Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Once again the weather wasn't on our side - overcast and rainy. So we passed on the mountain drive through the Hai Van Pass and took the tunnel instead. It seems as though every square inch of land is cultivated with rice paddies or vegetable fields. The vistas were beautiful. Hue was a seat for many of the Emperors of the Nguyen dynasty and they left their mark with a number of Royal mausoleums - these were used during their lifetimes as summer palaces.

We had lunch at the Mandarin restaurant (opposite the Imperial Hotel). The owner is a photographer and sells his lovely photographs - you choose the size and they are printed up while you eat.

Dinner was an interesting feast. We all dressed up as mandarins or concubines, with one couple as emperor and emperess. And as hokey as it may sound, it was a delicious and different dinner with local musicians to entertain.

The next day we toured the Citadel with it's now bombed out Forbidden City. The frangipani trees were not yet in bloom but they are all around and this is how the Perfume river nearby got it's name. We had a boat tour up the river to the Ming Mang tomb.

Part of our journey to the hotel consisted of a cyclo - another way to enjoy the chaos of the streets.

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