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Published: August 5th 2009
It took us only four hours to reach Hue from Hoi An, once there we found ourselves in a nice little hotel where we managed to get a great room, right on the top floor so had a great view of the city.
One of the main sights we wanted to see was the citadel and for this we decided to explore by bicycle, as it turned out this was a great way to cover loads of ground and see as much as possible. It was a little nerve wracking at first as we had to contend with some very hectic traffic, there were lots of motorbikes and we came only second to people in the food chain, or rather road chain. The citadel also known as the Imperial city was built by Vietnam's past Emperors, it is surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls and within it palaces and shrines. Once we got over the river we secured our bikes and proceeded on foot. We took a while to explore the citadel within a citadel, home to the royal Emperors court before heading in again to the Forbidden Purple City, a citadel within a citadel within
a citadel (we know, a little confusing, way too many citadels!). The Forbidden Purple City was the Emperors personal quarters. The whole citadel area took a huge battering during the French and American wars and as such today much of the area is mostly ruins, there has been some restoration done but work is slow.
We also took a tour of the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) as Hue is the nearest main town to where the fiercest fighting was in the American war. This wasn't what we expected as most of the area has changed so much, even some of the famous bases have now been built on by locals and are unrecognizable and they now are just names in history. The most interesting part the day was going underground and exploring the Vinh Moc tunnels. These tunnels were vast and a whole village of 400 people lived here to protect themselves from American bombing.
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