Nightlife in Hue
“Hue’s nightlife is very quiet and boring!” – this statement is the assumption of many persons when thinking about spending night time in this ancient imperial capital of Vietnam. In contrast, when the golden sun sets, this tranquil town awakens with a plethora of exciting recreations ranging from cultural activities to pure enjoyment. If you are still concerned about what to do in Hue at night, here’s our tips that may delight your stay.
Table of Contents
- 1. Listening to Hue folk songs on the Perfume River Cruise
- 2. Getting around Hue’s iconic spots at night time by cyclo
- 3. Tasting local foods in famous evening street food paradises
- 4. Enjoying “Hue Royal Show – Ao Dai Show” which deeply conveys Hue traditional culture
- 5. Beholding the shimmering beauty of Hue in riverside cafes
- 6. Experiencing the vibrant side of Hue in bars and night clubs
1. Listening to Hue folk songs on the Perfume River Cruise
Listening to Hue folk songs while cruising along Perfume River comes into tourists’ minds immediately whenever they think about spending night time in Hue. This unique form of Hue art performance has been preserved and developed over hundred years. It’s such a romantic experience when taking the glorious dragon cruise, listening to sweet voices of beautiful girls in Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress) and witnessing the shimmering Truong Tien Bridge on the charming Perfume River.
Hue folk songs is defined as the delicate art of Hue spiritual cultural value, and was listed as the “National Intangible Heritage” by Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism in 2015. During the boat journey, passengers have chance to release lanterns into the river flow and pray for health and peace in their mind.
There are 2 daily shows at 7 PM and 8 PM and each show lasts one hour. Ticket rates are: VND 100,000 per Vietnamese and VND 150,000 per foreigner.
2. Getting around Hue’s iconic spots at night time by cyclo
Night time is the best time to taking a cyclo to discover the hidden charms of Hue. Cyclo is the three-wheel vehicle operated by manpower. It’s so popular in Hue that you can see it in almost streets, along the river banks or hotels’ surrounding areas. The night cyclo adventure will take tourists to cross Truong Tien Bridge, also called Trang Tien, – an iconic symbol of charming and elegant Hue. At night time, the bridge becomes glittering and twinkling by the vibrant light system that is constantly changing five colors. Then, cyclo drivers will take tourists through Hue’s buzzing streets as well as quieter and less touristic areas, where they can observe the local daily lives. Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities, the Moon Gate, and The Nine Holy Canons are also included in this trip to give passengers an overview of Hue during its royal period.
Cyclo drivers themselves can be ingenious tour guides who can tell many interesting stories about Hue’s culture and history. They are also flexible to make any stop for tourists to stroll at a walking street, wander along river banks, or try local food at a sidewalk vendor. One important note is that tourists should be clear with the cyclo drivers about tour duration, destinations and rate at the beginning of the trip to avoid any misunderstanding.
3. Tasting local foods in famous evening street food paradises
Hue cuisine is definitely on the top list of must thing to do in Hue at night of any traveler. Together with Danang and Hoian, Hue is the cradle of many flavorful dishes in Central Vietnam. When the night falls, food hunters will easily find various Hue local food options in many street food corners in town. They can explore Hue cuisine themselves with a list of unique street food corners provided as below or book night street food tour (walking tour/ cyclo tour/ motorbike tour) with Vietnam Travel’s experienced assistants.
* Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street – popular and convenient for domestic and international tourist
• Location: right at the foot of Trang Tien Bridge, next to the Perfume River.
• Busiest time: from 5 PM to 9:30 PM.
• Famous Dishes: Grilled Pork Skewer with Lemon Grass (Nem Lui), Hue Tapioca Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Hue), 20 kinds of Hue Sweet Soups (Che Hue), Truong Tien Bread (Banh Mi Truong Tien).
* Dong Ba Market – night street food paradise for even difficult eaters in a busy covered bazaar
• Location: at the front gate of Dong Ba Market (No. 2 Tran Hung Dao Street, Hue City).
• Busiest time: from 4 PM to 12 AM.
• Famous Dishes: Grilled Pork Skewer with Lemon Grass (Nem Lui), Beef Porridge (Chao Bo), Turmeric Pig Guts Noodle (Bun Long Xao Nghe).
* Gia Hoi Ancient Town – a paradise of street food in a rarely-noticed-charming old town
• Location: Chi Lang Street, just 1.5 km from Dong Ba Market, surrounded by Perfume River and Dong Ba River. With its convenient location, Gia Hoi Ancient Town used to be an old trade port where many Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese traders gathered during 16th and 17th centuries.
