Showing posts from November, 2019

Hoa Lu 華閭

I visited Hoa Lu (an ancient capital) alone in 2007. Last time, I just picked an agency at the Old Quarter of Hanoi randomly to arrange a tour. On the day, a small car, may be for maximum 7 persons, took us to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc . Lunch with dishes served at home was served at a small restaurant. The surroundings were rather primitive. People were riding their bikes around, old women sold fruits, etc. The experience was very good. In 2019, my trip partner and I visited Hao Lu , Trang An and Mua Cave . With these 12 years, the temples look more or less the same. But the surroundings have changed. Only tourists were around. We did not see residents anymore. Buffet lunch at a giant restaurant was much inferior to the family run restaurant. The surroundings have been cleared up. The views of the limestone mountains nearby remain beautiful. One funny incidence: I saw the same man riding on a cow around the entrance of the temple area. Both the man and cow are older.

Hue - Tuc Duc Tomb 順化 嗣德陵

Tu Duc is the 4th emperor of the Nguyen dynasty . Though facing many challenges (such as rebellion, French encroachment, court intrigues), he ruled the country for over 30 years and its the longest in the Nguyen history. Tu Duc created a fantasy land as his tomb which he often spent his his time there with his many concubines during the last years of his reign. The Emperor’s sepulcher Tu Duc Tomb is immense and exceptional. No other tombs can compare with it in terms of size and luxuriousness. The design goes in harmony with the nature. The emperor could walk undisturbed; pleasure pavilions where the Emperor could write verse; and a lake with its own small island, where the Emperor could hunt miniature animals if he so wished. His joy was built on heavy taxation and tiring labour. But at the end, his body was not even placed in the humble tomb within the beautiful palace like tomb area but somewhere which nobody knows. The 200 labourers who buried him were all beheaded.  It