Dee Plomassy in Vietnam
Dee: Welcome to Vietnam. Join me, and we’ll see the sights.
The Vietnamese people have fought their fights for independence against other countries, and even among themselves over how they should be governed. But that’s history. When you visit today, people are friendly, open, and ready to help. They also have great cuisine, mountainous rainforests, and hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches. You might just be tempted to stay awhile.
For thousands of years, Hue was just a little village. But in 1802, Emperor Gia Long of the Nguyen Dynasty, decided it was a perfect location. So, he had craftsmen from all over the country create this; a smaller version of Beijing’s Imperial City. When you’re an emperor, you can do that sort of thing.
Emperor Bao Dai had this mausoleum built for the remains of his father, Emperor Khai Dinh. Inside, it’s truly amazing. Huge glass tile mosaics on the floor, and a big mural of a dragon in the clouds, painted on the ceiling by artists using their feet. Now that’s one way to keep paint out from under your fingernails.
This is Hue, one of the few big cities in a very rural country. Most Vietnamese citizens are farmers, growing and harvesting rice in flooded fields called paddies, alongside streams in the Mekong River Delta. Too bad you don’t have time to peruse the patties.