• Famous Dishes: Jellyfish Noodle in Crab Sauce (Bun Giam Nuoc) at No. 2 Chi Lang Street – last serving at 7 PM, Crab Noodle Soup (Banh Canh Cua) near Gia Hoi Bridge, Stir-fried Clams with Sesame and Basil (Hen Xao) at No. 149 Chi Lang Street.
* Hue Train Station – unique romantic and nostalgic atmosphere and familiar with local & young residents
• Location: opposite Hue Train Station (No. 1 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Hue City).
• Busiest time: at around 8 – 9 PM, especially when there is a train stop by.
• Famous Dishes: Hue Beef Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue), Beef Tendon mixed with Sour Onion Pickles (Gan Kieu), Shredded Chicken Onion Salad (Ga Bop Hanh), Vietnamese Tea with Pumpkin/ Watermelon Seeds.
4. Enjoying “Hue Royal Show – Ao Dai Show” which deeply conveys Hue traditional culture
“Hue Royal Show – Ao Dai Show” is a must see traditional show for those who want to learn deeply about Hue as well as Vietnamese traditional culture from its feudalism until modern time. First of all, the show presents Ao Dai – the most Vietnamese traditional costume in different types: pure white Ao Dai worn as uniform by graceful Dong Khanh schoolgirls, colorful Ao Dai as traditional wedding costumes, or in important joyous festivities, and especially Ao Dai as Royal Costumes of Nguyen Kings Dynasty – the last dynasty in Vietnam’s feudal period. In addition, visitors can enjoy many artistic programs which deeply convey the traditional culture of Hue and Vietnam: Cup Dances – one of the Hue traditional folk dance’s forms with the blend of melodies of Chau Van singing – Vietnamese ritual singing, amazing Traditional Martial Arts – derived from the Hue Citadel under the Tu Duc King Dynasty. It can be said that this is more than a normal Ao Dai show since it sketches out the life of Vietnamese people through many centuries.
Location: 49A Le Loi Street, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City.
Opening hours: Daily at 5:30 PM and 8 PM.
Price: 300,000 VND/ person.
5. Beholding the shimmering beauty of Hue in riverside cafes
When the lights are up, it’s a great idea to find a seat at one of many riverside café shops to enjoy Hue’s atmosphere after dark. Hue at night time has its own charming beauty of an ancient capital. Sipping a cup of coffee at a café spot on shimmering Perfume River, listening to Hue folk songs, immersing into the sparkling beauty of Truong Tien Bridge. All create a marvelous space for tourists to enjoy true tranquility and beauty of Hue.
* Suggested café shops with spectacular view to Perfume River and Truong Tien Bridge:
• The Café on the 16th floor of the Imperial Hotel – No. 8 Hung Vuong Street, Hue City.
• Sky Café on the rooftop of Midtown Hotel – No. 29 Doi Cung Street, Hue City.
• Toa Kham Café next to Toa Kham Boat Station – No. 49 Le Loi Street, Hue City.
6. Experiencing the vibrant side of Hue in bars and night clubs
Even being famous for UNESCO-listed citadels, royal tombs, and temples, Hue still has its own vibrant side with a number of streets lining with bars and night clubs. Pham Ngu Lao, Le Loi and Nguyen Dinh Chieu streets are backpacker areas with extensive alcoholic offerings, live entertainment, and warm hospitality. Every night, these streets wear a new coat and become more energetic and active, which is inspired by the lights, sounds and tastes of the night. Don’t miss the chance to check it out if you want to have great moments of entertainment while you are here. If tourists are looking for something more fancy, just try elegant bars in five star hotels located within city center.
* Suggested nightlife clubs and bars to unwind at the end of the day:
• DMZ Bar – No. 60 Le Loi Street, Hue City.
• Secret Lounge Hue – No. 15/42 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Hue City.
• Century Beer Garden & Bar – No. 49 Le Loi Street, Hue City.
• Paradise Bar Restaurant – No. 1, Pham Ngu Lao Street, Hue City.
• Why Not Bar – No. 46 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Hue City.
When it comes to dark, Hue is not as busy and energetic as other cities, especially in comparison with Ho Chi Minh City Nightlife, but it’s still a foreign friendly destination for those who are seeking for a great time with the peaceful surroundings. Please feel free to ask our travel experts to add above activities into your itinerary if you are interested in exploring Hue’s nightlife.