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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 27 Jan 2013

Location: Hue, Vietnam

MapWe took our lives into our hands this morning with a cyclo ride from the hotel through the city at rush hour to get to the Imperial Citadel. What a laugh! Dodging the traffic on a 5 lane roundabout was hilarious.
The Forbidden Purple City is undergoing much needed reconstruction after suffering badly from bombings and neglect. It is now a World Heritage site and once renovated will be fabulous but it has a long way to go before it's restored to any beauty. There are glimpses in some areas of former elegance but you need to have imagination as to what it must have been like for the Imperial family and its concubines and eunuchs! Still a must see however.
We drove from here to the pagoda of Thien Mu, the oldest pagoda in Hue. Here is the car of the monk, Thich Quang Duc. The pagoda is a memorial to this monk who in 1963, drove from here to the centre of the city, got out of this car and set fire to himself in protestation to the French government's attempts to install Catholicism instead of Buddhism. I do remember images of this in the papers at that time.
From here we got on a boat and crossed the Perfume River to get a beautiful restaurant built in traditional style. It was called the Royal Park.... The food did not match the setting however!
Tomorrow we fly to Hanoi in the north where it is about 10 degrees. Rain looks likely here tonight although we hear not as much as home.