Backpacking Vietnam – Hue

Hue Citadel
Hue was the former imperial capital of Vietnam, between 1802 and 1945 when the Nguyen Empire controlled the country. We were in Hue during the rainy season, and boy did it rain. It made wandering around the outdoor sights difficult to enjoy, but we did our best.
Walking in the Rain Rainy Central Vietnam Soggy Tourist

Hue has only a few interesting sights – the Citadel (the former home of the Emperor) and the pagodas and royal tombs in the countryside. The Citadel dominates the centre of the city, but it is bombed out shell of its former glory. Inside its massive walls there aren’t many buildings left standing. Most were destroyed in the wars with the French and Americans. What’s left gives a glimpse of how spectacular this area used to look.
Citadel Temple Dragon Steps Citadel Wall with Bomb Damage
Citadel Gate Koi Citadel Moat Pond
Hue Citadel

We took a boat tour down the Perfume River to see the pagodas and tombs located just outside of Hue. The guide book said biking between the sites makes for a fun day, but not in the incessant rain we had.
Dragon Boats Hue Imperial Boat Tour Boat Lunch

First stop, the Thien Mu Pagoda.
Thien Mu Pagoda No You Didn't

Then, on to the royal tombs Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, and Tu Doc. It was interesting how each tomb was unique. Minh Mang’s tomb was tranquil and serene. Khai Dinh’s had Gothic European influences with black concrete, painted ceilings, and tiled mosaics. Tu Doc’s tomb was dark and sinister.
Mandarin Tomb Guards
Tomb of Khai Dinh Emperor's Entrance Locked Tomb Shaky Bridge
Mandarin Dragon Flaming Dragon Crying Mandarin
Tomb of  Minh Mang Tomb of Tu Doc Vietnamese Roof Tiles
Eurpean Influence Ornate Tomb 3D Tiling

The only other interesting thing we did in Hue was wander in the sprawling market, where we bought our first rambutans (so yummy).
Market Produce Rambutan

Christmas in Hue was a non-event, but our awesome hotel (Hotel Nino – the best hotel we stayed in all trip) made us an amazing Christmas Eve dinner.
Santa Head Bike Merry Christmas Cake Christmas Dinner


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