Friday, 11 June 2010

Hué Citadel and the Moto Pagoda Tour

This morning after a leisurely start and a repeat breakfast of steak and omlette for Ben and I, we hire motos again and headed off through Hué to the Royal Citadel.

Hué was the home of the emperor's dynasty for hundreds of years until the first war in 1945. In both this war and the "Vietnam War" (or "The American War" as it is called here) the huge palace was bombed heavily. We paid a rather heafty 55,000Dong to enter the city and although it probably wasn't worth that much, it was an interesting experience. There was a great short movie showing a digital reconstruction of the city and as the Hué annual festival is currently in progress, the palace and it partly restored gardens were heavily decorated. It was an interesting place to visit and certainly demostrated the destruction caused by the wars with both the French and the Americans.

From leaving the Citadel we headed out of the city and got a bit lost; ending up with us getting stuck on the Ho Chi Minh highway again - we backtracked and found the correct road; finding some interesting Pagodas and Statues, all decorated for the festival.
Then at around 4, on looking to the south we saw the massive rain clouds and lightening that now seems to typify a late afternoon, so we made a dash back to the city, cutting our tour a little short; but pagodas all begin to look the same after a while anyway so we weren't too fussed.

We stopped off on the way back for a drink or ice cream by the riverside; I ordered Rum icecream, which turned out to be vanilla icecream with a glass of Rum to pour over it - Nice!
Back at the hotel we grabbed some snacks as we had missed lunch, and despite the massive breakfast were still pretty hungry. We are now sat in the hotel room listening to the torrential rain and thunder storm outside that makes a huge amount of noise on the corrugated roofs around the hotel; good job it only lasts an hour or so.

Heading out later for a meal at a nice family restaurant that we found and looking forward to the bus trip over the Hai Van Pass tomorrow on the way to Hoi An - good job we don't have to sleep on this one!

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