Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hue 順化 Huế

Hue 順化  - 38C was the temperature when mum and dad were walking around the ancient Citadel. Riding on a motorbike around the city was stressful but well-worth it. Perfume river was pretty, perhaps because they evicted all the boat people from the river so as to qualify for World Heritage Site status (yet another wonderful feat by the United Nation. bravo for the poor!!)

Internal flight from Hanoi to Hue was pleasant and well organized. In fact all the internal flights they took were very good. They were planning to take the airport shuttle into the city centre but unfortunately there were no services. Perhaps it was a little late (after 9pm). Given no other options, they hopped on a Mai Linh taxi. The journey into the city centre was smooth and very flat. The taxi meter didn't jump to the tune of their heartbeats and it didn't jump suddenly at the destination either. Orchid Hotel, where they stayed in was basic but clean and pleasant. All the staff served with big smiles on their faces. Breakfast had everything that you would expect and more. The balcony of the room they stayed in even offer a glimpse of beautiful sunrise.

But once the sun was out in full strength, the heat was almost unbearable. Cycling around the city, although reasonably flat, would be crucifying. So they took the option of riding a motorbike without insurance and not knowing where they were going. They were lucky to have completed their self-guided day tour in one piece. It was so hot that they didn't even bother with lunch. Dinner in a newly opened restaurant called Golden Rice near their hotel wasn't bad. But when it came to restaurants, almost all of them were catered for foreign tourists. So no matter what you read about traditional Hue cuisines, take it with a pinch of salt. The majority of locals only splurge on eating out during major festivities or celebrations.

Parfume River (Sông Hương)

Thien Mu Pagoda.   It sits on the Parfume River (Sông Hương), designed with Buddha images, with a huge bell and a stone turtle inside of it.

Hue Citadel

Statues in the Tomb of Khải Định taken just before sunset.

More to follow.....

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