The Day in Huế: Dragon Boats, a Forbidden City, and a Thriving Market

March 16, 2016

After a breakfast from the biggest buffet we've had yet, we all met out front at 9 am for a busy day.

We started by riding 'dragon boats' up the Perfume River to another Buddhist temple.  We've seen a lot of temples and pagodas on this tour, and they all look a little bit the same.  But, luckily, so far they've each had something cool to help them stand out.

This temple had a giant bell that when used in the past, could be heard up to 10km away.  It also had a beautiful bonsai garden.

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The dragon boats.

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A little girl in front of the bell.

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Our guide told us a story of lovers who used to climb into the bell. Dylan decided to see what it was all about.

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A garden on the temple grounds.

Then it was off to the Imperial City.  The city is surrounded by a citadel which itself is surrounded by a moat.  Inside the citadel we entered the Imperial City through the Noon Gate, the gate at which the last Emperor abdicated his throne to Ho Chi Minh in 1945.

Inside the Imperial City we saw the emperor's original thone, which we weren't allowed to take pictures of.  We also entered the Purple Forbidden City, the place where only the Emperor and immediate family (along with his concubines and eunuchs) were allowed.

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Mac by 4 of the 9 cannons in the citadel.

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The flag on the wall of the citadel.

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The Noon Gate.

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The Noon Gate from the front.

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The emperors theater.

Next we broke for lunch.  More of the delicious julienned fruit salad.  More mackerel with tomato sauce.  Basically what we've become used to for our lunches.

After lunch we visited the burial place of the second emperor. It was laid out similarly to the Imperial city (which he helped build), with many sections nested together.  His body lies somewhere on the top of a natural hill deep inside the walls.  That hill is surrounded by it's own wall, with a sealed gate, so no one can be sure exactly where he's buried within.

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John showing us the way.

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Dylan pointing out the king.

Lastly for the day, we visited a bustling market.  They sold everything from food to Rolexes.  I mean, those $5 ones are totally real, right?

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Fruit at the market.

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All the herbs you could want.

Tomorrow we leave the the airport in Da Nang at 10, and we don't get into Pleiku until late.  I probably won't have many photos from the day, so you'll have to wait until Friday for more.