is my favorite city in Vietnam. Located on the Perfume River, half
way between Saigon and Hanoi both physically and politically, Hue
was once Vietnam's imperial capital and the home of the royal
family. The Citadel, modeled after the Forbidden city in China, was
off limits for all but the royalty and their guests.
1968, during the Tet Offensive, the North Vietnamese Army took
control of the Citadel and kept their flag flying over the massive
Black Tower for nearly three weeks. Only after the U.S. was given
permission to use air strikes and heavy artillery were the Marines
able to dislodge the enemy from their positions. The city of Hue was
nearly completely destroyed in the process. One U.S. officer is
quoted as saying, "We had to destroy the city in order to save it."
The Vietnamese are in the process of restoring what remains of the old Imperial Palace but much of the damage suffered during the war can still be seen. This is a must see for anyone visiting Hue.