Saturday, May 8, 2010

Central Vietnam : Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor Tu Duc's Tomb

The last bit from my Vietnam trip that's been sitting as a draft all this while :)

After the Hue Imperial City, I decided to go to one of the pagodas nearby, the Thien Mu Pagoda that sits by the Perfume River.

View of the Pagoda from below the steps. Entrance is free.

Nothing impressive here. The view of the river is quite nice though.

The 'garden' and building within.

A giant bell within one of the smaller pavilions in the compound.

Columns at the step entrance.

Perfume River - I did not smell anything?

As I still had some time before catching my bus back to Da Nang, I decided Emperor Tu Duc's Tomb was next. There are other royal tombs to visit but this was the nearest I guess. It did not disappoint me, the whole complex was much bigger than I expected. There was only a handful of tourists around, and the place was quiet and peaceful. Entrance was VND55,000 if I remember correctly.

Align Center
This is called the Stone and Steel Pavilion.

This must be the said autobiography.

Giant pillars were decorated with blue and white dragons and cloud-like features. I liked that they were in a natural deteriorating state like that and not touched up.

One of the columns on the outer part of the pavilion.

Elephants and horses to accompany the emperor in the afterworld.

Info board explaining The Burial Area.

I walked walked walked under the hot sun and saw a stall selling cold drinks!

One of the floating halls/buildings on the small lake. I am not sure if the lake is man-made or otherwise. The water was kind of murky.

View from across the lake.

Alas, after all that walking, I reached the main tomb area was sealed off for ongoing restoration works.

On closer inspection, they used broken bits of pottery with its distinctive blue and white patterns for this wall.

Well, that's it from my Vietnam trip - I hope in future I'll get the opportunity to explore the northern parts of Vietnam.

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