Vietnam series: Hue, Vietnam and its walled Citadel and Imperial City by cyclo

I am in Hue, Vietnam and it is day ten of my month long journey travelling north-south through Vietnam.  It is the first real rainy day so I take the chance to sleep in.  I am on my own today as the others (my brother, his girlfriend and their mate) wanted to move on already.  I have stayed on an extra day as I wanted to look at the walled Citadel and Imperial City so I am going it alone and am excited about the day.  But for a while longer… back to sleep.

Before finally heading out I send a text back home to Alex to update him:

“Have been mostly with others but on my own at moment.  Is safe and friendly people.  So hot (35-40) and sticky.  Food a bit hit and miss.”

So to summarise… Alex knows its hot, I’m safe and I am eating…. sorted.

I also send a text to my brother who has travelled ahead of me to Hoi An with his girlfriend and their mate Dan:

“Head to Hoi An tomorrow. Pouring rain here.”

I make my way towards the Citadel.  Once there, I don’t have to look too far to find myself a cyclo and negotiate a price with him for a couple of hours round trip exploring the Citadel.  I am quickly learning the importance of negotiating everything up front!  

We begin and I have to say, the cyclo is a very cool way to travel, and I don’t have to do a thing except sit there…  I can do that !

From my cyclo looking to cross the Perfume River

From my cyclo looking to cross the Perfume River

First things first, we cross the Perfume River in order to enter into the walled Citadel.

Perfume River from sitting cyclo height

Perfume River from sitting cyclo height

The stone walls of the Citadel cover a length of nearly 10km and the wall is surrounded by a moat fed by the Perfume River (so clever).

My cyclo rider/driver/person stops at various points including the citadel war museum, Tinh Tam Lake and lastly the Imperial City, where I set out to explore this tranquil place on my own.

Within the nineteen century walled Citadel are the remnants of a once magnificent Imperial City (being the former Imperial seat of Government) and the Emperor’s Palace, enclosed in its own protective wall and moat. 

The Imperial City itself is a complex of temples, pavilions, lakes, moats, 

Moat

Moat

palaces, gates,

Gate

Gate

courtyards, gardens,

Gardens and gates

Gardens and gates

boulevards

Boulevards

Boulevards

so there is much to explore. 

I finally finish exploring the grounds of the Imperial City and am done for the day so I go in search of a motorbike taxi for the trip back to the hotel where I spend some time at the hotel relaxing.  Finally… a chance to sit down (not counting the time spent sitting in the cyclo being lazily ridden around of course).

View from hotel balcony

View from hotel balcony

I am sad that Alex is not with me. I send him another update:

“Had great day today on my own – checked out walled city, lake, museum and Citadel. Was planning on going to market tonight but too knackered now.”

I have booked myself on an 8:00am bus to Hoi An and I am looking forward to a new place to explore but for now I finish the day the way it started… back to bed (anyway, I am exhausted so won’t head out anywhere tonight and lets be honest, what else is there to do (on your own) in a room like this but sleep?).

Basic room but clean room

Basic room but clean room

[showmyads]

For previous Vietnam post see Hue, Vietnam and the royal tombs of Emperor Minh Mang and Emperor Khai Dinh
For next Vietnam post see Moving from one UNESCO world heritage listed site to another, Hue to Hoi An