Located halfway up the coast of Vietnam, Hue is the perfect respite from chaotic Ho Chi Minh City and hectic Hanoi. Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords from 1802 to 1945, Hue retains its faded yet charming royal air in its ancient pagodas, fascinating royal tombs and wide, leafy boulevards.
1. CONICAL HAT CAFÉ (Cà phê nón lá) BY THE PERFUME RIVER
Located on a tiny islet next to the Perfume River, the Conical Hat Café is made up of little huts topped with giant conical hat-shaped roofs of varying dimensions, the largest which doubles as a performance space. Come for the coffee and stay for the views in this unique café which pays homage to the delicately made hats seen all over Hue!
2. Bus Café
Repurposed art is the theme of the Bus Café, made up of an old bus with a uniquely decorated interior. The Bus Café is at Thuan An Beach, just 15 minutes from the city center by taxi, 30 minutes by motorbike or 45 minutes by bicycle. On the way, enjoy views of the gorgeous Tam Giang Lagoon where the Perfume River meets the sea.
3. Ho Thuy Tien Waterpark
This abandoned waterpark was completely off everyone’s radar (including locals!) until an article appeared about it in the Huffington Post early in 2016. Nestled in a forested area popular for camping and outdoor outings by local students, a visit to the abandoned waterpark is an eery, chilling experience. Even though the park is not in use, there’s still an entrepreneurial ticket booth outside where entry will cost you VND 10,000 (~USD 50 cents).