After our eve on the seven seas (or, Ha Long Bay), we had a few hours pit stop back in Hanoi before leaving the northern parts and catching an overnight train to Hue, located in Central Vietnam.
Like the tangible difference you’d feel in traveling from New York to the Carolinas, Hue (pronounced hway) had a feel that was a little less…communist than Hanoi. It was also a bit less chaotic, and while there were still motorbikes zooming about everywhere, I felt less in fear of my life crossing the street.
Our first day in Hue, we visited the Imperial Citadel.
Another UNESCO site, the Imperial City of Hue was actually a walled fortress and palace belonged to the ancient city of Hue which was a capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty for 140 years until 1945. It seems to be smack in the middle of the city, so should you find yourself in Hue, it’s pretty hard to miss.
The rain was falling in that annoying sort of spit-like manner as we walked across the bridge and through the gates that brought us into what seemed like another world, another time, the pathway flanked by vase after vase of bright yellow flowers, anxiously awaiting the New Year. If you looked closely, you could see parts of its glory hidden under its very moldy exterior. There were enough clues that, if you used your imagination, you could see it as it was once in all its splendor.
And signs of life (or me!) peeking through the gloom.
Overall, it was a great hue to start our time in Hue!