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Cambodia and Vietnam 2016 A quick look at Cambodia and then visiting our favourite country, Vietnam for a 5 month stay. Look out Hoian here we come!!!

Day 15 - 28th June 2013 - Hue

VIETNAM | Saturday, 29 June 2013 | Views [347]

Up early again and off for a walk. Headed over first bridge across Perfume River then down to second bridge and back across. Turned right and went further down Le Loi St. After an earlier breakie we met our m/bike drivers for our tour around the various tombs and pergoda. My driver was John and he was from the hotel, works as night security. Kevins man did not speak english at all. Headed off to first tomb Khai Dinh located in Chau Chu mountain. It was built for the Nguyen Emperor Khai Dinh. It was built from 1920 to 1931 taking 11 years to complete. The tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture. It is located on a steep hill and has 130 steps to reach the top. The ceramic works are beautiful, on the walls and roof. We were a little hot after this effort. Set off for the next tomb - Minh Mang. He was the second emporer of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam, reigning from February 1820 (his 29th birthday) until his death, on January 1841. He was a younger son of Emperor Gia Long. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy. It is really amazing that something from the 17th century has survived with the support of World Cultural Heritage and covers about 28 acres of grounds. Sat by the lake to try and catch the breeze. Kevin was flagging by now and we needed a drink after this visit . Sat at a small stall to recoup. On the way to the third tomb we took a detour to see the river sand which is dredged from the river being off loaded from the long boat by 3 woman who were shovelling it onto a conveyor belt up the steep hillside. Slave labour for sure. What hard work. The third tomb Tu Duc.  It is built for the Nguyen Emperor Tu Duc and took three years to build from 1864–1867. It is divided into a Temple Area and a Tomb Area. It is also a World Cultural Heritage project. The tomb is located in a vast pine tree forest and covers 12 ha. Kevin spat the chewy part way around and so he went and sat at the start to wait while I continued looking. Stopped at a stall that made incense which was very interesting to watch. Very labour intensive. Felt obliged to buy something so bought some tiger balm. Kevin is over it all by now but we still had the Chau Thien Mu Pagoda. This pagoda has seven storeys and is the tallest in Vietnam and was built in 1601. The temple also houses the Blue Austin motor vehicle in which Thich Quang Duc was driven to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 against the Diem regime where he burnt himself to death at a busy Saigon street intersection. The Buddhist clergy were trying to bring the plight of Buddhists to the attention of the international community. We have seen a photo of his death in the museum in HCMC. Again Kevin did not want to view the whole grounds so he missed the Austin car. As we were leaving Kevin made the profound statement "I dont want to see another f....g tomb or pergoda in my life". Guess thats it for the ancient sights. Got back around 2pm and were absolutly knacked. Kevin headed off to Huong Giang Hotel to use their pool again and I stayed and caught up on emails from work etc. Went to Nina Cafe - rated highly on Trip Advisor for tea. Was quite a walk and down a few side alleys but when we got there it was quite busy. Found a table and ordered. Had spring rolls, fried and fresh first but Kevins must have got lost because I had my main meal before he got his. I had pork with vegetables and I must say the flavours were very authentic Vietnamese and probably the best I have had. Kevin finally got his main - Beef with vegetables and he enjoyed it as well.

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