Firstly, I would like to thank the regular contributors in this forum!! You guys helped me so much in this forum and it's awesome!! This is a very whirlwind trip of Central Vietnam and I sincerely wish that I had spent more time here rather than in Saigon..
Arrived here early in the morning from Saigon and took the shuttle bus to Camellia hotel. We arrived in the hotel approximately 10PM. Upon arriving here, I booked a car from the tour desk in the hotel and he arrived 20 minutes later. Thank God that there is still a car available. We visited the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu pagoda, Minh Mang tomb, Khai Dihn Tomb and Tuc duc tomb all in one day.
The first place that we went to is the Imperial citadel. It is basically drizzling the whole day but it doesn't really affect our travels as there are no heavy rains. The imperial citadel looks like a 'copy' of the forbidden city but in ruins. It adds to the character of the place actually. Reminds me of the ruined palace of Old Banten near Jakarta. It is an amazing place but the 'wow' factor is not there.
The second place that we go to is the Thien Mu Pagoda. It is located just beside the river and again. Managed to get a glimpse of junior monks helping out in the temple. A pretty interesting site. After that, our drives took us for lunch at a Bo bun Hue stall and it's very delicious. Definitely a must-try when in Hue.
The third place that we went to is the Minh Mang Tomb. It is amazing at first sight but not until you visit the other two tombs. The tombs here resembles a park rather than a tomb.
The fourth place is the most impressive tomb that I ever visited. This is obviously my favorite tomb. It is Khai Dinh's tomb. We are amazed by the architecture and the grandeur inside the tomb. the decor inside the building was top-notch and very well preserved. If you only have time for one tomb in Hue. Be sure to choose this one!!
The fifth place is Tuc Duc's tomb.. By the 3rd tomb, I already feel templed-out.. I love the man-made lake in the complex. It shows that the Vietnamese kings are very serious about their after-life. i really do wonder how much they spend on such opulent tombs. But they are investing in Vietnam's future in an indirect way IMO and that's what makes Hue unique.
The most memorable place in Hue is the city itself. I walked along the perfume river in hue at night and it is a very pretty sight. It doesn't rain at night so we are able to stroll in the river. I really love to do people watching there. Watching the local Vietnamese kids hanging out with their friends. i really recommend strolling along the river at night.
Too bad that we have to leave Hoi An tomorrow. I wish that I have the time to visit the DMZ but let's make this a motivation to come back!! Would definitely spend two nights the next time I am back here!!
Thanks for reading!!