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31/10/2018 - 07:58

“WALKING TOUR” IN HUE CITY:

Walk slowly and listen 

There is no need for any means of transport. Tourists just walk on shady streets, passing historical relics, the Perfume River, Dong Ba Market, museums and stop to understand and enjoy Hue more deeply.

Walking on the sidewalk of Le Loi St. Photo: Duc Quang

Walking to love Hue more

Traveling to Hue, Le Duc Anh (from Thanh Hoa) was recommended by a friend the “Walking with Hue” tour. It is a "walking tour," passing a number of tourist sites, from Pho Tay (Area for Westerners) to Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities. After the trip, the guy from Thanh Hoa said before coming to Hue, he had imagined he would get lost in the mysterious ancient capital, but not until walking did he get really astonished at the beauty and the long history of Hue.

“Walking is not only to know what Hue owns, but also brings me the breath of the old days and the love for Hue people. I do not dare to say I have “absorbed” everything about Hue, but I am sure I have fallen in love with Hue,” said he.

For first-time visitors, “falling in love” with Hue is not rare. But to Nguyen Thu Trang, a Hue woman, who used to live far away from home and has returned to live in her hometown, only when joining the tour did she see how beautiful Hue is.

"I thought that Hue was already in me, that I knew every “corner and alley,” but as I was told the stories, the ups and downs of “mother" Huong Giang (the Perfume River) and why the river had obtained the name Huong (Perfume), I was astonished at the extremely deep beauty of Hue; I feel so blessed to be a daughter of Hue,” said Trang with emotion.

Trang added that the destinations in the tour had enabled her to understand more about her hometown. She had been back to Hue for some years but all she did was going around, taking photos and selfies. Now that she knew more about the origin, the ups and downs over time, she suddenly felt she enjoyed the history of Hue more than ever before.

The walking tour from Dong Ba Market to the Citadel (or in the opposite direction) is pretty interesting. Photo: Hoang Hai

Most visitors to Hue will choose a certain means of transport to go around. However, travel agents think that when traveling by car, motorbike, or even tricycle, the interaction between the guide and tourist is limited. Time spent for transport does not allow the tour guide to provide them with complete and detailed information either. Taking the walking tour, visitors have both time and space to learn about destinations. 

Ms. Ngo Vu Anh Thu, Director of Beebee Travel Company says that in tourism, there is the concept of using your feet to feel the beat. The best way to feel the breath of a region and to listen to and see the pace of life of native people is walking. Her company has thus designed the tour to include the destinations that can tell the story of the 700-year-long history of Hue, from the feudal time to anti-French and anti-American periods and to the present.

Needs to be multiplied

According to experts, walking tours are usually cheap, or even free of charge in order to attract tourists. It is as if they did not bring back many benefits; in fact, they are extremely effective. Promotion by word of mouth is always efficient. When visitors understand and love Hue, they will certainly become effective promotion channels for Hue. 

Walking to explore and experience more. Photo: Thuong Hien

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, vice-director of the Department of Tourism, new tours like the walking tour will supplement conventional tours and diversify Hue tourism. Walking, hiking and trekking are becoming new trends, not only giving tourists new experiences and explorations but being good for the environment as well. This is also the tendency of sustainable tourism which Hue is trying to develop.

According to leaders in tourism, "walking tours” around the city should be multiplied so that tourists can understand more deeply about Hue. In the time to come, they will encourage entrepreneurs to design new tours to explore Hue according to themes such as stories of culture, history, cuisine, etc., to increase diversity and to give more choices for visitors. 

Vietravel - Hue Branch and Ha Noi Tourism Joint-Stock Company - Hue Branch are designing "free walking tours” in Hue. Mr. Hoang Van Khanh, Director of Vietravel - Hue Branch said that the "free walking tours” had been designed and exploited since 2017 in some cities and provinces. They would be given in Hue in the coming time. 

The aim of the tours is for tourists to Hue to live more slowly, so that they can learn about Hue better. They also meet higher and higher demands from tourists, enabling them to explore more about culture and history. This is also the strength of Hue, always well known as a peaceful, ancient and friendly destination.

"Walking", "hiking" and "trekking" are all walking activities. “Walking” is on flat terrain for a short time. “Hiking" is largely walking on trails or asphalted streets and "trekking" is walking on various terrain with more adventures and challenges.

Story: DUC QUANG

 

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