I rented a bicycle to go around the tombs in the Hue area. 500m down the road the crank fell off so I went back for another. Productivity inVietnam could easily be doubled if they used bikes with decent ergonomics.
My first stop was the Tu Thieu pagoda. Go through the gate then park at the start of the dirt road and walk down that to avoid the scam women.
From here I went to the Tu Duc tomb. On the way I saw this
Tu Duc is a major tourist spot. A woman stood in front of me on the road to make me park at her stall. Entry to the tomb is D55 000.
The complex has a large moat and several tombs. It’s all surounded by pines and would make a nice picnic spot.
From here I tried to find the road south. The maps all show a direct road but that is a LIE. Go south as much as possible. This will include a dirt rod section. When you come to an intersection with a large sealed road turn 270 degrees to the right. This will follow the Perfume River. Turn right to cross the bridge, then taake the first left and look for the gate to Min Mang.
This is the biggest complex and is very impressive.
It was a hundred degrees as I made my way back to Hue. However the road is NOT clearly marked. There is a special circle of hell for people who make bad maps and don’t label streets. I found myself heading to Danang at one point. Fortunately I had my $1 compass I bought in KL for just such an occasion, and it worked! I pedalled back, with a few offers of a tow from some passing scooters.
After lunch I went to Thien Mu. The toutts are veery aggressive – when I pulled in to the car park a woman yelled at me, “You! YOU!!” to make me park at her stall. Er, no thankyou!
This pagoda is also worth a visit to see the car that belonged to the self-immolating monk.
The monks may have a simple existence but I do envy their gym.