Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hue Imperial - City of Peace In Every Step

I visited Hue in a summer holiday. As planned, V and I would meet each other there before I ended my trip from north to centre of Vietnam by flying back to Hanoi and she finished her holiday from south to north before flying back to HCMC. We both love the beauty of old or ancient values. Therefore, Hue Citadel is a good destination for us to meet up and spend time together. Hue Citadel was recognized by UNESCO since 1993 as one of the World Cultural Heritages of Vietnam. It was unified as Vietnam's capital from 1802 to 1945, the political, cultural and religious center during the rule of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Dominated by majestic temples, ancient tombs, and the imperial citadel, Hue is a place in which time seems to have stopped. The maintance and preservation of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage have been retaining the timeless beauty of the Citadel. All memories in Hue were so sweet for us. Two girls rode motorbike around the old city, enjoying such many local fine cuisine, wandering around different sightseeing places, happening to meet sudden rain sometimes... We had taken many pictures that whenever I look back, I feel like we are in another trip to Hue Citadel again.
Thai Hoa (supreme peace) palace

Ngo Mon Gate (Moon Gate)
Row of general statues in Khai Dinh Mausoleum. Hue, Vietnam
The mosaic tile work with the 4 season theme inside Khai Dinh tomb
In summer, rain in Hue can fall down anytime, long enough for tourists to run looking for a place to hide from the rain, then realize it has recently stopped.  Rain in Hue can wash your and our souls. We ended up stopping by a temple in town, where a monk was having speech about peace in soul for a group of highschool students. For us, it was a valuable time hanging there and feel more about peace in every of our steps in Hue Citadel.  Miss you V.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Visit to My Son Holyland

 A Cham statue in musuem of the Cham in Danang city
My Son is one of 5 world heritages in Vietnam recognized by UNESCO in 2000. I came to My Son for the first time with my Argentina friends. We took a trip to My Son from where we stayed - Hoi An ancient town. My Son is located 60 kms from Hoi An. We took a mini bus to reach to My Son and way back by boat across the river to the town. It was such a fun experience worth to try. After a 45-min bus, we arrived at My Son. A sunny day but everyone felt excited to see the My Son sanctuary.
Entrance gate to walk into the sanctuary
In front of us were a sanctuary (or so called 'khu bảo tồn" in Vietnamese), a large complex of religious relics (di tích) all built between 1,000 and 1,600 years age. This place was so peaceful and tranquil since it has been preserved carefully.
Our local tour guide introduced everyone right on the bus heading to My Son that this place used to be as the Cham people's holy land during 4th to 13th century. Then during the 15th century, this beautiful complex of religious land was forgotten until the French discovered it in the 19th century end. 
During that time, My Son remained more than 70 intact towers, which used to be the place for Cham people worshiping to Hinduism and the King of Champa Kingdom. The main component of the Cham architectural design is the tower, built to reflect the divinity of the king.

Surprisingly, this area includes temples and towers that connect to each other with complicated red brick design. Thousands of years have been rolling on, however, the ancient towers still stand tall, representing their historical and cultural value beauty.

Some towers are accessible for tourists. This picture was taken inside one of the towers in My Son holyland.

I'm happy that we visited My Son together. The trip was enjoyable with these wonderful friends' accompany.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun Manila

Day 1, from Taiwan, I took flight to Manila, Philipin
 When I arrived Manila airport, it was afternoon. Cars and buses were busy outside the airport lobby
 I took taxi directly to my hotel, which was 15min by car from airport and close to Manila downtown
 Checking in Grand Hotel, I took a photo of myself before going out for dinner and night market
I didnt forget to take my own picture before getting some pictures of the hotel
 Day 2. A city tour to explore Manila. With a city map, I took local buses and hotel bus to some recommended places like Ocean Park, city memorial hall, Mall of Asia ...

 The beach in front Mall of Asia
Many people enjoyed sitting near the rocks, feeling the ocean breeze and spending fun conversation with friends or relatives
 Accidentally, I found a cat losing her way among the stones
 Manila was beautiful at night too. I had dinner in a cafe close to the beach.

I will come back. See you again Manila