The Citadel


As befitting the one time capital of Vietnam, Hue has a citadel, complete with a couple of moats, cannons and majestic gates with names like Gate of Everlasting Happiness.

If this isn't the Gate of Everlasting Happiness, it SHOULD be.

If this isn’t the Gate of Everlasting Happiness, it SHOULD be.

Gate detail. The Vietnamese are descendants of dragons and fairies

Gate detail. According to legend, the Vietnamese are descendants of dragons and fairies

We’ve all seen cannons, so you don’t need to see the whole thing, but I’ll bet you’ve never seen cannons as fancy as the ones at Hue.

The Vietnamese are incredible craftsmen. This is one of the "four seasons" guns.

The Vietnamese are incredible craftsmen. This is one of the “four seasons” guns.

The emperor lived in the Forbidden Purple City with his wives, concubines, daughters, young sons and female servants. If any male, other than the emperor, (or one of the eunuchs) attempted to enter the Purple City, he was put to death. I was quite excited about wandering thru the forbidden city, but unfortunately it was flattened during the Tet offensive or America’s response. Nothing remains of the emperor’s residence.

You'll just have to use your imagination to conjure up the Forbidden City. Here is where it stood.

You’ll just have to use your imagination to conjure up the Forbidden City. Here is where it stood.

These galleries of Hue’s citadel have been restored and give you an idea of the glorious days of old.

Restored gallery

Restored gallery

Our tour guide had gone to college in Hue, so he was full of great restaurant and bar restaurants. Instead Mike and I opted to have a wonderful dinner on the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, enjoying the perfect weather and the beautiful view.

The view of the Perfume River from our room

The view of the Perfume River from our room

Speaking of our room, I’m not sure why the Mercure Hotel thinks showering is a spectator sport. Both of the Mercure Hotels had a “viewing” option. See what I mean?

This might have been a good idea 30 years ago...

This might have been a good idea 30 years ago…

One more day of our private tour, a day in Hanoi, then I’ll be telling you all about my Global Volunteers experience.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for–the answers to the last contest’s questions
1. We visited Halong Bay on this trip. Although Angkor Wat IS indeed a wonder of the world, it is man made, not a natural wonder.
2. Early in the morning, in Luang Prabang, the monks beg for their food.
3. The best way to tour Hanoi’s old quarter is a matter of opinion. Both Cyclo and on foot are correct, and yes, Lis, this was a trick question!
4. This question was specially for Kristy because of her fondness for the dong. The answer is Vietnam.
5. I lost my glasses once, but was able to retrieve them, because I remembered where I had left them–but Mike and his hat have parted ways for good.
6. The GI’s called the beach at DaNang “China Beach” because of all the porcelain they found there.

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