Hue Sep 2015

Hue is about 2 hours drive north of Da Nang.  It was the imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty and also the national capital until 1945 when the emperor was abdicated and a communist government was established in the north.  Hue is well known for it historic monuments such as temples, tombs, but the highlight is of course the walled Imperial Citadel.

The Imperial City has been severely damaged during the war with most of the Purple Forbidden City, the innermost enclosure restricted to the imperial family, leveled. Regardless, it is still beautiful and the dilapidated condition has an air of melancholy of the glories of the past.  Hue is also well known for its cuisine which is more refined, elegant, and light than other Vietnamese cities.

DSCF0083Gate into the Imperial Citadel of Hue.

DSCF0087As with all palaces, it is protected by a moat.




DSCF0101Entrance to the temple shrines of the imperial palace complex. I love the slightly dilapidated look with the faded paintwork.


DSCF0108Thai Mieu is a temple established to worship Nyguyen Hoang and his successors of the Nyguyen Dynasty.

DSCF0110Thai Mieu temple.



DSCF0122The Royal Theatre in the Imperial Citadel.

DSCF0136The Royal Library

DSCF0128The Royal Library

DSCF0129Symbols of Immortality – The Phoenix and The Lion.


DSCF0131Endless corridors inside the Imperial Palace.



After our visit to the Imperial Citadel, we stopped by the Thien Mu Pagoda.  This is a historic temple honoring the heavenly lady on the banks of the Perfume River.  Legend has it that an old woman in white appeared here where the pagoda now stands and said that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country’s prosperity.  Hearing the prophecy, Nguyen Hoang ordered the construction of the pagoda and named it “Heaven Fair Lady” or Thien Mu in Vietnamese.

DSCF0143Thien Mu Pagoda

DSCF0148View of the Perfume River

DSCF0142Traditional Vietnamese dragon boat.

DSCF0152Thien Mu Pagoda

Another place of interest in Hue is the Tu Doc Tomb.  This is the tomb of the longest reigning emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.  Although he had over a hundred wives and concubines, he was unable to father a son, hence he had to write his own epitaph.  The main portions of the tomb were completed long before his death and he used them as a palatial retreat.  Despite the grandeur of the site, it was said that Tu Doc was buried in a different secret location in Hue. To this day, the location of the real tomb of Tu Doc is still unknown.

DSCF0161This man-made lake at the Tu Doc Tomb complex is usually filled with water and the Emperor would write poetry and take boat rides on the lake.

DSCF0162Tu Doc Tomb complex


Tu Doc Tomb

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