Hue: Imperial City Turned Battleground
During the 1968 Tet Offensive, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces surprised U.S. and South Vietnamese forces with a major assault. Fighting ravaged the former imperial city of Hue, and presaged the futility of the U.S. military effort in Vietnam. The decades since have brought more change.
The Vietnamese government sees tourism as a major growth industry in a country desperately trying to make up for time and resources lost during the war years.
Nearly 40 years later, the imperial city is being restored slowly. And the palace theater offers tourists daily performances of court music from Vietnam's feudal, pre-communist days.
Several new five-star hotels -- some joint ventures with foreign firms -- are under construction along the Perfume River.