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La Residence Hotel & Spa on Asian Journeys Magazine

La Residence Hotel & Spa on Asian Journeys Magazine

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Published by ekappletree
http://www.la-residence-hue.com

La Residence Hotel & Spa Hue is featured on Asian Journeys Magazine.
http://www.la-residence-hue.com

La Residence Hotel & Spa Hue is featured on Asian Journeys Magazine.

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: ekappletree on Mar 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2013

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www.asianjourneys.webs.com
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33
The Golden Age of
W
hen I first visited Hue,Vietnam in 2002 myonly memory was of anovercast drizzling dull graythat didn’t allow the day in. My recent visitreplaced that image with scenes from that ofthe sprawling Citadel – almost as impressiveas the Forbidden City – to green fields and aclassic hotel born and reborn in the GoldenAges of Travel.
History in Dollops
Farah and I had stood in one of the fewplaces of shelter adjacent to the walls ofthe Citadel listening to our guide tell us ofthe history. Not one word sunk into my mindbecause it was already soaked with rainwater. It rained constantly for the 48 hourswe were in Hue.When I recently returned to Hue therain was still there, but only in occasionalsprinkles, while history was there in dollops.Hue was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to1945. Why? Earlier than 1802 what we oncecalled North Vietnam decided it needed moreland so it invaded what we once called SouthVietnam. The rulers thought it would beexpedient to move the capital to Hue, whichis in the middle of the country. There thecapital remained until the end of World WarII. Subsequently the country split into Northand South Vietnam with Hanoi once againbecoming the capital of the North and Saigonthe capital of the south.
Most people outside of Vietnam don’t know that Hue was oncethe capital of Vietnam. The Vietnamese are proud of their longand fascinating history and culture writes
Floyd cowan
aftervisiting the former Imperial capital.
Hue
A Dynamic Dynasty
What is important to travellers is that theNguyen Dynasty, last of Vietnam’s Royalfamilies, left their imprint on the landscape ofHue. Seven of the 13 kings had tombs thatthey were built in the hilly region southwestof the Citadel. Gia Long, Minh Mang, ThieuTri, Tu Duc, Duc Duc, Dong Khanh and KhaiDinh all built tombs during their reign, andsome of them served as ‘summer homes’while the Kings were alive – giving them aplace to escape the pressures of the Citadel.We visited the tomb of Tu Duc on the secondday of our all too brief visit.We arrived on a Vietnam Airways flightfrom Hanoi and as we drove from the airportto La Résidence Hotel & Spa, the elegantlybeautiful Accor hotel in their MGallerycollection, I watched the passing scenerythinking how little it matched my memories.There was almost nothing about this trip thatoverlapped.The ‘we’ on this trip were Australian journalists Rae Wilson, Dominic Burkeand Theresa Paris with Chi Nguyen, AccorMarketing & Communications Manager,Vietnam, and Cynthia Dammerer, PR forPress Trips for Accor in Asia, who haddesigned an excursion that was to take us toso many interesting places.
On the Throne
Anthony J Gill, General Manager and DangXuan Phuoc, Director of Sales greeted us at
 
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La Résidence. We had little time to get to ourroom, do what we needed to and get back tothe lobby for our visit to the Citadel.Sitting in the bathroom, as one does, Iwas looking at the bathtub and thinking howdifferent our time is from the “Golden Age ofTravel” (from about 1900 to World War II)which the La Résidence originated in. To getto Hue one probably would have travelleda day or two over soul disrupting roads, intropical heat and humidity or pressed on byHue’s persistent rain. Upon arriving at thehotel you might well have soaked in the tub,sprawled on the bed then dressed for dinner.You would not have rushed into the showerafter an hour’s flight from a distant locationand then headed out in the slowly gatheringevening, to explore the Citadel. We did.At the sweeping entrance to La Résidence,as grand hotels from the Golden Age ofTravel tended to have, bicycle rickshawsawaited to convey us to the Citadel whereTung, our knowledgeable and opinionatedguide, gave us a quick tour of a vast complexthat needed much more time, and better lightto explore.
When the French Interfered
I always enjoy riding in the pedal rickshawsas you glide along the streets, close to
The Colour Purple
Tung explained that the ‘Forbidden PurpleCity’ was built on the same design as Beijing’sForbidden City, based on Fung Shui principalswith water elements in the middle of thecomplex. Purple was the Royal colour.The government has made a hugeinvestment to restore, not just the Citadel,but all the historic buildings in Hue by 2020– which is great news for visitors. Chi hadvisited the Citadel some years earlier and shesaid that there were a lot of new buildingsthat she hadn’t seen before.The French army had shelled the building,and removed or destroyed nearly all itstreasures. Most of the buildings in theForbidden City were destroyed by fire in1947 and at its lowest point less than onethird of the original buildings remained.
In the Fading Light
Tung lead us through part of the grounds,along tree-lined lanes and past impressivegates and walls and buildings in various stateof repair. I had a hard time keeping up withthe group as everything seemed worthy of aphotograph – from several different angles.The light was dying so I hustled on– there was dinner to look forward to at LaRésidence. Anthony and Xuan Phuoc gaveeverything. One night in Chiang Mai, very late,we got five, or was it seven people? (anywayit was an odd number) in a rickshaw – at thedriver’s urging.Tung was an interesting guide, not just forhis abundant information, but because he
repeated several times, “…when the Frenchinterfered with our country” which I think
succinctly describes the colonial period.During its heyday the Citadel was home to200,000 people and present day Hue is justshy of one million. It had residences for thekings of course, for their widowed mothersand for all the officials and hangers on thatwere needed to make the government workand life better. Not to forget the residence forthe concubines.
 
Authentic
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