Tuesday, 29 September 2015

#ProjectMVietnam - Huế

For those of you who have been flying over to my blog, I was taking you through my 
South East Asian adventures. I took a break to write about New York. Now I'm going to fly you out of the concrete jungle and get you stuck back into Vietnam!

If you like authentic Vietnamese food as much as I do, get your a** down to Huế.

Huế is renowned for it's food history. I spotted many Huế themed eateries in the bigger cities like Saigon and Hanoi.

During the Nguyen Dynasty years, the kings were fussy for their food. Nervous chefs churned out (ever-changing) 52-course meals. Yep, that's right: 52. If anyone wants to cook 52-course meals for me, I think I'd fall in love with you (bonus points if you rolled me out).

I forgot to take a picture of this interesting quail and duck egg dish that we ate, so let's start this post with my pretty chicken fried rice that I can't believe, I remembered to take a snap of.

Huế is a sleepy city, it's famous for it's heavy rains, sleepy pace and pagodas. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for taking your motorbike for a spin. And we did just that. In Vietnam you don't need a license to drive one. But none of us felt like visiting the grim reaper that day, so our lovely tour guides were the experts in giving us the grand tour of their home town. 

For our first stop, we were taken to a film set. 

I definitely got my geek on (I put my glasses on for closer inspection and everything). 

Our second stop was the Tomb of Tu Duc and guess who designed it? Emperor, Tu Duc. Built by his slaves at his imperial empire (Mr promiscuous had 104 wives), it's certainly one of the most impressive of the royal mausoleums.

We said goodbye to the Emperor and headed to the Perfume River. 

Why is it called Perfume River? You might ask. 

If you're into your floral fragrances like Dior Cherie, Chanel Chance and Marc Jacobs Oh Lola, then you'll love this. In the Autumn, flowers from the orchards upriver from Huế fall into the water, giving the river a perfume-like natural aroma. 

I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to stand and admire this river in the cool, light air.

Our next stop was to visit this lovely lady to begin our incense making workshop. 

It's actually a lot harder than it looks, you need to be firm, but not too firm, with the poo-like dough on a stick.

I did it! I'm so impressed with myself.

Our lady of many talents, also showed us how she makes the traditional Vietnamese hat.

Unfortunately I don't think my handmade piece made the cut. Hehe.

The next day, we headed to Hue Imperial City (The Citadel), a fortress that (historically) separated the digs of the Royals and the 'commoners'. It's a very strange concept to visit a mini city inside a city. 

Once I got inside, I was mesmerised. It felt like walking into a completely different era. Once I spotted the palace and oriental gardens, I decided to live there. I had to put my princess dream to rest as the venue closed at 5.