Hue, Vietnam

While in Hue, we spent the day with our guide Tranh from Urban Adventures.  All of the photos above are in the Citadel.  This Imperial City is situated on the Perfume River and is around 200 years old.  Many Vietnamese emperors lived here for a time but a lot of the buildings were destroyed in both the Indochina (1946-54) and the Vietnam wars.  As you can see from above, they are in the process of restoring it.  I had to include this picture of the wedding couple posing outside the gates, as you see this all of the time in Vietnam.  
We also hit the Dong Ba Market in central Hue.  You can get pretty much anything there, from clothes, souvenirs, cooking utensils, and of course fresh vegetables, meats, fish and chicken.  And of course you can eat here also at many of the stalls.  The market was originally located outside of the Citadel's gate but it burned down in 1885.  Two years later it was rebuilt and eventually moved to this location.  It is the biggest market in Central Vietnam and something not to be missed.
Bao Quoc Pagoda is a seven tiered buddhist temple, built in 1670.  We stopped here before our short cruise up the Perfume River to have lunch at a Buddhist monastery.  And what a lunch it was, all vegetarian, prepared for us by the monks.  We started with fried spring rolls and a mung bean salad which was incredible.  Next came a soup, a vegetable stew and finally a "vegetarian taco," of some sort.  Amazing lunch.  After lunch we met with a couple of the young monks, one of which just was initiated a few days before.  That was the highlight of the day!

The Tomb of Tu Duc is one of several royal tombs in Hue.  It was built between 1864-1867.  Tu Duc was the longest reigning Nguyen emperor and used this site as his home away from home.  There are gardens, pavilions and a temple that he used for a palace.  He had 104 wives and many concubines but never had any children.

While in Hue, we stayed at the Pilgrimage Village Hotel.  What a great hotel.  The staff couldn't have been nicer and the food was incredible.  I would stay there again in a second.