Hue Citadel – inner court.
Palaces and pagodas, ruins and restorations, cuisine and colour.
Hue (pronounced “hway”) is a Unesco World Heritage site and the former capital of the Nguyen dynasty. The Perfume River dissects the city, with the Citadel and the historical part of Hue on one side, and the more modern part on the other.
The Citadel was home to the Nguyen emperors until as recently as 1945. Today it is in ruins, thanks to years of being ravaged by termites, cyclones, battles and bombs. The Vietnamese government is slowly returning it to its former glory. There are flashes of colours and beautifully restored spaces.
Hue Citadel – red decorative ceilings
Hue Citadel – golden dragons guard the Forbidden City
Hue Citadel – vast green expanses run through the middle of the complex
More “hues” can be found in Hue by venturing into the vast Dong Ba market. A huge array of fruit, vegetables, fresh and dried seafood, spices, every cut of meat you can imagine (and quite a few that you can’t!), and hawkers stalls cram the market. There’s also watches, sunglasses, bags, shoes, clothing (both ready-made and tailor services), tacky souvenirs, household goods and hoards of locals ready to laugh and the L-size westerners weaving their way through the maze of stalls and narrow aisles.
Dang Bo Market – rainbow array of cheap toys
We also stumbled upon some idyllic, serene hidden spots in our brief time in Hue. This lovely garden at a local restaurant –
If you’re ever in Central Vietnam, make your “hway” to Hue.
x Sonia x