Monday, May 7, 2007

Hue, Vietnam - 4May07

Royal Tombs and Vietnamese Forbidden City

Bad planning. i ended up wil stay 4 days in Hue. So i kind of lost one day for Hanoi. Never mind, nothing during the trip was bad.

The good thing for the day was i met with Rachel. She is an exchange student at Hong Kong Baptist University, originally from USA. This was their study week before examination and she used her study week to travel! It was really good to have her as a companion. We (or I) dragging her to take photos at every sights. She is one of the rare American young girls that i think i kind of 'clicked' with.

At one of the royal tombs, we both refused to pay the 55000 D of entrance fees. Since the tour guide said the design was similar to the first one that we visited, so we just skipped it and caught a drink some where.

There was a Japanese guy in the tour too. So i tried to be friend with him too. i chatted a bit with a Shanghainese girl as well. I felt so good to speak in Mandarin after so long of not using this language! Too bad that she was only having a half day tour. We shared our funny barganing experiences.

The both tombs that i visited were magnificiant.Probably the scale of the tombs were not like those in China, but the design and geometrical art (feng shui) were the same concepts as those in China. The harmony of Yin and Yang, mountain and water. i especially like the tomb which the remain of the king was found to be 18meter below of his statue. The French tried to invade to the tomb last time but found that, any force in would destroyed the foundation of the whole tomb. So the ancient knowledge was really brilliant!

The Citideal (imperial palace) looked great in the model. but the actual compound for visit was very much smaller. The guide said, may structures were destroyed during the world and due to lack of conservation. The Vietnamese government has started to do something and it is likely to take 30 years for the whole restoration efforts. This place was the smaller version of China Purple Forbidden City. But it was still very hard to imagine that, for such a big area, the amount of resources needed to maintain it during the old good days.

The last tour was the temple and the river cruise. After Mekong and Hoi An, i seriously wouldn't get impress by any more river cruise. i basically slept during half of the cruise.

Tomb of Ming Manh. Renowned for its architechure, which harmoniously blends into the natural surroundings.

The Ming Manh Tomb was said to be designed in the way that, the lake, hill and others formed a human shape. It was brilliant!

Trung Minh Ho (Lake of Impeccable Clarity) near to Sung An Temple, which was dedicated to Minh Mang and his empress.

This is my favourite royal tomb, Tomb of Khai Dinh. The tomb is a synthesis of Vietnamese and European elements.

Khai Dinh was said to be burried 18m under his golden statue. The story goes by the French tried to open up his tomb but was found that, any force open would cause the whole tomb structure to collapse. That is the reason that the emperor's remains are left untouched!

The 37m-high flat tower of the Cititel.

Forbidden Purple City. It was the miniature of the version in China, so as in China, it was reserved solely for the personal use of the emperor and only eunuchs were allowed into this.

This looks a bit like some view in China. :) View from a temple on a hill, 灵姥寺.

1.) Accommodation: USD 5
2.) Food: 32000 D
3.) Sights: Citidel 55000 D + 2 Royal Tombs 110000 D + DMZ tour USD 10

[Cashed USD 50 into Dong. 1 USD = 16000 D]

1 comment:

柏大衛 said...

I went to one of the tombs. I thought the craftsmanship was astonishing, but also depressing (that particular king had been one of the puppets during French control. And all I'd read had told me how much harm the French did. So I kept looking at the wealth of the tomb thinking: the money for this went to you while your people struggled under the French. Were you ashamed of this?)

Alas, I didn't get into the "Citadel" for I got to it too late on the day I was in Hue.