Along the Perfume River lie the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty

Hue is known for the citadel, or the old city, which was mostly destroyed in the war. There are a number of pagodas and ancient tombs that are scattered around the city and worth checking out if you have a motorbike and a few days to spend. As we aren't ones for tours, we selected a few we could check out on motorbike.


One of the most popular on the list, but also was one of our favorites. It seemed to be the most grand out of all the tombs we visited and the most well kept.  Somehow our map directed us not to the main entrance of the tomb but to some local man's shop who clearly had set up his business in the perfect proximity to the tomb. Buy something from his shop and you can park here. Not really feeling like we wanted to relocate, we caved and parked our bikes and headed up a nice little back road to the tomb. Each tomb is about 100,000VND to enter which seems steep but in our opinion is worth it. The earlier in the day you go the better as there will be less tour groups, but overall this one is not overly crowded.


We visited Tu Duc Tomb on our way to the Von Conh Hill which overlooks the Perfume River and gives you a 180 degree view of Hue. Situated around a lake, the Tu Duc Tomb is a lot less grand than Minh Mang. Maybe we are feeling a bit templed out, with all the Asian temples, pagodas and tombs we have been visiting, but for us it wasn't worth the entrance fee. The hill however was well worth the drive and we spent another hour or so soaking up the sun, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.


One great spot to take a rest and catch a glimpse of a good view or sunset is Vong Canh Hill. Here the Perfume river, wide and swift, floats tour boats up and down all day long. Across the banks, locals hang outside in shade and tend their riverfront gardens.


Pagodas are generally free to visit in Vietnam, so we also checked out Thien Mu Pagoda on our way to Minh Mang. Although beautiful, it was jam packed with people and would have been much better if visited early in the morning.

There are many tours and boat tours that can take you around to the tombs, but they will likely take all day (especially the boat tours) and cost significantly more than if you were to rent a motorbike and take yourself around. We always prefer to do the latter as it gives you the flexibility to come and go as you please or stop off to take the odd photo.

We were unable to visit all the tombs due to lack of time but use our map to see the locations of each tomb, the hill and the pagoda.