Guests traveling to Ho Chi Minh City who want to stay in one of the best hotels around can stay at the Caravelle Hotel. It offers all the traditional characteristics of Vietnam.
Hue remained the country’s capital till 1945, when Bao Dai, the last Nguyen emperor, abdicated the throne. A majority of the city’s attractions lie along the banks of the Perfume River. Located on the northern bank of the river is the Imperial Citadel, built similarly to the design of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The Imperial Citadel is surrounded by 10-meter thick walls and a moat.
A few kilometers further north is the city’s most widely-recognized religious site, the Thien Mu Pagoda, with its unique octagonal tower. The mausoleums of the late Nguyen emperors are scattered in various parts of the province. The palace-like mausoleums of Emperors, Khai Dinh and Tu Duc, are distinctively impressive because of their elaborate complexes of lakes, temples, pavilions, and courtyards.
As one of the main attractions of Central Vietnam, Hue has several cultural highlights. Despite its many attractions, most visitors allot a full day or a day and a half to explore Hue. Most visitors are more eager to go further south to visit Hoi An.
Vietnam's Last Empire
In a country with 80 million people and 800 surnames, Nguyen is the name that resound the most. The name, which goes back as far as the 1st century, is first mentioned in the 10th century with a nobleman Nguyen Bac. The Nguyens have influenced Vietnam’s history in a profound way, from the Tran to the Le Dynasty, as respected advisors, loyal subjects, and in-laws. The Nguyens finally rose to prominence in the 19th century and established their dynasty in 1802, the last emperors to rule the country.
The first emperor, Nguyen Phuc Anh, also recognized as Emperor Gia Long, founded an imperial palace in Hua and named Hue as the capital. He became the impetus that catapulted the country into domination, seclusion, civil wars, and change for 150 years. His rule was a time of great Chinese influence and subversion of traditional Vietnamese beliefs and values. Also, many modernizations took place during his reign such as construction of roads, overtaxing and overworking of lower classes, and later, uprisings against the Japanese and French armies.
The last of the Nguyen lineage was Emperor Bao Dai, who abdicated the throne in 1945 and spent his last years in exile in France. During the Nguyen reign, in order to pay respect and appease their rules many Vietnamese changed their names to Nguyen; which is the reason why many Vietnamese have the surname Nguyen, filling more than half of a telephone directory.