Central Vietnam, Hue (Former Capital of Vietnam)
This is Part 2 of my visit to Hue which I will be sharing on our visit to The Imperial City and our River Cruise ride on the Perfume River. For Part 1, check out Visit to Hue, Vietnam – Part 1.
After lunch, we were brought back to the hotel to change into comfortable casual clothing and walking shoes and to put away our laptop. We were then brought to The Imperial City and our local colleague arranged for an English speaking guide to show us around and explain the history of Vietnam to us. As we have about two hours to tour the Imperial City and the place was still under going major restoration work when we were there, we did not managed to cover much.
About Hue & The Imperial City (Extracts from Wikipedia)
Huế is a city in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. It originally rose to prominence as the capital of the Nguyễn lords from 17th to 19th century. In 1802, Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (later Emperor Gia Long) succeeded in establishing his control over the whole of Vietnam, making Huế the national capital. During the French colonial period, Huế was located in the protectorate of Annam. It remained the seat of the Imperial Palace until 1945, when Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated and a communist DRV (North Vietnam) government was established with its capital at Hà Nội, in the north.
Huế is well known for its historic monuments, which have earned it a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1993. The seat of the Nguyễn emperors was the Imperial City in a 19th-century Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls on the north of the Perfume River. Within the Imperial City was the Purple Forbidden City where only the emperors, concubines, and those close enough to them were granted access; the punishment for trespassing was death. The Purple Forbidden City was destroyed during the Vietnam War and restoration work was being carried out to maintain it as a historic tourist attraction. Other monuments include the tombs of several emperors, including Minh Mạng, Khải Định, and Tự Đức. Also notable is the Thiên Mụ Pagoda, the largest pagoda in Huế and the official symbol of the city.
Following are some of the pictures I took at the Imperial City:
River Cruise on Perfume River
After our tour at The Imperial City, our local colleague requested the driver to bring us to a place to have dinner and to leave us there. We had some strange wild life animal meat for dinner. Our local colleague refused to tell us what we were eating but the food did not look too appetizing. I obliged and took two small pieces.
After dinner, we took a taxi to the Perfume River for a River Cruise. In the River Cruise, there were performers dressed in traditional Vietnamese costumes, singing with musicians playing the local musical instruments in the background.
Mid way through the performance, I walked to the back of the river cruise and saw ladies and children lighting their water lanterns and releasing them on the Perfume River.
After the River Cruise on Perfume River, we ended our evening at the King Panorama Bar, an open air bar, on 16th floor of the Imperial Hotel. It was a long and eventful day. The workshop with the customer went well and with the customer’s hospitality, we visited The Imperial City. After a few drinks and some finger food, we went back to our hotel room to pack our luggage, to get ready for the next morning flight back to Ho Chi Minh City for one more meeting before catching flight back to Singapore.
The Lowdown – Hue at Thừa Thiên–Huế Province
Getting There: About three hours drive by car from Da Nang to Hue or domestic flight via Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Phu Bai Airport at Thừa Thiên–Huế Province
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