend, in or near the backpacker’s street, the nightlife is evident. Vietnamese sing in the middle of the street as a circle forms around them to enjoy their art. Different smells mingle in the air as several stalls sell street food. There is no shortage of souvenir shops. It is a super crowded and fun street. I recommend a visit.
In the midst of this racket, we are approached by Vietnamese young people eager to practice their English. They are shy but try to talk anyway. We spent several minutes answering the most basic questions to end with a photo shoot. Apparently, it is a group of students and their mentor who go to this street during the weekend looking for foreigners. All they want is to practice their English pronunciation. It was a cute moment and we were glad to help. This is somewhat common throughout Vietnam.
And so two nights were spent in Hue Vietnam, a cozy and even peaceful city, but I didn’t find it so interesting, despite being a city with a lot, a lot of history. I believe it is a city to visit with guides, because, as far as I know, this city keeps very interesting stories. It is a city to know more about Vietnam and understand its past.