Didn’t Take My Breath A-Huế

Admittedly by this point in our travels we were perhaps becoming slightly travel weary, in fact I think it was while we were in Hue that we actually decided to take a travel break, so perhaps due to that or perhaps due to other factors I wasn’t terribly impressed with Hue. The night we arrived I was actually quite ill and missed the meal and opted to spend the evening in my bed, this could also have been a factor, but the following day we were back on the bikes.

We had a fairly unexciting ride on busy streets, during which I had a bit of a flashback to my bike ride in China although the lampposts were quite unusual and pretty.

Eventually we arrived at our first destination, which I had either missed or forgotten exactly what we were going to see, but as we approached I thought it seemed interesting as we saw lots of tanks and aircraft on display.

We came further to find a building unlike anything we had seen in Asia so far and I thought that was where we were going, unfortunately that was not the case and I don’t think we even got much of an explanation as to what it was.

Instead we were going to the building opposite which was the Imperial City. I think perhaps the Imperial City was the main reason I wasn’t particularly impressed with Hue, and to be fair it is probably not the fault of the place itself that I was underwhelmed. Perhaps I have been spoiled by being able to see before this The Forbidden City in China and the ancient Angkor Wat; perhaps it comes from living in Europe where a 200 year old palace doesn’t seem terribly historic; or perhaps it was just that our local guide for this particular tour rubbed me up the wrong way.

Anyway, it was built in 1804 to celebrate a unified Vietnam and taken by the French in the 1880s so it wasn’t really a seat of power for very long. It fell into dis-repair and was more recently restored.

And that is pretty much all the history I picked up on from our guide, although we also seemed to pick up a few other tourists on our tour, one of them even started asking questions on this tour they had not paid for while we had. This day was particularly hot and quite a few of the group was quite happy when it started pouring down, we stood in an archway and just enjoyed the draft that the rain created.

After waiting some time for the rain to die down a bit, although I think some of us would have been happy to just go out in it, we continued on to our next destination, which was a temple and a tomb. Now by this point I was pretty sure I didn’t like this day’s guide so I am afraid I got even less information about this place.

There was some very beautiful mosaic work on the roof of the temple including some amazing fish which would have been amazing to see during the earlier downpour with water jetting from their mouths.

One piece of information I did get from our guide for the whole trip, as opposed to the local one for the day, was that one mosaic was of the Asian version of a unicorn. This was drastically different of the western idea of a unicorn which happens to be our national animal.

A unicorn apparently

We continued up to a huge grave site, where I did find the statues and stonework really quite beautiful, although I always feel awkward and unsure on how acceptable it is to take photos in these kinds of places so I took only a few.

My personal favourite was this little bat, who you could easily miss if you weren’t looking carefully.

After the grave site our party split, I along with a couple of others headed back to the hotel, while my husband and the rest of the group went on to a motorbike excursion. I hope to be able provide you with an account of that trip from my husband however he still hasn’t wrote the post I asked for about the E-Sports in Korea so I don’t want to get your hopes up.

I had a lovely lunch and a dip in the hotel pool while the others were away and enjoyed the chance to relax before our overnight train ride to Hanoi, and on to my favourite part of our Vietnam trip.

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