Last day in Hue

We had one more day in Hue and spent it exploring on our own. First up was a trip to a pair of off-the-beaten-path Chinese clan association temples we’d read about. Before I go any further I have to say how difficult it was to find these places and confirm their names. Among other names, I see one of them seems to be called Hoi Quan Quang Trieu. Click on the link for a map. Corrections and clarifications are welcome!

Whatever they’re called, after a bit of walking we finally found them and they’ve seen better days. The buildings and decorations are still there but the ground floor of the Hokkienese & Buddhist Chieu Ung Pagoda (aka, I think, Hoi Quan Quang Trieu) is now used as a bamboo chair factory and paper bundling operation. The paper bundling was a bit odd: a young woman counted through large bales of coloured paper and tied them into reams. Not clear what the paper was for. One imagines these things being done by machine but no. All by hand. She was diligent and very fast at this repetitive and (presumably) boring task.

Next door, the Hainanese clan association had banners from the “America-Hue Chinese Association” and “Southern California Hue Chinese Association” but no trace of these groups can be found on the internet. A man let us in and turned on the lights. Very traditional and reminiscent of temples we’ve seen in Kong Kong and Southeast Asia. These were quirky places, fun to visit but maybe not for everyone.

A little more walking down streets lined with small shops — lots of barbers, ear cleaners and hairdressers — to a restaurant we’d passed earlier. We dutifully wrote down what seemed to be the restaurant name — Kinh Chao Quykhach — but can’t track it down and when we translate it the phrase comes back as a generic “welcome.” Hmmm. A fancy restaurant with wood tables pops up using that name but ours had stainless steel tables and red plastic chairs. That’s the best I can do. It also had great local food and a very hospitable owner. A good time.

Next stop was the Hue’s Central Dong Ba Market. A busy place with vast supplies of almost everything and similar to markets in other developing countries. Scooters everywhere, inside and out. And that was it for Hue. Next morning we were off to Hoi An, about 100 miles to the south.

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