Imperial Impressions of Hue

9 Feb
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The imperial tombs of Tu Duc

Not sure if I was convinced I should visit Hue on my trip, but it was a stop on the ‘Open Tour’ ticket, and it was the old imperial town and intellectual capital of Vietnam. So why not – for a night on my way to Ha Noi. (Lots of pictures below)

There were a few interesting sites dotted around the city, and as I was not really into walking too much or haggling for a motorbike every time, I decided to rent a bike for the 1,5 day I was there. And this allowed me to go at my own pace and visit whatever I wanted (see pictures) and move on whenever I felt like it. So far biking has been my favourite way of locomotion.

On the other river bank of the Perfume River, there was the Citadel: an enormous park with the ‘purple city’ inside – the Vietnamese version of the Beijing ‘Forbidden City’. It was a walled complex of temples, living quarters, theaters, meeting rooms

riding my bike around the sights - along the Perfume river Hue

riding my bike around the sights - along the Perfume river Hue

of the emperor in those days. A nice place just to wander around – lots of old buildings mixed with souvenir shops, drinks vendors etc.

I also drove my bike to one of the tombs of the olden day emperors: Tu Duc. There were many more imperial tombs, but as with the temples (and churches in Europe), and the citadel, I expect that if you’ve seen one, you have an idea of what the other ones will look like.

What I liked about the Tu Duc tombs (normally the tombs were only for one person, but this guy also had his main wife and minor wives buried at the same place) is that they were set in the middle of nature. It was sort of a walled park with lovely old temples, lovely landscaped gardens, a pond with a veranda, oh yeah, and the tombs itself. It was very tranquil, with the orchid ponds flanking the road to the tombs, the porticos overlooking the water, etc – till 5 busloads full of pupils arrived… So then I moseyed on.

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Lovely temple in the middle of nature - near Hue

On the way there I also visited a temple, also in the middle of nature, away from the main road. It was a very peaceful place, very quite, with monks strolling through the gardens around the temple. I just followed suit and spent quite some time just chilling around the temple compound.

  • So I guess I am more of a nature person, rather than big city person.
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