Start at 9am and head up stream on the poetic Perfume River, a large, sweeping river that descends from the mountains before dividing Hue in two. As you move towards the mountains, you’ll pass villages and temples before making your way to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most impressive Buddhist sites. Absorb the morning atmosphere of this important religious complex, situated on a picturesque bend in the river.
Time for the tombs! Head further up river to Tu Duc Tomb, the most elegant of all the royal resting places in Hue, decorated with lotus ponds and ancient shrines. Enjoy a vegan lunch (prepared by Buddhist nuns if you like) before moving to Khai Dinh Tomb, an entirely different structure that blends Vietnamese, Chinese, French, and Cambodian architecture.
Return to the city and unearth the Citadel, the palace that the great kings constructed and improved upon over the centuries. Explore the proud flag tower, ornate gates, and various royal chambers before returning to your hotel before 6pm.