Being once the capital of Vietnam, the city of Hue is replete with monuments and complexes that are a reminder of the city’s aristocratic history. Its impressive architecture and buildings, many of which fuse elements from Vietnamese and European cultures, have long been a source of fascination for locals and visitors alike. In December 1993, Hue became the first site in Vietnam to be given UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

   Declared as Vietnam’s first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1993, Hue Complex of Monuments is an architecturally stunning site deeply seeped in history, thanks to its status as the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Built during the Nguyen Dynasty (which lasted from the early 19th to the mid 20th century), the complex was planned and designed in accordance with ancient oriental philosophies and Vietnamese traditions. Undoubtedly the top spot for tourists coming to Hue, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of the complex, where hundreds of monuments and ruins, such as the Forbidden Purple City (once the royal family’s residence), royal tombs, temples, a library and more, can be found. 

Hoi An Ancient Town

    Vietnam has long been known as a country of stunning landscapes, home to a melting pot of cultures and possessing a history best described as vivid. It is no surprise then, that this country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and one of them is Hoi An.

   Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is an exceptional example of a well-preserved small-scale trading port active in the 15th to 19th centuries. Though small, it counted countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the rest of the world as trading partners. Hoi An Ancient Town is a curious amalgamation of indigenous Vietnamese and foreign cultures (largely Chinese, Japanese and French influences).

   Comprising a well-preserved network of over 1,100 timber frame buildings, the town also houses an open market and ferry quay, as well as religious sites such as pagodas and multi-generational family houses.

My Son Sanctuary

   One of the most popular trips to take out of Hoi An is a visit to the Cham ruins of My Son Sanctuary, approximately 35km from Hoi An Ancient Town. This UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex was built between the 4th to 14th century in what used to be the religious and political center of the Champa Kingdom. According to many Vietnamese, French and Polish researchers, Arabian, Malaysian, Indonesian and especially Indian traditions heavily influenced My Son architecture. The complex is entirely made from red bricks and sandstone.

   Though ravaged by time and war, My Son Sanctuary has overall remained a well-preserved and impressive site since it was rediscovered and renovated by the French in 1898.The monuments here representsome of the most important constructions of the Cham civilization.