a rainy day in hue

In the center of Vietnam is the city of Hue, which had once been the capital city of the country.  With it’s palaces and temples still intact, it is also now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Perfume River runs through the city and the day we got there, a sudden rainfall overflowed the water into the streets.  Locals were used to such flooding and life went on as usual:

vietnam2011 762vietnam2011 763  Pretty crazy how they aren’t all falling into the streets!

First stop after our arrival was to the Mandarin Cafe for a bowl of pho and a banh khoai, the rice cakes of the royals:

vietnam2011 774  With tofu and bean sprouts to wrap around and dipped in sauce, it was delish!

The coolest part of this cafe was the art work – photographs of everyday life and everyday people against the beautiful backdrop of Vietnam.

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After we fueled up, we headed off to the old Imperial City via the Ngo Mon Gate, or the gate of noon:vietnam2011 816vietnam2011 821

Tuk Tuk anyone?

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Heading up to the top of the gate to a structure known as the Citadel,

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the view was majestic:

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The old bell and drum are still played out to the courtyard:

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The details of the palace are still pretty preserved:

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At the center of the compound is the Can Chanh Palace:

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Inside here is the golden throne,which you weren’t allowed to take pictures of:

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I loved the details of the garden:

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Behind the palace are the Halls of Mandarins, which had been where official palace business was conducted:

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The surrounding courtyards were beautiful, even when they are drowned in water:

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Heading out of the palace, I saw this little boy fishing:

 

vietnam2011 973  This is probably my favorite photo I have ever taken.

Our next stop was the Thien Mu Pagoda, an historic temple in the city of Hue:

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It was raining pretty hard when we got there, as we all tried to get out of the rain and see the buddha statues inside:

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There was a beautiful bonsai garden on the grounds, which made it peaceful to walk around even in the rain:

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On the outskirts of town, we went to visit the Tu Duc Tombs

vietnam2011 1249 created for Emperor Tu Duc.

The Luu Khiem Lake sits in the middle of these grounds:

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Over the lake sits Xung Khiem Pavilion, where the Emperor would read poetry to his concubines:

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Here is where the emperor lies:

vietnam2011 1201  With the guards at his side: vietnam2011 1161

Up top is the Hoa Khiem Temple, which is where the royals worshipped:

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Can’t believe all that for a burial ground!!!

Back at the hotel, we were met by a woman dressed in traditional clothing playing a zither:

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And we toasted the day with a glass of Vietnamese white wine:

vietnam2011 1055  which was absolutely terrible!

But nonetheless, a great day in Hue!

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