April 1: An Dinh Palace, Ming Mang’s Tomb, Imperial Citadel

We start the day driving into Hue with a stop at An Dinh Palace , the residence of Prince Vinh Thuy – born in the Purple Forbidden City of the Imperial Citadel and later known as King Bao Dai – who was the 13th and  final Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. The palace was seized by the Ngo Dinh government in 1954, and donated to the Revolutionary Government by Bao Dai’s mother, Tu Cung, in 1975. Today this structure is a 30% remainder of once was, reduced by the ravages of war.


Main Entrance An Dinh Palace


An Dinh Palace


Trung Lap Temple

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King Khai Dinh

We then were the sole passengers on a private cruise on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda . There is a school for young monks here and the founder of the pagoda is buried on site.


View of Perfume River from Tien Mu Pagoda


Tien Mu Pagoda entrance from Perfume River


Tien Mu Pagoda; grave of revered monk

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Tien Mu Pagoda, Temple


Tien Mu Pagoda

We then visit the tomb of Ming Mang , the second ruling Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, 1820-1841. He was known as keenly interested in European modernization and attempted to introduce to Vietnam, vaccination against small pox starting with the royal family by a French physician. Espousing Confucian Orthodoxy, Ming Mang maintained an isolationist policy toward Christianity. Attempts by the US, England, and France to enter into commercial contracts with Ming Mang were rebuffed. Yet on the domestic front, he built highways, established a postal service, and  undertook monetary and agrarian reforms.



Elephants guarding the entrance


Soldier guardian


A stone Stele with a written account of Ming Mang’s life.


Guardian Lion


The tomb complex is laid out along a 700 meter line, and is symmetrical.

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Bronze pillars at the entrance of the next tomb level.


Approaching Sung An Temple



Sung An Temple


Sung An Temple


Sung An Temple


Sung An Temple


Final resting place.

This afternoon, we visit the Imperial Citadel , begun in 1804, the residence of Emperors. The complex is surrounded by a wall and moat – 10 kilometers long – within which was a second walled area where the Emperor and his family lived, the Purple Forbidden City. Of the 160 original buildings, only 10 major sites have survived bombing of the Tet Offensive .


Imperial Citadel, Hue, Main Entrance


Imperial Citadel, Hue, Opposite main entrance


Imperial Citadel, Hue


Imperial Citadel, Hue, Bronze post detail


Imperial Citadel, Hue, welcoming music


Imperial Citadel, Hue, detail of stair guardian lion with paw on orb (the world) indicating supremacy.


Imperial Citadel, Hue, Detail of roof crest in mosaic


Imperial Citadel, Hue, second temple entrance


Imperial Citadel, Hue, third level entrance. Four legged bronze urns, after those in China, were used in ceremonial events. A thriving bronze industry centered in Hue.


Imperial Citadel, Hue, Third level shrine.

And finally we visited the Dong Ba local market in Old Hue.


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue


Dong Ba Market. This young lady was sitting next to the following. When she let her hair down, she was quite attractive.


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue


Dong Ba Market, Old Hue





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