Imperial City, Hue

4.2
#1 of 226 in Things to do in Hue
A listed World Heritage Site, Imperial City (aka the Purple Forbidden City) stands as a testimony to the power and wealth of the last imperial Vietnamese dynasty. Situated on a riverbank, the complex features the remains of an imperial palace, Buddhist temples and pagodas, tombs of Nguyen Kings, courtyards, and gardens. It is encircled by a moat and two rows of fortification walls. Over the years following the demise of Vietnamese monarchy, the site was significantly ruined by cyclones and termites. However, it suffered the severest damage during the Vietnam War--look for the holes in the stone walls made by bullets and grenades. The highlights include a flag tower and 10 lavishly ornamented gates. Using our world travel planner, Hue attractions like Imperial City can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Imperial City Reviews
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  • Interesting old city dynasty and some renovated areas with more being developed in unison with UNESCO. Interesting with a guide to.provide an overview of how the city and dynasty looked and functioned  more »
  • big and impressive are with a lot of history. so beautiful the golden dragon in the middle ws my light  more »
  • We have been today visiting her and the truth nor fu fa, has cost us entry 300 vnd nothing cheap indeed and well have walked a while and little more.
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  • I didn't enter the city because the entry-fee was a bit high - 150k if I remember correctly - but I walked around the perimeter and saw the magnificence of this place for free. An impressive brick-walled fortress that's stood the test of time. You can see some of the intricately-carved wooden temples with their jagged-edges and colourful mythical dragons, all from the relative serenity of the parkland on every side of the wall except the East. There are surprisingly few touts - all concentrated at the main entrance. If you walk around, you'll see a few decent cafes and bars which can serve as rewards for your exertion.
  • We spent more than two hours here. At first it might look like a bunch of building with fade away colors and mosaic out of broken pottery, but walking around for a while you discover that each side doors lead to different palace and each is unique. One have pools and bridges while other displays beautifully carved roof with gleaming mosaic. The place offer a lot of shade which is needed during warm and sunny days usual here. There are few kiosks or snack bars around, though the prices are double of those outside.
  • Constantly under restoration after enduring decades of war and tropical weather, this place is pretty amazing. Whilst some of the restorations appears slap-dash (saw an entire porcelain cup in one location instead of the typical mosaic seen around the area) the result is an insightful look into a site of cultural importance and historical interest. I would give the dragon boats, offering trips to the nearby pagodas, a miss unless you share them with a large group the get the price down. Many of the tours allow only 1.5 hours here. This may be satisfactory if you're just interested in a rushed look at the highlights. However, a leisurely day wandering is lovely. Take a packed lunch and enjoy the gardens on the temple complex or the residence. The first restaurant inside the enclosure, behind the palace, is scandalously expensive (a single bottle of water costs as much as a regular meal outside the walls). The are other stores fitted around offering cheaper water and icecreams.
  • Going over the area takes about 2 to 3 hours because it covers so much land. You easily go over both the Imperial City and the Forbidden City in one shot and see how they laid out the plans as the traditional Chinese entrances for males, females, and VIPs. Recently they have implemented no picture taking of the throne and if possible wear clothes covering the knees for ladies. Best time to visit would be in January or February when the weather is cooler. They have really nice bonsai trees too.
  • It's interesting to see how the king had lived in the old time. Very wide area so you can go for the whole morning. Water and hat is recommended. Due to its huge scale, there will be some points where there is no description so you should hire a guide to walk you around and provide you many interesting insight.
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