There are many methods of getting around in Hue, especially if you’re planning to explore its vast countryside and national parks during your holiday. As Vietnam’s former capital, Hue offers ample sightseeing opportunities for history buffs in the forms of ancient citadels, royal tombs and Buddhist shrines overlooking Perfume River.
Similar to most cities in Vietnam, there are plenty of cyclos, taxis, and motorcycle taxis parked outside reputable hotels, dining and nightlife districts, as well as iconic landmarks in Hue. Bargaining is the norm in Hue (and in most Southeast Asian cities), so be sure that both parties agree on the fare before travelling by any of these forms of transport. Read on to find out more information on Hue transportation.
A cyclo or Vietnamese trishaw comprises a cushioned seat that’s attached to the front of a bicycle. Great for a relaxing cruise through iconic landmarks within Hue City Centre, you can easily spot several cyclos parked outside Hue Imperial City as well as popular bars and restaurants. As cyclo drivers tend to inflate their rates for tourists, be prepared to haggle as low as you can and make sure that you both agree on the final price before getting on one - expect to pay about VND 25,000 for every kilometre.
Cycling is best suited to those sightseeing within Hue City Centre, and there are plenty of hostels and bicycle shops offering daily rates between VND 25,000 and VND 30,000. Some tour companies also offer half-day guided tours to prominent landmarks such as Hue Imperial City Centre, Minh Mang Tomb, Thien Mu Pagoda, and Thanh Toan Bridge. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous (and fit), we highly recommend the full-day cycling excursion from Hue to Hoi An, where you’ll travel through fishing villages, rice paddies, bamboo forests and Hai Van Pass with a knowledgeable guide.
Taxi drivers are usually honest, but make sure they turn the meter on. Trips start at 15,000 dong for the first 2km and tick upward at 11,500 dong/km. Some meters run incorrectly (showing up to 10 times the distance actually travelled), so ensure you have a rough idea of the distance to you destination. If the meter is running too quickly, at the destination pay an estimate of the fair price and insist on calling the police if the driver will not accept the estimated non-meter price. The driver will back down. A metered trip out to see two tombs, with waiting time, should come to around 300,000 dong (US$18).
Travelling by motorcycle is ideal for those who want to explore Hue like the locals, but traffic can get rather hectic in the city centre during peak hours. Therefore, we highly recommend practising off the main roads or take a short trip on a xe om (motorcycle taxi) to familiarise yourself with the traffic beforehand. Daily rates for motorcycle rentals are priced between VND 100,000 and VND 200,000 while helmets are available for purchase at VND 50,000 upwards.