By the time we arrived in Hue and deplaned it was close to 9:30pm. We were met by our guide Hanh and driver and off we went to our hotel - La Residence (also known locally as the White House). Very nice and comfortable.
Our touring began about 9am the next morning. Off we went to see some of the historic sites of the city. We decided to make a small alteration in the plans as the mausoleum had too many steps for us. Instead we would visit the Pagod and then the Citadel. We started with a short ride on the "Perfume River" to the Pagoda. Both the Pagoda and Citadel are large sites with many structures, beautiful grounds, a lot of history for Vietnam. Both sites cover a large area and require a fair amount of walking. We took it slowly and did what we could comfortably. I was most impressed with the overall physical beauty of the places. I'm going to show a fair number of pictures but I won't try to explain each and every one.
The boat we were on for our ride up the river is also the home of the family that operate the boat. They live on board as you can see their baby is in the cradle being rocked by mom. On the left are Granny and Hanh enjoying the ride.
<- This is the Pagoda Each of its seven storys is dedicated to a manushi-buddha (a Buddha that appeared in human form)
On the right are the two intrepid travelers also appearing in human form
On the right is the Pagoda looking from the rear. The Perfume River can be seen in the background.
The actual temple is accessed through the gate that is guarded by statues of Buddist guardians. It is interesting to note that both light and dark skinned guardians are represented.
A large marble turtle represents longevity. Below is one of the temple structures and on the right one of the monks.
Next it was off to the Citadel. The Citadel, which became the Imperial City, was built as the home of the emperor and was finally completed in 1832. It covers an area of approximately 1.5 square miles and is surrounded by a moat. IT IS LARGE!!! Inside are many buildings, magnificent gardens, many structures and a lot of history. We wandered the grounds admiring the sights. I was particularly taken by the expanse.
There's no end to the pictures one could take of the Imperial City. On the right is a picture of Granny and our guide - Hanh. They are about to go under an arch that I found interesting because of its panels. Below are 2 of the panels. The on the right looks like scroll.
On the way out of the citadel, we saw a couple of the workers taking a break and playng a game that looks like checkers but isn't. The game looks interesting. I may have to see if I can find out more about it.
From the Citadel, we went on to visit Tu Duc's Tomb. The explanation of the area is above.
Once again, beautiful grounds. And, we were treated to a concert. Click on the link to hear a snippet of the performance.