As the sun sets behind the Perfume River in the west, Hue becomes more vibrant with night-time activities along its streets, entertainment spots, and food quarters.
| Young people enjoying the evening atmosphere at pedestrian route along the Perfume River. Photo: MC
On Saturday and Sunday nights, I occasionally join friends or family members to explore the walking streets of Hue, such as Hoang Thanh Hue, Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Hai Ba Trung, and Pham Ngu Lao, etc…. immersing ourselves in Hue’s unique night vibes of each place.
The liveliest spot is undoubtedly the Quoc hoc Hue Stele yard. Located conveniently and often serving as the stage for major cultural programs and crowded events in the province, this place is bustling every summer evening. Young people gather here in cultural and artistic exchange program, children and adults engage in playful activities, ride bikes, play badminton, and take leisurely walks.
I asked a young girl standing nearby if she was a student and if she often came here. With a Southern accent, she replied, “Yes, I'm a third-year student at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. After a strenuous day of studying, I like to come to Quoc hoc Hue Stele yard in the evening to relax and immerse myself in the lively atmosphere here. Today, I particularly enjoy listening to young people singing energetically over there.”
Along the Ironwood bridge and Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street, we blend in with the crowd and gaze at the Perfume River with its drifting dragon boats resounding the tunes of musical instruments and of the melodious Hue singing.
On our right is the magnificent and colorful Truong Tien Bridge. It is a symbol of the Ancient Capital with its French-style six-span steel arch structure spanning the Perfume River. Since 2002, the bridge has been illuminated with a modern and dazzling lighting system when the city lights up at night.
There are plenty of tourists and young folks pointing their cameras in this direction to capture the beautiful scenes of the Perfume River and the sparkling Truong Tien Bridge at night. Nearby, the floating restaurant stands out like a white lotus on the Perfume River in front of Hue University of Education, bustling with visitors savouring the delicious dishes of Hue.
On pleasant evenings, cruising on a motorbike or taking a car ride around the city, Hue is far from boring and melancholic, but rather vibrant and quite captivating. Along Tran Hung Dao Street, you can find numerous food stalls on both sides of the road.
In front of Tran Hung Dao theater, the specialty dessert - the 12 types of Hue sweet soup (che Hue), attracts customers to the vendors shops, which are still lighting up. In front of Dong Ba Market, there’s a variety of Hue cuisine, from noodle dishes to porridge, from sweet soup to smoothies…
At the start of Trinh Cong Son Street, on a spacious piece of land, I noticed a large crowd gathered around the “Banh Canh O Buom” stall. It's a popular place known for its delicious and affordable banh canh - a Vietnamese thick noodle soup, and the owner is friendly and welcoming, which draws customers from far and near.
Ms. Pham Thi Hang, who lives on Tran Thuc Nhan Street, also enjoys taking evening walks or bike rides. She mentioned, “Hue is lively at night nowadays. Tourists and young people gather at various entertainment spots, culinary districts, restaurants, and cafes, making the city come alive.”
Although there are still improvements to be made and more services need to be added to make the city even more appealing at night, with the efforts of the province responding to the needs of residents and tourists alike, the city's nights are much different than before.
Indeed, when visiting Hue, don't miss out exploring the city at night. You can admire the night scenes of Hue by cyclo, motorbike, or taxi while learning about Hue's culture and enjoying local treats like “che Cam” on Nguyen Sinh Cung Street or “che Thanh” on Le Thanh Ton Street, … among many other delicious options.
And don't forget to consult “Mr.” Google for the various night-time attractions in Hue, you will be spoilt for choice. Go out to explore the streets, rivers, and shimmering city lights while indulging in the city's night-time cuisine to experience the city's vibrant nightlife to the fullest.