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Hue

Hue Travel Blog

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Our evening flight to Hue was delayed by an hour just as we were about to board due to a torrential thunderstom.  I thought for sure we'd be waiting several hours, but to my astonishment, we ended up taking off in the still driving rain and turbulent weather.  It was one of the most harrowing and rough flights of my life, only smoothing out half way down to Hue. 

The next hot, sunny and humid morning, we visted the citadel and Imperial Forbidden Purple city, followed by the royal tombs.  Our 'cruise' up the Perfume River to the famous Thien Mu Pagoda was more acurately a hostage sales pitch, as the attendant sales lady on our private boat pushed countless paintings, clothes and souveniers on us the whole way.  In fact, the driver, obviously part of the sales team, slowed down the boat a few hundred meters from the pagoda to give the lady more time to display her multitudinous wares one agonizing piece at a time.

  I was close to either pushing her off the side or jumping out myself to swim to shore.   At the pagoda was a display (read: propoganda) memorializing the immolation of Thich Quang Duc in protest of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem's oppressive anti-buddhist policies.  Oppressive he was, but where, I wondered, were the monuments memorializing the vastly greater numbers of buddhist victims of the communist government?  Hmmm......

In the late afternoon, we drove southward over the Hai Van pass, pausing for the view of Danag in the distance.  I found the only way to successfully avoid the omnipresent touts at the viewpoint was to hike up the nearest hill.  Not a one followed.   After a quick visit to the Cham museum (where we saw surprisingly plentiful fertility-themed statuary - ahem), we finally arrived at our hotel in Hoi An, where a cool pool awaited.   

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Hue
photo by: Paulovic