Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyem Dynasty which compared to other historical sites is comparatively recent (19th Century). The Citadel is vast and contains many Palaces & Temples all surrounded by substantial moats containing substantial Koy Carp and catfish. It was obviously very grand – think Beijing Forbidden City with mildew and many areas were flattened and destroyed either by the French in the 1st Indochina War or more recently – and I suspect more devastating – by the US during the Vietnam War.
Then onto a large Pagoda and Temple complex, occupied with young monks with very dramatic hair dos, and whose sole activity seemed to be tolling the various large bells that were scattered throughout.
Those of you who were paying attention to Vietnamese issues in the 1960 may remember the Buddhist Monk (the first of several) who cremated himself at one of the major intersections in Saigon, in front of the worlds press and TV crews. He was protesting against the corrupt and brutal regime in South Vietnam. His actions were displayed and broadcast around the world and became one of the iconic images of the Vietnamese conflicts. The car that he was driven in to his death is looked after and venerated by the monks in this Pagoda.
Then a cruise along the Perfume River and back to our hotel to discover that Hue is still closed for Tet and that we will be eating again in the rather good, if not somewhat “up itself” restaurant in the Hotel. Off to Danang and Hoi An tomorrow as we head towards Hanoi and ultimately homewards.
2 thoughts on “Hue – The Citadel, A Pagoda and a cruise down the Perfume River”
My favourite place in Vietnam.The town looks as if it has been smartened up a lot. I was there in August 1994 when a lot of old French soldiers were arrogantly stumbling through the ruins reminiscing about their time there. It was the 40th anniversary of the end of the Indochina war when they finally left. Did a meditation with one of the monks at the pagoda.Altogether A very enlightening experience!
Hue was OK though had virtually shut down for Tet New Year. Moved onto Hoi An which is my favourite so far. A much nicer vibe and the US didn’t manage to flatten it like Hue though I fear that the Temple at My Son that we are about to see is mainly “rubble”. Hoi An . Loads of great shops and restaurants. Now if only we could get rid of all those ghastly Chinese tourists twould be heaven !!