Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City Snapshot: Hue

Tomb of Tu Duc
The city of Hue has a very different feel than Hanoi. Much of that is due to small size and the lush foliage just outside the city limits. It also feels more touristed, in a resort sort of way. The town is pretty small, but it was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty (of which the last ruler was Bao Dai) so it has much history. With its famed Citadel enclosing the Imperial City, and the numerous tombs in the surrounding area, there's no cause to wonder why Hue draws tourists.

While our first sightseeing destination, the tomb of Khai Dinh, was a spectacular display of beauty and opulence, my favorite experience in Hue was our visit to the tomb of Tu Duc. Here was a guy with an aesthetic I can appreciate. In contrast to Khai Dinh's tomb, which, while nestled on a hillside, is a massive structure of stone and concrete, nature has a distinct presence in Tu Duc's resting place.

The image above is not of his tomb, but of another structure he used during his retreats from the palace. During his day, the man-made lake was stocked with fish and he used the island on the right, also man-made, for hunting (this according to our guide).

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