Deep in the heart of Vietnam lies Hue, a city that’s a bit out of the way for most travelers (which may actually be a good thing) but is a treasure trove of cultural attractions. Hue was the imperial capital of Vietnam in the 1800’s, during a time when the country practiced a dynastic form of government with emperors at the helm. Imperial life then centered on the royal court, and elaborate buildings were built in and around the city’s citadel to host all the pomp and pageantry. With that undeniable Chinese influence, the Imperial city at Hue consisted of hundreds of buildings which served as government offices, residences for the emperor and his concubines and temples. Most of the Imperial City was destroyed however, during the Vietnam War, and today, barely a dozen buildings remain.
palace of supreme harmony, hue
It is perhaps the extent of the ruins which lead many to skip Hue while in the country. Truly, it would take a lot of imagination for one to recreate what court life would have looked like during the peak of Imperial Vietnam. Nevertheless, the imperial monuments in Hue were declared as a single UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. I decided to check this out during my third visit to Vietnam.