We are currently in the city of Hue’ in central Vietnam. Hue’ has a rich history. It was once the capitol of Vietnam and a center of learning for the higher class. Even after being taken over by France, it remained a center of power and intelligence. There are large numbers of temples, palaces, and fortresses all over Hue’, one of which is the Purple Forbidden City. This was our first historical stop in Hue’ and for what it was hyped up to be, it was not very impressive. It was said to be modeled after the Forbidden City in China, but far less grand, and it was purple. Purple. We payed the overpriced admission and walked through the most impressive part of the entire city, a large stone gate. There was one building that was intact. It was decent, nicely decorated with a real wimpy emperor’s chair in the center. We exited and moved on. We looked out on the city and saw nothing. At all. Really it was all burned down in a fire. All that’s left are a few foundations and a small wall. We walked around for a little while and looked around. We stopped and got some ice cream for the little kids and after sitting down on some little plastic chairs were suprised to see elephants! Yes, elephants.
Three of them. They were chained up and despite a few minutes of intense thought, we couldn’t figure out why there were three full-grown elephants chained up in the middle of a burned down purple city. Hey, they were fun for the little kids to look at. We moved on to another reconstructed building where we saw some tourists getting their photos taken in some traditional Vietnamese wear. Kieran immediately said, “Mom, I want to do that!”. McKane and I also thought it would be a fun opportunity and so bought some tickets and went into a back room to get dressed. We donned bright, bright yellow man dresses, put on moon boot like shoes, and wore hats with springs and little fuzzy balls poking out randomly. Asher refused to wear any of the clothes so our mom took her place. We entered back into the other room with a little wooden throne and cart with a chair. Our dad took various shots of us. But after what seemed like an hour and was probably more like five minutes of sitting around in a dress in the burning heat, I was ready to get out. I jumped at the chance to go back and change into my normal clothes again.
We kept moving around the city, but didn’t find anything more than ruins. We decided to go to the traditional museum, more like a room with a few dresses and old pottery shards in it. I had had enough. We headed toward the exit gates and what seemed like an eternity of walking through the Purple City for ever we arrived. The gates were locked. The Purple City was not done with us yet. We continued on back tracking towards the entrance which was the only exit. We arrived at a huge koi pond where Kieran and Asher bought some fish food. They threw a few little pellets into the pond and what seemed like an eruption of fish spurted from the pond. There had to be at least ten thousand fish fighting for the two pellets the little kids threw in. They continued having fun in this manner until they had run out of feed. Then finally we exited the city. We got in our cyclos and headed back to the hotel after a long day of train rides and disappointing ruins. At least lunch was good.