Hue was the national capital of Vietnam until 1945, when the last Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dại was forced to abdicate and hand over power to a communist government which was established in Hanoi, in the north. 

I won’t profess to knowing much about the war in Vietnam, as it happened not only when I was still a kid, but also outside the everyday happenings of my life in England in the late 1960s and early 1970s but, from what I can ascertain, whilst Hue’s central position placed it very near the border between North and South Vietnam, the city was located in South Vietnam. During the Battle of Hue in 1968, the city suffered considerable damage, with great loss of life on both sides.  These tremendous losses negatively affected the American public’s perception of the war and, thereafter, political support for the war began to wane. 

Nowadays, the city of Hue, set on the fragrantly named Perfume River, is well known for its historic monuments, which have earned it a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. 

The grounds of the Imperial City were surrounded by huge walls and a moat, known as The Citadel and, within the Imperial City, was an enclosure reserved for royalty.  It must have been quite an impressive complex – sadly now mostly destroyed by the ravages of war.

We visited the house of one of the Mandarins of Imperial Court, and the Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as the Heavenly Lady Pagoda.

Unfortunately for me, shortly afterwards our visits came to an abrupt end when I succombed to a nasty tummy bug which certainly had me on my toes (so to speak) for the next 24 hours, or so.  Ah well, I guess I knew it was going to hit sometime!