26/12/2009 - 26/12/2009
Hue served as capital of Vietnam from about 1800 to 1950, and the main features of the city are the Purple Forbidden City (so named because it is for royalty, not for its colour) and citadel. Though Hue was subject to many bombing campaigns after losing its status as capital of the French colony, the old city walls and palace walls remained largely intact, some buildings are still standing, and work has been done to restore or rebuild other buildings. The outer city walls are about 5km squared, while the Forbidden City walls are about 1km square. The outer city was mostly bombed to a point of total destructio, and is now largely used as agricultural land, and we focused our visit on the Purple Forbidden City. Only the emperor, his concubines, and their eunuch servants were allowed to enter, and the penalty to unauthroized entry was death.
Here's Sue in front of the moat and gates to the outer city
After we crossed over a cycle rickshaw driver gave us wrong directions and followed us for about 5 minutes, after which point I realized the directions were wrong and went back the way we came from. Outside the complex are some colonial-era cannons, and a block away is the citadel with the flag proudly raised.
Here's Sue in front of the moat and gates to the Forbidden City.
Once inside, there are a variety of sculptures and buildings, all of the buildings being in the style of Chinese temples or of that country's Forbidden City.
The old throne, looking small in proportion to the building.
Here are a couple courtyards, which seem to have been reclaimed from agriculture given the shape of the ground (raised border around the plot)
Another building that just finished being built or restored. I really would prefer if there were plaques saying what is original and what is not, but then there might be nothing original and if people know they wouldn't recommend anyone go there...
Barren field where buildings used to be. Parts of the foundation can still be seen.
A royal bathing basin, now used for watering plants (I believe from recovered rainwater).