Huế, Vietnam’s imperial city ! Located near the DMZ (separating the north Vietnam from the South Vietnam during the Vietnam war), the city has been heavily bombed and some of the best monuments have been completely destroyed. Fortunately, the Vietnamese government decided to restore some buildings, making Huế a great place to discover the Nguyễn Dynasty.
The imperial citadel
The citadel represents the walled fortress protecting Purple Forbidden City (the imperial palace of Huế). The Throne room is the main thing to see and the rest of the citadel is empty (42 buildings out of 67 have been completely destroyed during the Tet offensive. We’re far from Nguyen Dynasty’s glorious days…
Vietnamese are really small ^^
Inside the purple city: most of the buildings have been destroyed
Tombs of the Emperors
The main attractions in Huế are the Tombs of the Emperors: we rented a couple of motorbikes to visit all the tombs and mausoleums hidden in the countryside.
Tomb of Minh Mang – The most beautiful and relaxing one. We followed a straight path from the main door to the tomb, going thought various temples and gardens. At the end, the last bridge separates the world of the dead from the living and allows us a quick glance at the forbidden tomb up the hill.
Beautiful view of the gardens: only the emperor could cross the central bridge!
Last bridge before the tomb, forbidden to the public
Tomb of Tu Duc – Constructed from 1864 to 1867, the complex served as a second Imperial City where the Emperor went for “working vacations”. This is the biggest one !
Strange translation in both languages…
Tomb of Khai Dinh – This is the best-preserved one, while comparatively compact, quite grand at first sight. Constructed on a hill, the tomb is guarded by stoned warriors and carved dragons.
Svastika on a wall, representing life and well being for hindus
Classic Vietnamese: every time we stopped with our motorbike, locals tried to scam us by selling us parking tickets (since we parked in front of their shops in the street…). Didn’t work with us!
Thien Mu Pagoda
Beautiful pagoda up a hill with a gorgeous garden (full of bonsais!). For this one, the guy selling us parking tickets insulted and threatened us, so we had to move 20 meters down the road.
The beard is made of horsehair!
Hue was intense but awesome! Next, direction Phong Nha Natural Park!