Bicycle Rides around Hue in Vietnam.

Hue Royal Arena (Vietnam) Hue railway bridge (Vietnam) The following locations are not too far from the centre of Hue and can easily be reached by hiring a bike. Bike hire is around 3 USD a day for a new bike - take note these bicycles usually do not have any gears and Hue does have one or two hills. Although the centre of Hue is quite busy with traffic as long as you do not do anything suddenly the vehicles tend not to hit you. Once you leave the immediate centre the roads are far quieter and cycling in relatively hazard free. As a matter of interest we spotted the Royal Arena on our map and decided to cycle out to it - really quite a waste of time as you cannot go inside and there is nothing to see from the outside. However on the way back we decided we would cycle across the Perfumed River using the fairly long railway bridge which is available to pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes. This to say the least is somewhat scary! - there are two suspended bridges so one way traffic each side but both are really only just wide enough for a bike - the surface is wooden planks and everything moves. You dare not stop but you are wobbling away thinking you are about to fall into the river - all of this accompanied by the obvious amusement of the many motorcyclists following right behind you.
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Thien Mu Pagoda at Hue in Vietnam.

Originally built during the Nguyen Dynasty around 1601, Thien Mu Pagoda (Heavenly Lady Pagoda) is located on the northern bank of the Perfume River on Ha Khe Hill and at seven stories high it's the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. The story goes that Nguyen Hoang (Governor of Thua) was told of a legend that an old lady (Thien Mu) - who was wearing blue trousers and a red shirt - sat on Ha Khe Hill and prophesised that a nobleman would build a pagoda on the hill to pray for the country's prosperity - Thien Mu was not seen again. Nguyen Hoang decided to have a temple built at the site and named after the old lady - hence Thien Mu Pagoda.
Phuoc Duyen at Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam. The Pavillion at Thien Mu Pagoda - Hue, Vietnam The Great Bell at Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam Thien Mu Pagoda Stele (Hue, Vietnam)
Thien Mu Pagoda Sanctuary - Hue, Vietnam. Part of the lovely gardens at Thien Mu Pagoda near Hue, Vietnam. Hue - Thien Mu Pagoda gardens, Vietnam. Thien Mu Pagoda, Vietnam.
Although initially a simple affair the temple was expanded by various nobles over the years - particularly by Nguyen Phuc Chu. He ordered the casting of the 3285kg bell as well as the construction of a triple gate, bell and drum towers and a variety of halls.

Tu Hieu Pagoda Gate (Vietnam) Tu Hieu Pagoda shrines (Vietnam)

Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue City, Vietnam.

Set amongst trees and down a dirt road 3kms southwest of Hue this quiet pagoda is not usually visited by organised tours and is ideal for cycling too - note though you do have to go up a steep hill to get to it. The pagoda is open daily and free to enter but the girls by the entrance gate do pester you to give them something for parking/looking after the bikes. The pagoda was founded in 1843 and still has resident monks. The main entrance is through a triple arched gate which takes you to a small lake and well kept grounds. There are many shrines (they really are all over the place) - the main shrine is dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha also known as Thich Ca Buddha. The pagoda has an imperial link as the royal eunuchs retired here and were worshiped after their deaths.
Tu Hieu Pagoda shrines, Vietnam. Tu Hieu Pagoda, Hue (Vietnam) Tu Hieu Pagoda near Hue City in Vietnam. Tu Hieu Pagoda shrines at Hue.

Enjoying a nice bike ride out to Thuan An Beach at Hue and cycling around some Vietnamese ricefields.

Another nice ride is to cycle out to the South China Sea at Thuan An Beach which is around 14kms from the centre of Hue. Although you have to cycle along a fairly main road it's not too busy and the trip is generally quite flat and so ok. The beaches are desolate scruffy affairs and one could hardly imagine anyone wanting to actually stay on them. There are a few so called cafes and things right along the beach which are just about falling down - we did not even feel comfortable about leaving our bikes out of sight. We cycled several kilometres along the peninsula with no improvement to the beaches particularly obvious before turning back - there may well be beaches in better condition right at the end.
Thuan An Beach (Vietnam) Thuan An Beach in Hue, Vietnam Thuan An temple (Vietnam) Thuan An shrine in Hue, Vietnam
A typical ricefield temple at Hue, Vietnam. Hue temple in a ricefield (Vietnam) Hue canal bridge (Vietnam) Rice field shrines at Hue, Vietnam.
Hue field shrines (Vietnam) Ricefield farmers shrines in Hue, Vietnam A shrine in the fields at Hue - Vietnam. That said although these Hue beaches were disappointing the actual countryside around Hue is excellent and on our return we did divert down several side tracks and cycled round several small villages. One of the enjoyments of cycling in and around Hue was being out amongst the rice fields where, apart from watching the people planting and working on them, you could keep stopping to look at the frequent small cemeteries which often have beautiful shrines.
Our items about Hue - things which can be easily done from the city.
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