today we took a tour around hue to visit the tombs, temples and pagodas which the city is famous for. up until 1945 hue was the capital of vietnam, therefore, all the emporers who ruled during this period were buried around hue in elaborate celabrations of their life. the bus arrived on time and we headed off. our tour guides name translated in english was jerry and he was a character. he is a very animated young man full of unbridled enthusiam. as a side note today was maybe the most humid day we have had since being in vietnam so plenty of water was on the cards.
first stop was the minh mang tomb. this is located on a large property and is the largest in area of all the tombs. there were not a huge amount of buildings, however, lots of lakes and parklands. was a great start to the day.
next stop was khai dinh tomb. he was the last of the emporers for vietnam. his tomb is very elaborate and was the best one we saw today. very gothic on the outside and inside was very over the top. it is located on a steep hill and we had to contend with lots of steps to get to the top but it was worth the effort. lots of gifts he had received from world leaders were on display and pictures of him everywhere. jen and i have a sneaky feeling we was gay. never met the guy but...
time to move on and next on the agenda was a visit to a martial arts school where we would be treated to some students showing us their skills. this was awesome. they showed us some moves with weapons as well as fans, never thought a fan could be a deadly weapon, as well some excellent gymnastic skills. one young man then proceeded to smash 5 very thick tiles, we got to feel the tiles, balanced on concrete blocks with his forehead. there was a collective wince as his smashed through the tiles and scattered the concrete blocks everywhere. i videoed the whole thing. unreal!! then the finale. another young man had a large spear pressed up against his throat, we go to feel the spear as well, and proceeded to bend the spear with his throat. just as we all winced in pain one of his classmates placed a concrete block on his back and smashed it with a sledgehammer. what the!! triple awesome!! he then proceeded to show us the mark the spear had left on him. we all left very impressed.
next we visited a incense and conical hat village. they showed us how they make incense and conical hats which all the locals wear. the conical hats in hue are special to the region.
we next visited tu duc tomb. jerry told us he was a emporer for the people and while the grounds of his tomb were lovely his tomb was just a large concrete box. there is a nice lake surrounded by various statues and tributes to the great man. there is also the oldest theatre in vietnam which was great to see.
time for some lunch at a restaurant in town. it was a large buffet full of some very yummy foods. sat down with a group of aussies and chatted about what we had all seen and done in vietnam. i must admit it has always been good to have a chat with aussies when in vietnam. we have met some nice people from all over the world but there is no place like home.
time to move on and next was the imperial city which we visited yesterday. i was keen to see a bit more and jen was feeling the temple pinch so she found a nice shady spot with a dutch lady and had a rest while i checked out some more of the imperial city. i must admit jen and i saw most of it the day before, however, i got to see a few more buildings and a very nice temple.
final stop of the day was the thien mu pagoda. this is a seven storey pagoda and is located on the edge of the perfume. there is also a temple located there. beautiful location and very scenic overlooking the river.
to finish the day we had a cruise down the river from the pagoda to the port which is just across the road from our hotel. it was a great way to finish an awesome day. we all cooled off as we cruised slowly down the river.
back to the hotel for a nice cool shower and some air conditioning. we went out for dinner. i ordered pork and onion with stay sauce and jen ordered duck in orange sauce. my satay was very nice and was enjoying it a lot. jen was not very hungry so i ate the rest of her duck. i loooooved it!! very very good. so i polished of half of her dish then the rest of mine. washed down with a few drinks for the sum of $15 aud total i was well pleased with what i had eaten.
yet again another great day in vietnam.
andrew and jenny