Many people thought that traveling could be costly, however, this is not the case in Vietnam, where you can have a wonderful time with less than 100 USD. Especially in Hue, despite being a tourist city, Hue is much cheaper in comparison with other tourist destinations like Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh or Ha Noi. If you are traveling on a budget and wanting to save money in Hue, there are a few travel tips including Hue free attractions and transportations in Hue.
Avoid purchasing at Hue tourist areas
No matter what country you go, the tourist areas are always more expensive than other places in town. However, since the tourist areas are convenient and easy, lots of tourists gather here. Therefore, you can not avoid tourist areas since they are parts of the fun, but you can still save a lot of money by not spending much in these areas.
What are the tourist areas in Hue
The tourist areas are places where the majority of travelers gather. They may be the famous attractions or the center of the city which has lots of services for tourists. In Hue, there are three main tourist areas in the city and several places near the famous attractions such as tombs and temples. The biggest tourist area, which is also the most expensive one is the “Western street” which located right in the center of the city. This area is full of hotels, bars, pubs, clothing stores, travel agency and tons of services for foreigners. Therefore, most visitors decided to stay in this area, as it is quite convenient for them.
Some of the most popular street for tourists:
- Le Loi Street – Especially near the Truong Tien Bridge and the clubs and bars spot. This street is the brightest, as well as the most expensive street in Hue city, with several luxury hotels, clubs, shops. Most of the product here is more expensive due to its high renting fee.
- Pham Ngu Lao Street – You may think this is not a Hue street when walking around this area because there will be more foreigner than local here. The price in the restaurants in Pham Ngu Lao is much higher than in other streets, however, the food is clean as they follow international standard, and there are English speaking waiters.
- Chu Van An Street – The street is full of tailor shops, shoe stores, and hotels. The hotel price is average, however, some other services may be quite expensive.
Besides, the area around famous attractions such as the Citadel, tombs, or temples may have a higher price than average. Therefore, if you want to travel on a budget, buying souvenirs in these areas is not necessary.
How to avoid spending too much money there
It is hard to avoid spending money in these areas since they offer a wide range of services and essential products. However, there are some ways to avoid spending too much and save money in Hue, especially when you are staying in the tourist area.
Remember to buy mineral water from the convenient store, not in the restaurant. If you want to have a nice smoothie or grab a slice of pizza, then the restaurants in the Western Street are worth the money due to the high standard. However, for a can coke or just a bottle water, there is no need to pay three times higher, especially when it is just the same.
Buy your souvenirs and essential things in the super market or book store to avoid getting rip off by the vendors. You can try bargaining in the market for a different experience. However, the price will always be higher than in the supermarket.
Find the right transportations in Hue
Transportation might be quite costly if you are new in Vietnam. However, it will be surprisingly cheap once you get a hang of what to use. Therefore, here are some tips to save money in Hue.
Traveling to other cities
There are a few tips to help you pay the least when moving to another town and save money in Hue:
- If you want to go by train, book directly via their official website Vietnam Railways. Booking through an agent website may charge you higher. There are different types of seat and rooms, which are the hard seat, soft seat, bed, with or without the air conditioner. The ticket price for a comfortable trip with soft seat and air conditioner from Hue to Da Nang a is only 57.000 VND (2.5 USD).
- There is an airport in Hue, which is called Phu Bai Airport. This is only a national airport, so if you want to go to Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh, you can book the direct flight from Hue. Many people do not know about this and have to book a flight from Da Nang, which cost them more to travel from Hue to Da Nang Airport.
- Travel by sleeping bus or open tour bus may be a mess if you choose the bad company. The Sinh Tourist open bus tour is one of the most reliable ones to book a bus ticket. Even though the price may be a little higher than average, their bus is quite new and their drivers drive safer. Traveling from Hue to Hoi An or Da Nang only cost 120.000 VND (around 5 USD).
- Even though traveling by public transport is usually cheaper, if you travel with a group of friends, booking a private car and divide the cost to the whole group could be quite reasonable. You will have a whole car for yourselves. It is not only comfortable, but you can also have the freedom to visit any landmark on the way. A private car from Hue to Hoi An is around 60 USD, which is quite cheap when dividing to 4 or 5 people.
The route from Hue to Hoi An is one of the most popular routes in Vietnam, which is picturesque and thrilling, especially with the Hai Van Pass. If you want to learn more tips about transportation from Hue to Hoi An, find out in the article: 5 best ways to travel from Hue to Hoi An
Cheap accommodations are not hard to find
There are several options to choose a nice hotel with reasonable price to save money in Hue. You can find a cheap room right in the center of the city from only 10 USD. You can also try Airbnb for more option. If you travel with a group of friends, it is highly recommended to book a dorm or a homestay. The Western Street, despite being a tourist area, offers a lot of cheap rooms. Since there are many hotel and hostel in the same area, they compete with each other and the price become much lower.
