Saturday, May 30, 2009


Since I have a few free minutes, I'll catch up on Hue first before posting about today's tour of the Cui Chi Tunnels and Saigon.

Hue is just an amazing place. If it weren't so hot (I realize that this is TMI, but it was so hot there that I couldn't drink enough water to pee - I just sweated it all out!), I'd head back there in an instant. Next trip will be in the fall or spring so that we can actually walk around without thinking we are about to pass out and die.

The first afternoon we visited the Citadel which is the "city within the city". Hue has an enormous walled area of the city and within that lies the "palace" area that is also walled. Much of the inner palace area is in ruin - it received heavy bombing during the war. Some of the remaining structures have been restored and some are in disrepair. You are just able to wander through as you like...there are definitely areas that they should have off-limits but as long as you watch your step, you can go pretty much anywhere. It's impossible to describe with words:

The entrance

One of the great hallways

I think this was the Prince's residence

One of the many ornate gates

Okay...I am having such trouble loading pictures right now that I'm going to have to try again later...

After visiting the Citadel, we came out a different gate and started walking in the direction of where we thought the restaurant we wanted to go to was. It turned into a very long walk through a residential neighborhood. But it was so worth it! We did let them call a taxi to take us back to the hotel.

The second day in Hue we took a Dragon Boat down the Perfume River to a lovely pagoda. It is still used as a monastary and was gorgeous. You'll have to trust me. Then our driver picked us up and took us to two of the Emporer's tombs - Tu Duc and Minh Mang. Even thought we had 20-30 minutes in a lovely air conditioned Mercedes between sites, it wasn't enough to combat the heat. For Minh Mang's tomb, we had to walk down a short trail to the entrance. When we got there, we realized that the camera was still in the car. Neither of us had the energy to go back and get it. We are hoping that Bob and Judy visit that one on their way through Hue so that they can take pictures. It was the most serene site! If it weren't so hot, we could have spent hours there walking around the grounds. The reality is that we viewed a bit of it from a distance. After climbing some stairs to get a vantage point, we conceded that it was too hot to walk all the way to some of the buildings. I felt like such a slacker, but we just could not do it. I don't think I've ever experienced oppressive heat at that level.

That's all for tonight...I'll try again with pictures tomorrow and post with today's explorations. I've got to get caught up before we bring An home with us on Monday!



StanHeather said...

Wow, what a beautiful place... Enjoy!!!!