On the shores of the Song Huong, ‘Perfume River’, in the heart of Vietnam, is the former royal city and today’s provincial capital of Hue.
Nine mighty canons are the symbolic guards of the historic citadel and beyond its defensive walls are five hundred hectares that contain the Imperial City and also the Forbidden Purple City, a veritable city within a city.
The rise of Hue into a magnificent residence is closely associated with the Nguyen Dynasty who influenced the city for many centuries.
A short boat trip on the Perfume River leads to another of the city’s attractions. Located on a hill, legend has it that the Thien Mu Pagoda owes its existence to the appearance of a god disguised as an old woman. The story goes that the woman made a prophecy that a lord would come to the hill and erect a pagoda to pray for the country' prosperity. King Nyguen Hoang interpreted this prophecy as a religious symbol and thus had a pagoda built in honor of the divine old woman.
Despite all the destruction of the Vietnam War, the resplendent old capital city on Perfume River is still a remarkable place to be.
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