A Poetic City

Our arrival in Hue, the cultural and poetic heart of the Vietnam was very welcoming as the city sits along the Perfume River and is dominated by the Citadel, the royal palace of the Nguyen Dynasty.  The city itself was very green with lots of parks, wide sidewalks, and delicious local foods.  Strolling through the parks in the evenings along the river, one would find the young in the embrace of their lover sitting on their motorbikes parked discretely under the shades of old wide trees.

 The Citadel was a former imperial city and much of the site sadly was in ruins as it was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War but is in the process of being restored.  The parts that are still standing consist of the Imperial Enclosure and the Forbidden Purple City used by the emperor as his pleasure palace.  During the war, to protest the policies of the government again monks, a Buddhist monk by the name of Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in front of the Imperial Palace and so his home pagoda, called Thien Mu was worth a visit.  We decided to walk to the site on really hot sunny day, which was both a blessing and a curse, since we hadn't really seen the sun for a while but while being out without any shade, sort of wished for a cloudy or cooler day.

While walking around, you realize that Vietnam is a copy cat nation and we saw lots of logos, lettering, and colors being used on local shops.  Also, many hotels will copy the same name, hoping to detract travelers from going to the real one.  It is best to have an address as going by name alone may lead you to a completely different place.

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