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Hue Travel Information Vietnam

h_1Hue, in the centre of Vietnam, was a former imperial city and for 143 years, between 1802 and 1945, the capital of Vietnam. Situated just south of the border between Northern and Southern Vietnam, the region experienced the heaviest fighting during the Vietnam war. Nowadays Hue is getting back to the meaning of its name again: harmony which radiates through the city on both sides of the “Perfume River” Song Huong.

h_2Hue, at the same time, is also a spiritual city. The heart of the Buddhist centre in Vietnam beats with some 300 temples and pagodas. The Vietnamese Buddhists meditate by prostration. Three to three hundred times they bend over until their forehead touches the ground and when upright again, they lay their palms of their hands on their chest. Speaking a Buddha-name with each prostration practises selflessness and accumulates merits.

h_3The citadel complex of the emperor Nguyen is surround by a large external wall, in total 11km long, which was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century with 24 watch towers. The Purple Forbidden citadel, based on Peking’s example, has been a world heritage site since 1993. It accommodates alongside the “Hall of Highest Harmony” the nine dynastic urnes in front of the “Pavilion of the famous souls”.

h_4The memorial site of Phan Boi Chau (1867-1940), the mentor for Ho Chi Minh is also located in Hue. In 1912, Phan already founded the association for the unification of Vietnam. Country wide demonstrations by the people prohibited the enforcement of the death penalty imposed by the French. His life-long house-arrest was spent in Hue.

h_5The Thien Mu pagoda is situated directly on the banks of the Perfume River near Kim Long. Its seven storeys symbolise the reincarnation of Buddha and it is the oldest pagoda in Hue. In 1601 the prince Nguyen Hoang let it be built on the place where his incense stick went out. He received this task from a female apparition during his journey from Hanoi to Hue. This is why it’s called the “Heaven Fairy Lady pagoda”.

h_6Historic and spiritual – are the impressions of the old emperor city on the Perfume River on its visitors. There are two possible explanations for this: it might be the fragrance of the tree blossom in the springtime which floats down the river or maybe from former times when sandal wood was floated down the river from the mountains to the sea.