Located in the centre of Vietnam, along the banks of the Perfume River and close to the former border of the North and South, Hue is the old imperial capital and the country's cultural heartbeat.
The last imperial dynasty, the Nguyens, ruled from Hue under French protection from 1802 to 1945. The old imperial Citadel remains an expansive walled fortress, surrounded by a moat and encompassing the Forbidden Purple City and a replica of the grand Royal Theatre. Just south of the city, you'll find the emperors' UNESCO-listed tombs spread across the countryside. Hue is also the cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam and tranquil pagodas abound, including – at seven storeys high – the country's tallest temple.