The last emperor of Vietnam gave up his throne for Ho Chi Minh's communist government in 1945. Since 1802, his family ruled the country from Hue, and you can visit what remains of the Imperial Citadel. It's being restored after damage by the French in 1947 and the Americans in the 1968 Tet Offensive. The city's imposing gates, halls and moat give a peek into imperial life of old.
In Hue, you can find the ancient tombs of the emperors along the Perfume River. The tomb of Tu Duc was designed to be used by the emperor when he was still alive, as well as after death. You'll see pavilions, elephant statues, thrones and other royal artifacts. Or head to Khai Dinh Tomb, with its European-influenced design inspired by Khai Dinh's travels to France.