Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey


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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 their age. 

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 church. 

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 day.

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 tomorrow. 

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!

Click for larger full-screen images

On our way to the Coliseum

The Coliseum main gate and stairs to the view platforms

In the Arena

Gladiator Will in an epic battle with a dinosaur descendant

Three Carnivores in one of the animal entrances to the arena

Return to the Asia Hotel

Exploring the Hue Nightlife

Supper at Lee's Garden Restaurant

A sampling of the Vietnamese dishes that graced our table

The close of a long exciting day in Hue


Supplementary Photo Gallery



Copyright 2015
Bill and Sue-On Hillman