With so much to see in Hanoi, I passed on going to Halong Bay for an overnight boat adventure. However, I did fly to HuếVietnam which I felt was well worth the trip. The purpose was to see its main attractions, the splendid tombs of the Nguyen emperors, several notable pagodas and the remains of the Citadel.
The Citadel was begun in 1804. Huếwas the site of the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War, the 1968 Tet Offensive. Hue was in the South and the North Vietnamese took the city and hoisted their flag from the Citadel. The battle went on for weeks and over 10,000 people were killed.
Make sure to visit the Citadel which is part of the Complex of Huế Monuments. Spend some time walking the huge site with the Imperial Enclosure, the Ngo Mon Gate or principal entrance, the Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, the Nine Dynastic Urns and the Dien Tho Residence. This area is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I also took a boat trip on the Perfume River where I enjoyed the countryside and scenes of Vietnamese life.
I stayed one night at the very lovely La Residence Hotel, that was in the renovated Governor’s residence. I enjoyed eating outside along the Perfume River on a beautiful night. The room was excellent. I highly recommend staying there.