Tinh Tam Lake (Ho Tinh Tam)
Dotted with lush green islets and blooming with lotus flowers; Tinh Tam Lake provides welcome respite from the bustle of Hue’s city center. Just north of the Imperial City, the manmade lake was laid out in the 19th century and was once part of the royal grounds, where the Emperors would come to walk, relax, and drink tea.
A stop at Tinh Tam Lake is often included on tours of the Imperial Palace. Take a stroll along the waterfront or cross the bridges to visit the islands of Bong Lai, Phuong Truong, and Doanh Chau. The largest, Bong Lai, is home to the ruins of Bong Doanh Temple, while the Nam Huan pavilion stands on Phuong Truong. To explore the entire lake, opt for a traditional cyclo tour and admire the views as you glide around the lakeside and across the historic bridges.
Things to Know Before You Go
- History buffs interested in Hue’s Imperial history will find some less-visited temples and monuments at Tinh Tam Lake.
- There is little shade at the lake, so be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- The lakeside promenades are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Tinh Tam Lake is located just north of the Imperial City; an about 10-minute walk. Alternatively, taxis and cyclos will drop you off right outside.
When to Get There
The best views of the lake are on clear, sunny days. During events such as the Hue Festival, the lake is transformed into an open-air venue, with live music and cultural performances taking place on a floating stage.
Exploring Hue’s Imperial City
Hue’s Imperial City is a vast complex of palaces, temples, and pavilions that date back to the Nguyen Dynasty. Preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a walking tour of the Imperial City is a must for all visitors to Hue and it’s best visited with a guide to gain insight into Vietnam’s royal history. Highlights include the Forbidden Purple City, the Ngo Mon Gate, Dien Tho Palace, and the Hien Lam Pavilion, which houses the Nine Dynastic Urns.
- Royal Antiquities Museum
- Noon Gate (Cua Ngo Mon)
- Thai Hoa Palace
- Bach Ma National Park (Vuon Quoc gia Bach Ma)
- Nine Dynastic Urns
- Flag Tower (Ky Dai)
- Dong Ba Market (Cho Dong Ba)
- Perfume River (Song Huong River)
- Ho Chi Minh Museum
- Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh)
- Bao Quoc Pagoda (Chua Bao Quoc)
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tomb of Tu Duc (Lang Tu Duc)
- Cat Tuong Quan Zen House
- Thanh Toan Bridge