Hue, the Vietnamese Imperial Capital
It was quite cold and rainy during the 2 days spent in the former imperial capital of Vietnam. But that didn’t stop us from visiting the surroundings on a scooter, covered with plastic capes. It was quite fun for the Bear and extremely stressful for me…traffic in Vietnam does not seem to be supported by any other rule but “the biggest always has priority”.
We first stopped at the Imperial Citadel, the former seat of the Vietnamese Emperors. It is a great complex of temples, pavilions, walls, gates, museums and galleries, featuring art and costumes from various periods of Vietnamese history. Some areas inside are just empty fields now after having been bombed by the Americans, but there is still much to see inside. On the way to the citadel, we’ve passed through colorful markets and we’ve met smiling young people dressed in traditional costumes. Quite a nice vibe.
We also visited 3 of the 12 Tombs of the Emperors on the Perfume River, 20 to 50 km south of Hue: Tomb of Tu Duc, Tomb of Minh Mang and Tomb of Khai Dinh. When you hear the word “tomb” you would probably expect something not too big. However, these ones are huge complexes of temples, gates, gardens… and of course… tombs. The Emperors used to build these amazing examples of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture back in the 19th – 20th centuries as relaxation and contemplation places.
All in all, even if the weather was bad, we managed to learn some new things about the Vietnamese culture, the service in the hotel and restaurants was the best in Vietnam so far and there was a very cool ambiance during the evening – it was here that we really partied till late night for the first time in this country.