Today was a day tour around Hue to three imperial tombs of past emperors. The tombs vary from intricate to beautiful to almost other worldly with the architecture and attention to detail. These emperors ended their dynasty in 1945 when the last emperor abdicated to the French governor and moved to France. Each had a three level tomb built and as you can see in the album some were past amazing. One spent more money than the treasury had with the result that his tomb was not ready until after he died.
In all cases, the grounds are divided into three spaces or levels and you walk up stairs to the tomb itself. One tomb was in a hill and you could not see it. Others were under carvings or statues. The historical materials and presentation of the tombs is very cool!
Our guide was very knowledgeable about the tombs and grounds as well as generic questions about Hue and its history. There were only two of us on the tour. The other guest was a young Vietnamese guy who insisted on sharing his umbrella. The people here are so much past friendly. I was always the last person to get done and they patiently waited and the guide wanted to make sure I had enough photographs to remember each of the tombs.
We then went for a buffet lunch which was included in the price of the tour and I met a very nice Korean and Vietnamese couple from south of Hanoi. The woman and I sat next to each other at lunch and talked about traveling a lot. She has been to Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and a whole bunch of other places. We discussed traveling and life in Vietnam and tourist Visas. It appears not everyone can get what we Americans get. I got a six month multiple entry visa for Vietnam which also times out after 90 days which is why I am going to Hong Kong for a few days. Her friend’s Visa is single entry for only 30 days at a time so he has to do interminable visa runs. He was telling me how expensive and tiring it gets having to always be going. The woman and I talked more about Hanoi and I showed her were I was staying in the old quarter. She had a beautiful smile and laugh :-). Her friend wanted to talk a lot more.
Now I’m done with the planned activities so I’m in my room watching the slow rains falling in Hue. I have one more day and then I leave on Wednesday for Hanoi. Time is getting away from me I think.
Getting back I have a few bucket list places to go to wit:
- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. This museum is a good walk. Its about 5 km to it and then back so I may ask a friend to help me with bus tickets.
- Hanoi Women’s Museum. I have seen this museum a few times and have not gone yet. Have to get this one done.
There are some other historic sites like a Citadel I want to do. Time is departing on my stay in Hanoi.
I also repurposed my trip south and canceled some airline tickets and decided instead to visit the central highlands and Da Lat. I felt like something different than the rush and pull of the big cities so I will only spend about 2.5 weeks in Ho Chi Minh City. I also booked a shorter trip to Nha Trang by the beach. Da Lat will be about 10 to 15 degrees cooler so I may need a hoodie for the nights. That will be different.
After the bucket list items I go to Hong Kong for days to clear my Visa and let me come back stay until September. I also changed that transportation and decided to fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. That gets me there in an hour. I’ll get there and spend 30 days at first there and then step around Cambodia on trips.
That’s about it! Now its room time and listening to News on the TV. And thinking about dinner later. I may do Indian food tonight down the street. I think I need something a bit different.