Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Purple Forbiden City of Hue

Dodge the ricshaw, step out of the way of the family teetering past on a scooter, apologise for bumping into a passer by, ogle the padthai in the street-side food stall, ignore the restaurant tout, deny money to 2 beggers, 1 hooker and a sun-glasses sales man and... you are in Hue. Walk a little farther and you are in the Imperial Forbiden city.

In the early 19th century, Emperor Gia Long comanded that an Imperial city, inspirired by the Forbidden City in Beijing, be constructed in Hue. Tens of thousands of workers were conscripted to build a ten kilometer mote and dirt wall, wich was later replaced be a stone wall three meters thick. The citadel was situated facing east towards the Perfume river.  When done, the Purple Forbiden City was huge. However in 1968 during the war, the United States orderd the city of Hue to be retaken, to establish the DMZ. Bombs destroyed most of the city, which was a supprise to me, considering how much of it was left standing. When the city was declared a World Heritage Site, a lot of it was rebuilt, but most of it was converted into huge rice fields. The day I was there, the weather was cloudy and foggy, creating an awesome mystique to the place.

Since Hue is the former DMZ from the war, there were some American military pieces on display around the city, including a guided tour that took you to the main areas of fighting, where you were warned not to stray from the paths, for fear of land mines.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post Jason and some great photo.
    I run a weekly Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. You might be interested in promoting a photo.