Unfortunately we weren’t able to explore and enjoy Hue to the fullest, as Brecht spent most of our time there in the hospital. He was diagnosed with dengue fever, as you can read in the blogpost he wrote about this “adventure”. Luckily for me, the hospital was only a 15 minute walk from Jade Hotel, were we stayed.
When Brecht was released from the hospital on a particularly rainy morning in Hue, we stayed in for the rest of the day. Brecht was still weak from the dengue fever and the sleepless nights in the hospital, so we would have to take it easy for a while. The next morning he was already feeling better and stronger, so we decided to visit the Hue Imperial City.
Before you cross the moat to enter the Hue Imperial City, check out the Flag Tower (Vietnam’s tallest) and the Nine Holy Canons. The entrance of the Hue Imperial City is through the Noon Gate (the southeast gate), where you have to pay a 150,000 VND entrance fee. Right in front of you is the Thai Dich Lake, filled with (hungry) fish. For only 5,000 VND you can buy a little bag of fish feed. It’s crazy how they swim on top of each other, even partly out of the water, just to get some of the food the people throw in the water. I can hardly believe they aren’t getting enough food, probably getting way too much!
We walked around the grounds, visiting some tempels, the residences of the imperial family and the overgrown gardens. To be honest, there is not that much to see, still a lot of ruins and weeds. They’re currently restoring several buildings to their previous glory. There were of course some beautifully kept or restored buildings as well. There was a stunningly beautiful gate and the lovely Co Ha Gardens were great for taking a little break. The residential chambers of the imperial family were quite interesting as well, displaying some authentic pieces of furniture and the queen’s carriage, for example. We even did some geocaching on the grounds. Although it was just one, rather odd geocache: you have to email some dates mentioned on a stone sign.
Around noon, we felt like we had seen everything and were tired of walking, so we wanted to exit the way we entered the grounds. Unfortunately that is not possible. You can only exit through the northeast and northwest gate, while the entrance is at the southeast gate.
It’s nice for a walk, but we honestly believe you haven’t really missed a lot shouldn’t you be able to squeeze Hue in your trip through Vietnam.