Things to do outside and around Hue, Vietnam: Trips, excursions and activities

Surrounded by scenic wilderness, Bach Ma National Park, beaches that look like a scenery from a romantic movie, as well as its own historical sites and the Huong River, which smells so nice that it became better known as Perfume River, Hue is certainly one of the cities any tourist wouldn’t be disappointed with. Whether looking to hike, relax in the nature and beaches, or explore the unique history of this ex Vietnamese capital or the nearby Bach Ma Park, which has a large number of endemic species, there is something for everyone in and around Hue.

Bach Ma National Park in cloudesBoats on the Perfume River at duskHelicopter as a showpiece in open at the DMZBeautiful Phong Nha CavesThe Imperial CityCycling tour at Thuy BieuBridge on Tinh Tam Lake

Tours in Hue

Hue Imperial City and Tinh Tam Lake by Cyclo- This 4-hour private tour explores the rich history and heritage of the one-time capital with landmarks like the Flag Tower, Noon Gate and the Nine Dynastic Urns, as well as the Tinh Tam Lake, renowned for its landscape design. This private tour also includes hotel pick-up, and the price starts at $25.
Full-Day Hue City Tour- This tour starts with a short boat cruise on the beautiful and romantic Perfume River and moves on to the legendary Thien Mu Pagoda, which is not only a landmark, but also one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Further on, on the southern banks of the Perfume River, the tombs of the Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh are visited. From there, the tour goes to the Khai Dinh’s tomb, 10 kilometers away from Hue. It then continues to a local market which is famous with tourists – Dong Ba market in Old Hue is near the place where the Dong Ba Canal joins the Perfume River. This market is strongly recommended to anyone with an interest in Vietnamese food or culture. Price of this tour, which lasts for approximately 9 hours, is $100 and up.
Hue city motorbike tour- Basically, this tour focuses on the same spots as most of the other Hue tours, such as Khai Dinh Tomb, Tu Hieu Temple, Thien Mu Pagoda and more, with the difference that visitors are now riding on motorbikes, which gives it a special adventurous spirit. Price begins at $30.

Tours around Hue

Perfume River Cruise and Thuy Bieu Village Biking- This 5 and-a-half hour long tour includes cruising on the poetic Huong River (aka Perfume River), cycling on peaceful shady paths, meeting local farmers, tasting seasonal local fruit, trying your hands at the local handicraft and above all, helping to prepare a local lunch are unforgettable delights thoughtfully designed for a relaxing but enriching discovery. Then it’s time for cruising toward Thuy Bieu Eco-village, an ancient village overlooking the most pristine part of Perfume River backed by Ngu Binh Mountain. Cost of the tour is $119.
Full-Day Exploration of Bach Ma National Park from Hue- A paradise for nature lovers, Bach Ma National Park is one of those protected areas in Central Vietnam that offers such a huge variety of unique flora and fauna that it has been known for holding one fifth of the entire flora in Vietnam. Then comes trekking down the Five Lake trails passing the medicinal plant garden, to the Do Quyen Waterfall, which is an imposing 300 meters in high.
Vietnam DMZ Day Trip from Hue- This tour is refreshing, because its main points aren’t historical sites like with most of the other tours in Hue, but the DMZ (demilitarized zone). The DMZ lies at the 17th parallel and was created by an agreement known as the Geneva Agreement. Some of the war's fiercest fighting and bloodiest battles occurred along that line. Such areas as Khe Sanh, Con Tien, Hambuger Hill, which are all included in this tour. Price of the tour that lasts approximately 8 hours is $87, including all entrance fees and lunch.

Hue Day Trip to Thanh Tan with Hot Springs and zip line- Experience the zip line, which will be preceded by a briefing from experienced staff. Sliding down from the height of 45,5m on Ma Yen Hill to the ground is definitely not something one will forget. Immerse in the hot water of Thanh Tan hot spring, or do your own trekking to find wild-streams in the forest or wild birds and animals. The price is $28, and it is something everyone looking for an active vacation and relaxing trekking needs to try.
Visit to the Phong Nha Caves Tour from Hue- Phong Nha Caves are a complex of 14 grottoes situated in a region of Limestone Mountains in Ke Bang National Park. The caves were listed as a World Natural Heritage Site in July of 2003 by Unesco. On the way visit some of the most famous battlefields in the Vietnam War; Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge, all lie in the Demilitarized Zone of the Vietnam War. The tour costs $113, but is worth every cent.
Overnight Vinh Moc Tunnels and Phong Nha National Park Tour- Lastly, we will highlight one tour that lasts for 2 days, or a bit more then 20 hours.
Day 1: En route to the tunnels at Vinh Moc, stop at Quang Tri. This town was once an important citadel city, but was heavily damaged in 1972 during a spring offensive. Still, some of the original ramparts and gates remain. From here, it proceeds to Vinh Moc and the amazing 2.8kms of tunnels. The Vinh Moc tunnels remain unaltered and therefore offer an authentic view of underground life. Enter the tunnels and explore the subterranean passageways. A drive on Ho Chi Minh Trail to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park at night follows. Staying overnight at Dong Hoi.
Day 2: Dong Hoi - Phong Nha National Park – Hue- a boat trip to the famed caves at Phong Nha. The park has some beautiful limestone formations, grottoes and caves and forest. The park also contains the largest primeval forest in Vietnam and the biggest limestone mountain range on the planet. The most impressive cave - Phong Nha cave is probably the most beautiful with many fascinating rock formations with imaginative names such as The Lion, Fairy Caves, Royal Court and Buddha. Phong Nha also boasts underground rivers, large caverns and passageways and broad pristine sandbanks.
This impressive tour, with meals and all entrance fees included, costs from $230 and up.

It is always possible to arrange and negotiate a private tour in and around Hue with locals, but these are those we recommend, based on what a visitor is looking for in this historically and naturally very rich city and its surroundings.