Hue Festival Travel TipsUnder Blog, Vietnam Travel Tips
With the coming back of Hue Festival to mark the national tourism year 2012, Hue is entering the most amazing time, when tourists from all over the world are flooding into it. How can you spend the most of your time when coming to this ancient city in this occasion? Let’s consult some of useful tips provided by experienced travelers.
Getting in and out
From Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, passengers can approach Hue by bus, air or train. The Re-union Express trains with the route Hanoi – HCMC stop at Hue’s Train Station, which is located in the heart of the city, while coach travelers may depart from the two indicated cities at anytime in a day at relatively low cost; however, travelling by coach may cost you much more time and cause inconveniences. For ones interested in getting Hue by airplane, your only option is Vietnam Airlines since it is the only carrier in Vietnam operating routes to this city.
When to go?
April is definitely the best time to visit Hue. This is understandable because when the local authority decided to organize Hue Festival in this month, they should have taken into account the weather factor seriously. Besides, March and August are two good alternatives.
If Hanoi gastronomy allures all gourmets to this city by numerous exotic street-foods, Hue can do nothing than what Hanoi can, and even better thanks to its elaborate decoration and degustation banquets of Hue Royal Gastronomy. In this day and age, Hue city is much commercialized with Western style restaurants that make it become more difficult to find out an authentic Hue’s restaurant serving Royal Meals and quintessence of its street-foods.
Walking along Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, ones may recognize several restaurants serving Hue’s specialties that you should never forget to try such as banh beo, banh loc, banh it or banh nam. The street is easy to find, which is situated on the island to Northwest of the citadel.
At night, tourists are recommended to pay a visit at a noodle stall to have a piece of Hue’s night cuisine that you wouldn’t be able to see in any other places in this world.
Another quintessence of Hue’s cuisine is vegetarian foods, which may be best enjoyed at stalls in Dong Ba Market (Tran Hung Dao Street) on the 1st and 15th of a lunar month.
AT Ca Thi 24, 64 Le Loi Street, tourists may enjoy best quality coffee and herbal tea in this city while refreshing yourselves in a relaxing green garden inside a colonial villa. Ca Thi 24 also serves caffeine, alcohol and fast food.
If you are a fan of billiard, DMZ Bar and Café at 44 Le Loi Street, with pool tables should be ideal to keep your beer order going on forever.
For ones enjoying the loud of rock and cheap cocktails and alcohol, Bar Why Not at 21 Vo Thi Sau is what you are seeking for.
Hue is the homeland of finest Nón Lá (conial hat) in Vietnam with its special Nón Lá decorated with a short poem making its brand-name Nón Bài Thơ. Hue is also a venue of high quality rice paper, silk paintings and calligraphy; however, their prices are always four to five time more expensive than real values.
From Trang Tien Bridge, go straight ahead to the North you may get to Dong Ba Market – the largest market of the city where you can find anything from food to household applications and souvenirs.
For such tourism concentrated city like Hue, there is not lack of methods of transportation to go around that you can easily catch a taxi, xe ôm, cyclo or you may hire yourselves a motorbike or bicycle at relatively low cost.
Although most of the taxi firms in Hue are honest, some individual taxi drivers may cheat you by fixing the meter showing up to 10 times the distance actually travelled. Tip for you is paying attention on the meter and estimate the distance. If the meter runs too fast, just refuse to pay and insist on calling police so that the drivers will back down. The average price of Hue taxi starts from VND 15,000 (70 cents) for the first 2km and then continues at VND 11,500 per one further kilometer.
Traveling by cyclo is something you don’t want to miss, especially when the intention of your trip is to explore the beauty of Hue City. Since there is no meter or fixed fee for this kind of transportation, you may have to make full use of your negotiation skills for a reasonable price before jumping on those cyclos by clearly stating your route to the drivers. Also, don’t forget to clearly state whether it is USD or VND if you say, for example “100”. This is necessary because some drivers tend to make you surprise with an exorbitant amount of fee charged when you stop at the final destination. However, those cheaters are only minor that most of the cyclo drivers in Hue are naive and very helpful.
Besides waving a xe ôm and enjoy your trip in a passive way, tourists may easily find yourselves a motorbike or bicycle at a local travel agent or just by asking the receptionists of the hotel for help. Those vehicles are for hire at surprisingly cheap prices, at US$5 for a motorbike per day and $1 for a bicycle per day.