Lost on Planet Earth – Mars Travel Journal – Vietnam Day Six

Vietnam 2011

Good Morning Vietnam!

Thursday, 8 December 

Day 6 – Hue

After a good nights sleep we are have breakfast on the 6th floor of the hotel, where the dining room is with a breakfast buffet including eggs, fruits, toast, terrible coffee, and crepes.  Todays weather was a little bit drizzly and rain on occasion, also a bit warmer than Hanoi.

The tour group met downstairs to join our leader for a walk through town to the Perfume River, we were then taken on a house boat, with dragon heads at the front down the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, which was built-in 1601.  The large temple is surrounded by smaller temples that hold Turtle status similar to the ones at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi and a giant bell, which weighs 3285 kg, and was regarded as one of the most prized cultural relics of its time in Vietnam. The bell is said to be audible 10 km away.  The grounds are very beautiful and peaceful, we  also saw young boys training to be monks. The temple also houses the Austin motor vehicle in which Thich Quang Duc was driving to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 against the Diem regime.

Back on the boat we are taken down river to meet our tour bus to be transported to Lang Tu Duc Mausoleum with sophisticated architecture, charming landscape painting and is one of the most beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen.  The site includes the burial-place of King Tu Duc.

We enjoyed lunch with the tour group, my partner having the house special (Beef & Prawn Noodle), and I enjoyed a ham (it was bacon) sandwich with chips.  After lunch we were given spare time to enjoy the city of Hue.  I never admit it often, but I love military tanks, aircraft, cannons, the relics of wars, I even sat on a cannon pictured above.  We walked back to the Imperial City so I could take pictures and admire the past of the Vietnamese people.

Heading back to the hotel we had a quick look through the market place which was like a Pan’s Labyrinth, very tight, closed in and had many ‘tunnels’ and allies to get lost in, following the light we escaped this cramped place and visited the nicer more Western supermarket.  Being mid afternoon we also stopped at the Mandarin Cafe for a latte and banana split each, we also brought postcards.

After a nap at the hotel and repacking our bags for the departure tomorrow we went the group in the lobby to head off for a Royal Banquet dinner which included costumes, singers, instrumentals, food sculptures.  It was a 7 coarse meal, I also had my first Vietnam Beer as wine was to expensive.  My partner was dressed as a Vietnamese High Official in Blue, I was excited to be dressed as a Princess in Green!

Odd Observations:

  • I was feeling much better today.
  • Hue had more bicycles than cars and scooters
  • Most toilet were free and supplied toilet paper (but some didn’t, always bring your own while in Vietnam)
  • Very windy when crossing the cities main bridge.
  • I still love dragon fruit for breakfast.