Sunday, March 18, 2012

Random Shots from a Walking Tour of Hue

Phan Cu, talented photographer and owner of the Mandarin Cafe, offers customers a brochure showing a walking tour of Hue that he designed. The sons and I did just part of this tour three years ago on a hellishly hot day. It was only hot hot this morning, so the husband and I managed pretty much the whole tour, random shots of which follow.
I have no idea what game these men were playing with the silver balls. In various ways, it somewhat resembled lawn bowling, shuffleboard, and curling.
This is a sign from the Military Museum. What is interesting is that the date this tank was "captured" was the date on which the U.S. withdrew from Hue. The museum features a number of pieces of equipment, all "captured" on that same day. Vietnamese troops were busy, I guess. This shot is from a Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery gun, and is of the only thing on the whole piece not covered in rust. Aluminum rules (especially in a humid climate).
These young people were leaving the Imperial City. All the men had on blue ties that matched the ao dais worn by all but one of the women. My guess is that the woman in yellow might be getting married, and the occasion today was photographs of the wedding party. This is just a guess, though. The flag tower is visible from almost anywhere along the river in Hue and offers one way to orient yourself if you need to know which way is which. This is the moat around the Imperial City. Back in the days of the American War (what we call the Vietnam War), one heard a lot about the Citadel and the Imperial City in Hue. Taking this shot, I was within the Citadel but not the Imperial City. This is one of several gates into the Imperial City. Only one of the gates, the Ngo Mon Gate, is used today.
Mr. Cu's walking tour ventures into neighborhoods not typically on the tourist itinerary. Once we left the walls of the Imperial City, the husband and I were pretty much the only Westerners to be seen. Here, we are apparently in what passes for the Garment District since almost every shop was selling some form of knockoff or second designer clothing. This is a side street with even more clothing shops.
Note the wall to the right. We have now left the Citadel. This is about the point in the walk when I commented to the husband that Mr. Cu sure does take you to a part of the city not typically visited by tourists. I have matured as a traveler. This is the bridge that I refused to cross three years ago, feeling overwhelmed by the traffic. I won't say I was totally relaxed today, but cross it I did. This was one cool rooster, with various hens walking around outside the cage. The red on his breast and legs looked like a calico fabric. I'm not sure if his purpose in life has to do with the hens surrounding him or if he might join us for dinner one night. The husband does order a lot of chicken dishes. Just a random shot of the canal along which we were walking.
Piles of incense outside a pagoda. I have no idea if they were there for ceremonial purposes, as merchandise, or for some other reason, and there was no one around whom I could ask. The only thing noteworthy about this optical shop is that it is the first one I've seen and I want to remember where it is. When I stopped in at my optometrist's optical shop before the trip to get my sunglasses fixed, the optician encouraged me to find an optical shop and get another pair of my very expensive glasses at a much lower price than is possible in the States. He said if I did not do that, I should at least buy several frames I liked since they, too, would be at a fraction of the cost at home. Needless to say, I shall return, and I'll let you know the result.

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