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Imperial Splendour


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After the track flooding incident I had another half day to spend in Hanoi before my flight so I ambled around, drinking iced coffee and looking at cathedrals and pagodas and temples. Hanoi, consider yourself well and truly done.

The pre-booked car from the airport wouldn't start and I wondered if this was the universe telling me I wasn't meant to have gone to Hue... However the driver very apologetically called for a replacement and the hotel staff were welcoming, plying me with fruit and sending me off to a local restaurant for a much needed beer and plate of cashew chicken.

As I now only had one whole day in Hue, I booked a sightseeing tour through the hotel. This turned out to be a great choice as it sporadically pissed it down all day and I was much happier in a bus then on the back of a motorbike, which was the alternative suggested. Hue was the Nguyen dynasty imperial capital from the 19th century until HoChi Minh declared power in Hanoi in 1945. Many of the emperors chose to have grand mausoleums built to the west of the city (although these ones weren't pickled) and we visited three of the most impressive.

After a surprisingly good lunch (given that it was included in the tour) we made our way to the Imperial Citadel. It was based on the Forbidden City of Beijing but on a smaller scale and sadly much of it was destroyed in the American War. The ruins feel like they are returning to nature but there are plans afoot to restore parts of it.

We visited a pagoda to the west if the city that was the monastery of the monk Thich Quang Duc whose name you may not know but whose image you will almost certainly have seen. In 1963 he set fire to himself on a busy Saigon street in protest at the treatment of monks by the South Vietnamese government. The Austin that he arrived in is kept at the pagoda.

The next day it was time to give the Vietnamese train system another shot as I headed to Danang on my way to Hoi An.

Posted by arianemeena 06:47 Archived in Vietnam

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hi ariane

just left you a very long message but was messaged back saying my message was deleted a s "spam"so dont know if you have to unspam me!? hugs H xxxxx

by harriet tillson

Hi Harriet, have ok'd you so hopefully you can post now! Hope you are well x

by arianemeena

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