|Ngọ Môn - The Emperor's Entry to The Citadel at Hue.|
Bidding Adieu to Hanoi’s charms, the Traveler moves on, Southwards. The old Imperial City of Hue being the next port of call. Shortage of time precludes driving down by road, so its Air Vietnam to the rescue again. Internal flights in Vietnam are reasonable and reliable.
|Boat on 'Perfumed River'|
|Inside the Citadel, Hue.|
|The Author in a Trishaw.|
|The Citadel and it's Guardians!.|
The Citadel is located on the north side of Perfume River. There were four citadels that defined the Capital City: Hoang Thanh the Imperial City with royal palaces and shrines; Tu Cam Thanh the Forbidden Purple City where the royal residences were located; Dai Noi the Inner city and Tran Binh Dai, the ancient city with old architecture.
The main attractions of the Hue Citadel are, Ngọ Môn. The main southern entrance to the city, built in 1833 by Minh Mang. The central door, and the bridge connecting to it, were reserved exclusively for the emperor.
|The Thai Hoa Palace, Hue.|
Thái Hòa Palace. The emperor's coronation hall, where he would sit in state and receive foreign dignitaries.
|Trường Sanh Residence.|
|The ruined 'Forbidden Purple City'.|
Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Purple City) was unfortunately destroyed during the Tet offensive and only the two damaged palaces at each end remain.
|Sand Mining Perfume River.|
|Work Boats on Perfume River.|
The tombs, however, are worth the cost and effort. The older ones have been allowed to crumble into picturesque semi-ruin, although some are now being restored.
|Pavilions and Gardens of Tombs.|
|Tombs, Moats and Bridges|
Several bridges cross two lakes along the axis to the vast fenced burial mound. The mausoleum features large gardens and lakes: a pleasant place to sit and relax.
There are many souvenir sellers here, some of whom have very good examples of the black and white pen and ink paintings typical of Vietnam. Haggle to your heart’s extent if you want to buy any.
|An Emperor's Tomb.|
The Tomb of Thieu Tri this simple but elegant tomb is of a much loved king and queen. It is not opulent but has a quiet dignity.
|Moats, Bridges, Pavilions and Gardens.|
The Tomb of Tu Duc, this complex served as a parallel 'Imperial City' where the Emperor went for "working vacations". A vast, sprawling complex set around a lake, with wooden pavilions and tombs and temples dedicated to wives and favored courtesans - the emperor Tu Duc reportedly had only a modest 104 to choose from - so he probably had enough time to plan this elaborate layout. There is a mixture of ruined buildings and well preserved areas. The Emperor's tomb itself, at the back, is quite modest.
|Entrance to the Emperor's Tomb.|
|Thien Mu Pagoda Bell.|
|Thien Mu Pagoda Tower.|
Other attractions along the river are the house of Ho Chi Minh, a surprisingly modest building.
As this is a travel and food blog, it may interest readers to know that Ho Chi Minh or Uncle Ho as he is popularly known, was a trained chef, specializing in patisserie.
|Cafe on the Beach.|
spas near Hue. Speaking of Spas, for those so inclined, there are an abundance of massage parlors in Hue,
|Plaque, Uncle Ho's Home.|
|The Actual Home of Ho Chi Minh.|
|Royal Food Presentation.|
The 1450mtr high Bach Ma Mountain is about an hour and a half drive away, is another scenic place worth visiting.
Hue is considered the gastronomic capital of Vietnam and its Imperial Vietnamese cuisine is justly famous.
|Royal Hue Food.|
Imperial cuisine is defined by elaborate presentations which are a visual delight and also artful blending of flavours, textures and tastes. Hue being the capital has preserved the tradition of food that was served to the nobility and Emperor's, blending traditional Vietnamese cooking with French colonial influences, to develop a sophisticated cuisine, unlike any other in Vietnam.
|Com Am Phu (4 Kinds of Pork).|
Bun bo Hue - Hue style beef vermicelli or Bun bo gio heo - beef and pig's knuckle vermicelli, is a popular typical food of Hue, a combination of fish, meat and or vegetables in a delicious spicy broth with vermicelli and fresh herbs decorated with Banana flowers.
|Bun Bo Hue.|
|Bánh Bèo Chén.|
|Hue Street Food.|
Street food is cheap, tasty and widely available in Hue. It is patronised by local blue and white collar citizens and adventurous tourists like the author.
|Vegetarian Food, Hue.|
|Tofu Banh Xeo (Veg Crepe).|
|Mam Tom Chua.|
|Night Street and Market, Hue.|
More of that in the next episode. Happy Travelling and until next time. Caio.
|The Forecourt - Hue Palaces, with Restoration work in the Background.|