Vietnam: Luxury on a Budget

The ancient city of Hue at the gate at Temple of Letters at sunset
SUNSET HUE: The ancient city's Temple of Letters (John Wang/Digital Vision/Getty)

A private, two-hour car ride from Hoi An to Hue should run around $50. The scenic drive winds through mountains and dramatic coastline to Vietnam's former imperial capital and another UNESCO World Heritage site.

What to See
Hue is home to elaborate, fairytale-like tombs of the kings of Vietnam who reigned during the 19th-century Nguyen dynasty. The city's iconic pagoda, Thien Mu, is best visited by boat. Or take a cyclo ride across the river to the Imperial City to explore the city's elaborate palaces and temples.

Where to Dine
For dinner in a festive, casual restaurant, go to the French-owned La Carambole (19 Pham Ngu Lao), where you can sample, family-style, the enticing bistro-inspired menu items.

Where to Stay
La Résidence Hotel & Spa, one of Vietnam's finest properties, has elevated the luxury standard in Hue. The boutique art-deco hotel boasts a saltwater pool overlooking the Perfume River, with a restaurant that offers predominately Western fare prepared by a Swiss chef who also teaches a Vietnamese cooking class on the property. Rates start at $260.

Published: 25 Dec 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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