Things to do in Hue come in many different guises. This is a terrific small town and I was really enjoying myself. I woke early the morning and decided to go up to the restaurant, take breakfast and get some work done. The Venus Restaurant here at the Moonlight Hotel affords lovely views of the Perfume River, upon which I will be sailing in a couple of hours to visit the some of the historical sites here.

A tour boat on the Perfume River, viewed from the hotel restaurant

The river has two sources. Both begin their journey into the East Sea from high in the Day Truong Son mountain range and meet up at the Bang Lang Fork. As it approaches the city it passes through many large orchards. In the Autumn blossom falls from the trees into the water and is carried through the city. This provides a heady mix of aromas that fill the air, hence the name. 

Things to do in Hue: The Thien Mu Pagoda

After breakfast we walked down to the riverfront to catch our boat for the morning excursion to the Thien Mu Pagoda. I have been here before about 18 months ago, but it is worth revisiting.

Wonderful gardens to the rear of the pagoda
Things to do in Hue
Saffron robed monks strolling through the gardens

Things to do in Hue: A River Boat Trip

The trip down the river was extremely pleasant and we had a small boat to ourselves. This is one of the things to do in Hue that should not be missed. It gives a different perspective of the city and is a very pleasant way of spending an hour or so.

Things to do in Hue include a boat trip
We had the boat to ourselves

One poignant feature at the pagoda is the old Austin car in which the monk Thich Quang Duc rode to his self immolation in Saigon in 1963. This event reverberated around the whole world. I still remember it as a small boy back in England. 

The car which drove Thich Quang Duc to his death

Things to do in Hue: The Tomb of Khai Dinh

From here we went on to The Tomb of Khai Dinh which is a fascinating place. There are quite a few steps to climb in order to get in, but the views alone from the tomb make the climb worthwhile. Again, I have been here before but these things are always worth the return visit. 

The steps at the the entrance to the Tomb of Khai Dinh

Things to do in Hue: The Tomb of Minh Mang

Next up was the Tomb of Minh Mang, which has beautiful gardens and is relatively easy to work around. That being said the temperatures here had reached well over 40ºC and any walking was getting exhausting. This extremely hot weather stayed with us throughout our entire time in Hue. 

Lotus flowers at the tomb of Minh Mang

We went to a wonderful little garden restaurant for lunch. Y Thao Garden Restaurant is a delightful spot with a small pagoda type structure at its heart, which is the dining area. The staff were very attentive and served us a set lunch comprising of many traditional Vietnamese specialities. 

Spring rolls, imaginatively presented
Grilled Shrimp
Fresh Spring Rolls
Mixed Fig Salad
Steamed lotus seed rice
Fish fried with lemongrass

In the afternoon I returned to the hotel, I was completely exhausted. It had been a fantastic half day out but the heat had taken its toll on me.

In the evening we went out for some dinner which turned into a bit of a disaster. I ordered Spaghetti carbonara and something unrecognisable and inedible arrived. My friends ribs simply never did. We just left. We went on to watch the England World Cup game against Sweden, which made the perfect end to a good day.