Discover Hue, the old imperial capital and cultural treasure chest of Vietnam. Founded on the bank of the Perfume River in the 17th century by the Nguyen Dynasty, it features hundreds of temples, pagodas, palaces and tombs. You’ll drive to the remains of the Citadel, the magnificent court of the Nguyen emperors, completed in 1832, it occupies almost 1,000 acres of land, with stone ramparts standing over 20 feet high. Declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, the Citadel has undergone extensive restoration, bringing it back to its former glory.
See the vast, wing-roofed Thai Hoa Palace and the ornate Imperial Library with its detailed ceramic sculptures decorating its roof. Visit the Forbidden Purple City, once the inner, exclusive domain of the emperors. Continue along the Perfume River to the elegant Thien Mu Pagoda, it represents the finest in Buddhist design and a symbol of Hue.
Stop to visit the Tomb of Tu Duc, the emperor of Vietnam for more than 35 years. Hidden behind an octagonal stone wall is the monarch's sepulcher, surrounded by a pavilion and temple, and guarded by stone sculptures of elephants, horses and soldiers. On your return drive to the ship, stop at the curious hat-craft village, where the conical-shaped bamboo hats common to Vietnam are made.