For further suggestions and review about cheap hotels, you can check out this article: Top cheap hotels in Hue
Enjoy the free attractions in Hue
Hue is famous for many ancient historical sites such as the Imperial City, the Tombs, etc. However, the entrance fee is may scare you from visiting many interesting places. Therefore, if you want to save money in Hue and still see many attractions, here are some Hue free attractions.
Near the city center
Within walking distance, there are several places that you can visit when you take a stroll around the city. Despite being free, these locations are quite interesting and cultural, since most of them are museums and local buildings which have historical value. Let’s take a look at this list of Hue free attractions to find out what you are looking for.
Here are some Hue free attractions:
- Quoc Hoc Hue – Century old high school in Hue – the most famous high school in the city, it was built in 1896 by the French and is currently in use, so it is still a well-maintained French colonial-style building now. Ho Chi Minh – the Vietnamese famous president used to go to this school.
- Truong Tien Bridge – The famous bridge which was built by Gustave Eiffel, the person who constructed the Eiffel Tower. The area around Truong Tien Bridge is also full of street food and souvenirs, so this will be a fun place to go to.
- Embroidery Art Museum of XQ Hue – For anyone who loves the art of embroidery or just simply art in general, the XQ Museum in Hue will be the perfect place for you. You will be surrounded by hundreds of wonderful embroidery pictures. More over, they also serve free tea.
- Ho Chi Minh Museum – If you are interested in the Vietnam War and the life of Ho Chi Minh President, then let’s take a look at the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Located on the Perfume river bank, this will be an interesting experience for any history lovers.
- Thien Mu Pagoda – As one of the oldest bridges in Hue as well as in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda will not disappoint you with the amazing view of the river and its high-spiritual atmosphere. In addition, there will be many legends and historical stories related to this ancient pagoda.
Outside of Hue city
Despite being quite far from the city center, visiting these place would be a good chance for you to get away from the busy city to somewhere more peaceful and quiet, and save money in Hue. Just hire a private car or a bike, or book a motorbike tour in Hue and get going.
Here are some free attractions
- Vong Canh Hill – A poetic place to enjoy the view of Perfume river. You will be surprised when reaching the top of the hill. Moreover, watching the sunset here will be very romantic.
- Hue Abandoned Water Park – If you are an adventurous traveler and want to explore the most mysterious places in Hue, then you should not miss Hue Abandoned Water Park, which has been left for almost 10 years.
- Hue Japanese Bridge – Rice field, local market, authentic scenery are what everyone looks for when they come to Vietnam, and the Hue Japanese Bridge has them all. You can also learn a bit of Vietnamese countryside culture here.
- Gia Long Tomb – Gia Long is the first King of Nguyen Dynasty, his great life is full of tragedy and amazing events. This tomb is a must-go destination for anyone who is interested in Vietnam history. Even though this place is quite far from the city, you will find it worth when you see the stunning scenery.
- Tu Hieu Pagoda – Visit this ancient pagoda and be surrounded by nature, the spiritual atmosphere and listen to the touching tale about the origin of this pagoda. Tu Hieu Pagoda will be a fresh start for you as it is quite close to the city.
Save money in Hue when booking tour
To understand deeply about the culture, history of a city or even a country, booking a tour and traveling with a knowledgeable tour guide is a must. By booking a tour, everything you see will become much different, you will find more meaning behind anything you see, and you will have the answer for any question you wonder. However, many people believe booking a tour could be costly, especially a private tour with a local guide. This is not true to all case, if you know the right way to book and know the right company, you can still save lots of money.
Book tour directly
Even though it seems so obvious that booking a tour through a tourist agency will be costly than booking directly with the actual company which carries the tour, many people still do the same thing. The reason is that it is so much easier to find a travel agent and get information from them than the real company. The easiest way is to use TripAdvisor and get to their website directly. With a little research, you can already save money in Hue.
Choose the right tour with the right company
Choosing the right tour is quite important since, with the right tour, you will have an unforgettable memory in Vietnam. It seems to be cheaper when booking a bus tour, however, if you want more privacy and in depth knowledge, then an authentic female motorbike tour is a must. As the first female motorbike tour in Hue, I Love Hue tour is an amazing social enterprise which is worth choosing. They offer a variety of tours, from the city tour, food tour, to charity tour and even deaf tours. More over, they also have the vision to have the I Love Vietnam Tour and I Love Asia Tour.
Why choosing I Love Asia Tour?
I Love Hue Tour – the first branch of I Love Asia Tour is famous for their passionate and energetic lady bikers, who are mostly students wanting to practice speaking English. Their vision and core value are well-known in Vietnam, with several international awards for the potential start-up company and female leader. If you are lucky enough, you will also have a chance to meet I Love Hue CEO – Miss Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, who is famous for inspiring young people and her amazing leadership.
Booking a private tour can be a good way to save money in Hue, as they will cover your drink, food, and transportations during the whole tour, which could be a lot. In addition, you can get tons of advice and support from the tour guide and lady riders, including shopping or booking transportation. Therefore, the moment you book a private tour, you will have a local friend immediately.