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Hu? is the capital city of Th?a Thiên - Hu? province, Vietnam. Between 1802 and 1945, it was the imperial capital of the Nguy?n Dynasty. As such, it is well known for its monuments and architecture. Its population stands at about 340,000
Hu? is perhaps best known for its historic monuments, which have earned it a place in the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The seat of the Nguyen emperors was in the Citadel, which occupies a large, walled area on the north side of the river. Inside the citadel was a forbidden city where only the concubines, emperors, and those close enough to them were granted access, the punishment for trespassing being death. Today, little of the forbidden city remains, though reconstruction efforts are in progress to maintain it as a tourist attraction as a view of the history of Hu?.
Roughly along the Perfume River from Hu? lie myriad other monuments, including the tombs of several emperors such as Minh Manh, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc, and others. Also notable is the Thien Mu pagoda, located not far from the city center along the river, the largest pagoda in Hu? and chosen as the official symbol of the city.
The Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts on 3 Le Truc Street also maintains a collection of various artifacts from the city.
Hue is quite compact, so you can reach most of the hotels, restaurants, and the Citadel easily on foot.
International driving licenses are not accepted in Vietnam. Therefore, there are no car rental companies such as Hertz and Avis etc.
Taxi drivers are usually honest, but make sure they turn the meter on: trips start at 13,000 dong for the first 2km and tick upward at 8,000 dong/km. A metered trip out see two tombs, with waiting time, should come to around 200,000 dong (US$15).
The national currency is the dong (d?ng, VND), U.S. dollars are widely accepted, the standard exchange rate for small quantities being 16000 dong to US$1.
ATMs are getting more and more common and can be found in most bigger cities and every tourist destination.
You can bargain on practically anything in Vietnam.
The people of Vietnam speak Vietnamese as a native language, English is becoming more popular as a second language. English study is obligatory in most schools.
Internet access is available in all but the most remote towns.
Shopping hours: Daily 0800/0830-2100/2200.
By far the largest holiday of the year is T?t, also known as Vietnamese New Year, which takes place between late January and March following the unisolar Chinese calendar. During the three days of Tet shops close up and everybody heads home to their family, making this a somewhat difficult time to travel in Vietnam.
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