Next we spent some time in Hue, mostly along the shore of the Perfume River. For several hundred years, up until the early 20th century, Hue was the capital of Viet Nam. In the early 1800's the emperor ordered thousands of workers to build an immense fortified citadel.
Around the time work began on the citadel, the emperor also ordered that captured cannons be melted down to create 9 holy cannons. These cannons were named after the 4 seasons of the year, and the 5 natural elements, Kim (Metal), Moc (Wood), Thuy (Water), Hoa (Fire), Tho (Earth). The cannons have never been used in war, but they were considered almost as gods, looking over and protecting the citadel.
As we were leaving the citadel we passed a small business making beautiful paper flowers. As we saw so many times, the workers were making every single bit of the product, even the sticks that become the stems.
After a short walk along the river, we reached the Thien Mu Pagoda which dates back to almost 1600. After visiting the pagoda we boarded a dragon boat for a short cruise.
Back on land, we continued walking along the river as we headed back toward our hotel. Along the way we stumbled upon a most amazing museum.
After the war, a woman in Da Lat felt she needed to do something to revitalize the Vietnamese tradition of fine silk needlework. She has been very successful, and near the river is the XQ Embroidery Museum with extraordinary examples of their art. The two pieces below are particularly remarkable, in each case the embroidery is done on both sides of a sheer fabric. So the embroiderer had to exactly duplicate the stitching and hide all of the knots!Created by