June 17, 2013

Central Vietnam trip – Hue (Imperial Citadel & Thien Mu Pagoda)

Hue (pronounced Hway) was once Vietnam’s Imperial City and capital city under the Nguyen Dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam which lasted for 143 years (1802 – 1945).  One of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam, it is home to the Imperial Citadel and several imperial tombs.

The Imperial Citadel was the imperial seat of the government and Hue’s prime attraction.  It is a sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls and gates, combining ancient Chinese architecture with modern European ideas.

City gate outside the Imperial Citadel

 Imperial Citadel and its surrounding moat

Ngo Mon – the main southern entrance to the Imperial City.  The central door and the bridge connecting to it, were reserved exclusively for the emperor.  The Ngo Mon Gate is the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure.  The Emperor would address his officials and the people from the top of this gate. 

Stone markers outside the Thai Hoa Palace, the emperor’s coronation hall, where he would sit in state and receive foreign dignitaries.  The markers indicate the position of the Mandarins, soldiers, etc during official ceremonies.

Girls making funny faces

An elaborate looking gate

To Mieu Temple – constructed between 1821-1822, the temple is used to worship the Nguyen emperors

Yan Yan posing in the compound of the To Mieu Temple - the metal urns in the background are the Nine Dynastic Urns.  Each stands for one Nguyen Emperor.

Another lovely and intricate gate

Tinh Minh Building, located inside the Dien Tho Residence, the living quarters of the king's mother and grandmother.  A wooden structure originally stood on this site.  This current building was built in 1927 and was used as the medical facility.

 An old, unrestored gate - one of the many inside the citadel

Next we continued on to the Thien Mu Pagoda, perched on a hill overlooking the Perfume River.  The pagoda is considered the symbol of Hue, and Buddhism in Vietnam.

We took a boat ride on the Perfume River to get back to Hue town for lunch.

We were suckers on vacation so we did the touristy thing and took a ride on one of these boats along the Perfume River

(L): A house boat? (R): A vessel dredging for sand on the Perfume River

View of the Truong Tien bridge from the boat.  The bridge, built by the French in 1897, and rebuilt after the American War, is a famous landmark of Hue.

View of the Truong Tien bridge at night, from our room.  It's a beautiful view with its changing colours.


LittleLamb said...

wow. i never knew of this place. Vietnam to me is always hanoi/hcm. so historical. nice.

Small Kucing said...

The 4th photo is very beautiful. Just like a scene out of a movie


zmm said...

Now.. you want to make me go (just like your Sri Lanka trip)......

Haih... maybe next year.

A Mom's Diary said...

LittleLamb - yes, it's quite nice. So many Unesco Heritage sites within driving distance of one another.

Small Kucing - haha, thanks.

ZMM - haha, your Sri Lanka photos are really nice. AA has stopped the service to Danang so getting there will be quite difficult now.