Hue is located on the Perfume River, which is one of the six major rivers in Vietnam. Hue is actually fairly inland and near the foot of a series of mountains. The older fortress Imperial City part of Hue sits on one side of the river and the newer commercial district is on the other.
The river is a major economic factor for the area with boats and barges forming a steady stream of traffic. River boats are wide bottomed and shallow with a pointed raised bow and a small cabin near the stern. Many families live on their boats and either fish or dredge river sand for a living.
Tourist excursions up the river a very popular way too see the attractions on or near the river. The tourist boats are standard river boats that have been painted a light blue and decorated like a dragon. They have about six rows of seats with a canopy or awning for protection from the sun. Larger tourist boats are double hulled catamaran style.
The slight breeze as the boat goes up river helps disperse the stifling humidity. But even with the draft, Hue was even warmer and muggier than Hanoi.