From the Pagoda, the
next venue was one of the Royal Tombs. Sue-On was a bit weary and stayed
with the bus, but Bill struggled on -- he had to get more pics.
There are a great many temples
to visit in and around Hue but it was a short walk to nearby Chi Khiem
Temple. This temple was dedicated to the minor wives of Emperor Tu Duc
and his predecessors. By this time we were a bit "templed out" but this
one was worth seeing even though most of the tomb had been cleared out
of anything of value.
We passed large stone statues
of animals and warriors, pools, gardens and vegetation -- including towering
jackfruit trees. There was a reunion of old Vietnam military veterans who
marched by -- many of them in uniform and displaying chestfulls of medals.
The temple grounds didn't appear to have been bombed but certainly showed
Three of us decided to take a
taxi to the Hue Coliseum - a miniature version of the more famous one in
Rome. The ride provided us with another chance to see more of Hue. In contrast
to the countless temples and Buddhist shrines was a well-kept Catholic
The Ho Quyen (Tiger's Arena)
Coliseum was where entertainment was staged for the Emperor, the royal
family and mandarins. There were fights between elephants and tigers. The
since elephants were symbols of royalty they always won because the tigers
were declawed and had their teeth pulled out.
While exploring the Coliseum's
Tiger Cages, Bill met up with a ferocious cocky rooster and fought a bloody
duel. The cock put up a stiff fight defending his harem ;-) -- Bill was
victorious, but decided to return to the hotel to nurse his wounds.
Our quick visit back at the Asia
hotel gave us a chance to have a shower and a rest before exploring Hue
after dark. We joined our CEO Beam at Lee's Garden Restaurant. It was a
fun place with the staff all from one school. They worked in the evenings
at the restaurant and went to school during the day. The non-stop background
music featured familiar old rock'n'roll songs we knew: Beatles, Springsteen,
Eagles, and even fellow-Canadian Neil Young. Two English couples joined
us later: Roy & Ronnie and Tony & Lola. A perfect end to an exciting
The food was excellent Vietnamese,
and we had durian ice cream! The mains were steamed mackerel with woodear
and glass noodles, chicken and lemongrass, as well as vegetables and tofu.
Sounds like a lot of food, but the portions are smaller than in N. A. (just
right) and we shared. With beers and frozen lemon juice (which cost more
than the beers), I think our total bill came to US$24.00. On our way back
to the hotel we stopped at a mini-mart for some snacks for the bus ride
We were only in Hue for only
one day, and yet, we packed so much into the day! Tomorrow: on to Hoi An
via Hai Van Pass, Marble Mountain and Danang . . . and more adventures!