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letters from Hue

letters from Hue

Top 6 new travel experiences in old Hue

So many of the international travelers I talk to about Hue want to know what in Hue should be on their bucket list, which is not at all a difficult question.

Checking in for 32 straight years

In October of 1985, 24-year-old Nguyen Dinh Thiet mustered out of the Army after six years and sent his CV to two different places.

How Tet is like every holiday

Eastern and Western writers try to help Western readers understand our Tet lunar new year holiday by describing the holiday as a combination of Christmas, New Year’s, the Fourth of July...

Remembering a long-dead soldier

Fifty years ago next month, shortly after the Viet Cong stole up from the banks of the Huong River under the cover of darkness and took control of the building that anchors our hotel today...

A waiter retires…for three days

After thirty-two years working in this building, mostly as a waiter, Mr. Duong Dung (his first name, Dung, is pronounced Yoom), retired. He lasted three days.

The garden houses of old Hue

Ask anyone who’s looked long and deep into the Vietnamese arts, and they’ll tell you that the highest achievement in Vietnamese art is in its architecture.

What makes Hue food so distinctive?

There are two factors really. The first is a matter of climate, soil, sea and even some bias, perhaps.

Phan Thuan An’s Hue

24 hours in the age-old Imperial Capital of Vietnam.

Why we don’t need as many umbrellas in Hue

When I was growing up in Hue, we weathered the winter under umbrellas and ponchos, indoors at games, and generally bundled up against the chill.

Top five reasons to visit Hue

There isn’t a day that goes by when a guest doesn’t ask for my advice on what to do and where to go when they visit Hue.

Why Hue is the most profound destination in Vietnam

I love Hanoi. I do. I really do. It’s the ancient cradle of Vietnamese civilization, and I would recommend that every international traveler to Vietnam visit this city.

Why La Residence is one of Vietnam’s top hotels

Ten years ago, in the fall of 2005, this hotel opened with a dream common to many hotels: That we would not just be another pretty property in a pretty place...

Vietnam sets sights on Tet holiday 2016

In Vietnam, we love a good holiday, no matter the origins of the celebration.

Top 8 mouthwatering dishes of Hue food

Hue food is a must when you visit the ancient capital of Vietnam. It is so easy to eat like a king here, but to understand the meaning behind the food, we need to go back in time a bit.

Sailing toward a 10th anniversary

When I was growing up in the 1960s, and the war was terrible in Vietnam, I used to dream of the ocean.

Five most intriguing colonial French buildings in Hue

Hue is most renowned as the former imperial capital of Vietnam where the Nguyen Emperors ruled from the Palace of Supreme Harmony from 1802 to 1945.

The ao dai that reveals everything and nothing at the same time

It was early evening in late summer, and there was a light breeze coming up off the Perfume River, carrying with it a scent of something fragrant.

Five world-renowned experiences in Vietnam

Travelers want many things from a trip. Some want to unplug and destress. Some want a great tan. Some want to buy cool stuff.

Hue: the most soulful destination in Vietnam

A guest recently asked me a question that I have been thinking about for weeks, not so much because the question is unusual but because of the huge distance between what is so obvious to me...

The mystical Minh Mang: a truly ‘royal’ tomb

We meandered up the Perfume River sluggishly, on a warm summer’s day, in the direction of what I consider to be the most impressive of Hue’s royal tombs.

The role of herbs in Vietnamese dining

The majority of people from outside Asia assume that rice is the staple diet in this part of the world; the subsistence of the people if you will. And they are correct for the most part.

A dalliance downstream on a Hue riverboat

The Perfume River – Hue’s central waterway – may have lost its perfume in more ways than one, but it cannot be denied that a humble journey by boat is by far one of the most rewarding and romantic...

A cultural culinary journey: La Residence’s colonial dinner

Hue is renowned for its culinary traditions – particularly the aptly named ‘Imperial Cuisine’ which epitomizes the fanciful tastes of emperor Tu Duc...

Back in circulation: Vietnamese cupping massage

Many moons ago, I was invited by a colleague in Malaysia to try a ‘cupping’ massage. I politely declined when I saw the condition of her back...

A tour of stately opulence

Personally I have no need for a hotel in Hue. I am married to a Hue woman and whilst we live in Saigon we have a house here.

Rendezvous at La Residence: our lavish overnight stay

After travelling down the east coast of Vietnam from the forested borders of Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park – a stunningly beautiful, but lengthy drive down the undeveloped coastline...

My memorable moment in Hue

In May 2011, I decided to go back to Asia for the 7th occasion….and back to Vietnam for the 3rd time.

My stay at La Residence Hotel & Spa in Hue

It was only an overnight stay, but it was a day and a night full of delightful surprises and wonderful memories!

"Does your stick have electricity inside?"

...Yet another curious local asked me as he began to fold my cane. Questions like this arise daily, turning a 15 minute stroll into get a “ca phe sua da” and a lengthy explanation.