As you travel down river, you get to see how the locals live. It's a mainly rural area around Hue, with the main source of income being farming. We saw how every piece of land is utilised, with vegetables being grown in the rich alluvial soil close to the river bank. It was clearly back-breaking work, using only hand tools in the searing heat. Most of the workers appeared to be women.
|One of the pavilions at Minh Mang's Mausoleum|
Minh Mang was the second Nguyen emperor. He had a great interest in architecture and oversaw the completion of Hue's Citadel after the death of the first emperor, Gia Long. He was influenced by Chinese designs when he created his own mausoleum and spent fourteen years choosing a location for it. Once he'd found a site, though, he drafted in 10,000 workers and the whole thing was completed in a little over two years. He is buried there, along with his queen and favourite wife who died when she was only 17. Minh Mang went on to have another 33 wives, over 100 concubines and, it's reported, 142 children!
|Pilgrims at Hon Chen Temple|
The final stop was at Thien Mu Pagoda, the 'Pagoda of the Celestial Lady', a very impressive structure. It was built in 1601, making it the oldest pagoda in Hue. It is probably most renowned as being the home of the Venerable Thich Quang Duc, the monk who famously burned himself to death in 1963 in Saigon in protest at the excesses of President Diem's regime. The Austin car in which he drove from Thien Mu to Saigon is on display here, along with the iconic photograph that shocked the world.
|Thien Mu Pagoda|
|The beard is made of real human hair!|
|Novice monks doing their washing|
|Farming on the river bank|
You can see more photos of our Perfume River trip here.