Flipping through our travel guide I read about this large complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, palaces, courtyards, and green space in Hue, Vietnam. A UNESCO site, the Imperial City was a walled fortress and palace for the rule of the last Vietnamese emperor, Gia Long. His dynasty lasted from 1802 to the mid 1900’s.
However, time has not been this city’s friend. Termites, epic battles, and American bombings have left this place to ruins and vast areas of empty fields. Just a few of the beautiful buildings have survived and are being restored at this very moment.
When I told Scott it used to be a large fortress with a forbidden city surrounded by huge walls and a giant moat he was sold. I didn’t even get a chance to tell him that most of it is gone. But he didn’t care. Why? Because moats are bad ass! We actually expected to see way more castles with moats during our travels in Europe but alas, we only found one in Nantes, France.
What we did find at the Imperial City that we didn’t expect was a breath of fresh air. It was so peaceful walking through the grounds. Something you barely ever find in Vietnam. Due to the vast size and maybe unpopularity, the grounds were empty. We often couldn’t spot another person in our view once we got away from the main entrance area. This made it such a beautiful place to take some amazing photographs.
So it your passing by Hue during your travels, take a little stop to check this place out and enjoy a nice peaceful break from the usual hassle of Vietnam tourist sites.