Hue was the Imperial City of the Nguyen Emperors, rising to glory during their reign from 1802 to 1945. Drive through the Hai Van tunnels from Da Nang, to arrive in Hue. Your visit will be to the Imperial Citadel. Passing through the impressive Mon gate, you will reach the main pavilion—the Palace of Supreme Harmony. It was here that important ceremonies took place. Recent reconstruction has seen this building restored to its former splendor with regal red and gold columns and ornate furnishings. Much of the ground beyond the Palace suffered damage in the Tet Offensive of 1968, and beyond the walls, entrepreneurial farmers work the fertile land. You will see the immense Dynastic Urns, each depicting a different Vietnamese region, and the Pavilion of Benevolence. A buffet Imperial Feast lunch is served at a local hotel. Enjoy your meal featuring Asian specialties including those of Hue, where Vietnamese cuisine is more extensive than anywhere else in the country. After lunch, drive through pine forests and orchards to visit one of the numerous imperial tombs which dot the surrounding countryside. Built by the Nguyen Dynasty Emperors, each tomb was meant as a place of recreation before being utilized as a final resting place. Tu Duc Tomb resembles a miniature royal palace with an attractive pavilion overlooking a tranquil lake, ornate buildings, fragrant gardens and hunting grounds.
Travel time to Hue is approximately 2½ hours each way.