This ‘city within a city’ with its tombs, pagodas and lakes covered in lotus flowers was largely destroyed during the Vietnam War, but one can still see evidence of its former magnificence. Within easy reach of the city are the tombs of several of Vietnam’s emperors. Most interesting, perhaps, are the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Tomb of Tu Duc. The city also houses fine examples of Buddhist pagodas and other temples, such as the Thien Mu Pagoda.
Near Hue is Da Nang, the Marble Mountains and the Cham Museum, which houses magnificent examples of the art of the Indianised Cham civilization. Approximately 20km (12 miles) from Da Nang is Hoi An. This is a delightful small riverine town replete with temple and pagodas.
A day’s drive from Hoi An, through some of Vietnam’s most breathtaking scenery, is Nha Trang. This is a pleasant resort with a good beach. From here it is easy to reach the town of Da Lat in the Central Highlands, evocative of a typical French town, which is popular among domestic tourists for its cool climate and alpine scenery.