Vikki: Today we did a day tour of Hue city, which took us around a number of the local historical sites that the city is well known for. Another 40 degree day, which started at the Citadel (Imperial Palace) where the emperors lived when they ruled the country. A huge area with much now in ruins, but lots of interesting history learnt about emperors, concubines and how they lived/worked. A lot of restoration work is underway there, but you can get the feel of how big and beautiful it would have been in its day. We then headed on to look at an antique museum and historical garden with loads of tropical fruit trees, which I enjoyed. Next we visited a number of tombs where emperors are buried. They were all a little different, but are essentially a series of grand buildings and temples up lots of stairs, made of stone, marble, wood and decorated with paintings and mosaics. Many have been restored (or at least partially). They are impressive structures and certainly built at a grand scale with beautiful craftsmanship. Finally we did a quick stop to see how incense is made by hand, and then finished the day on a short boat cruise up the Perfume River (cleanest in Vietnam apparently), in a two headed dragon boat. All in all a good day albeit hot, and worth getting the history of Hue.
Harley: Today I learnt that only 15% of the Citadel remains, the rest was destroyed during the various Vietnam wars. Also, when we visited one of the pagoda's we saw the monks which live there in a monastery. We saw the monks singing during a prayer session, some were older men and others were young boys my age. I also learnt that lots of the bigger trees are painted white at the base. This is a sign of purity and also is a form of insecticide to protect the trees.
Anouk: I learnt that the Emperors were allowed to have more than 1 wife. One of the Emperor's had 500 wives and 142 children - wow!!! I also learnt that there are always 3 doors into their temple and the emperor always goes through the middle door. Also, when we saw some pagodas I discovered that many of them have more than 1 level.
Today on the Raj Factor: Raj shaved, as a surprise to us, and first time in about 4 weeks. Looks really different and heaps younger (so the ladies at reception said when they saw him). Smooth as a babies bottom, was the quote :)