Travel Travel

11/02/2022 - 08:06

Coming to Hue for relaxation

“When living in this land, I aspired to live every day to the fullest with my loved ones, find the energy to recover from the disease, etc.,” shared Mr. Hylton Lipkin, the first Ambassador of World Wellness Weekend in Vietnam.

Wherever you go in Hue, you may come across happy and loving images

“Eat, Pray, and Love”

While in social distancing during the pandemic, Ms. Yen Thanh, a tourist from Hanoi, suddenly read the memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" by the American writer Elizabeth Gilbert, and she learned that the book has set a trend of traveling across continents to discover yourself and balance your life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The memoir shares the experiences of Italian cuisine, Indian spirituality, and the peacefulness of Bali (Indonesia). But do you have to go that far to enjoy the delicacy of cuisine, immerse yourself in the spiritual space of the temples, and walk among the most romantic scenery in the world?

As advised by the "trans-nationalists" of Agoda and iVIVU, there is no need to go to Italy, India, or some faraway places in the world. Instead, one just needs to come to Hue, the ancient capital with all the elements available for those seeking peacefulness, tranquility, and an ideal place to "eat, pray and love”.

That acts to urge Yen Thanh. Although she had prepared everything for the honeymoon with her husband in Binh Dinh, one evening after finishing reading the memoirs, Yen Thanh asked her husband: "How about going to Hue? I would rather we go there!". And then, with an approving nod from her husband, they changed their plans.

A couple coming to Hue to take wedding photos

In Yen Thanh's "memoir" of one week in Hue (before the 4th outbreak of the pandemic), the young couple traveled to every corner of Hue, wearing Ao Dai and taking photos from "hundreds of angles" in the Citadel, going to Tam Giang Lagoon to watch the sunset, hunting the sun at dawn at Lang CoBeach from Hai Van Pass, etc.

In Hue, you can eat anything you want, and you can nearly travel anywhere. Besides, every cuisine you eat must be called "delicacies". Both of us also had the chance to "eat up" the dishes in Dong Bamarket, which is considered a "food paradise" in Hue.

“For a newly married couple like us, the favorite things to do in Hue include taking a walk and eating an ice cream together on Doan Thi Diem Street after visiting the Royal Palace; striding along the Perfume River and feeling the tropical scent spread as the sunset fades behind the Flag Tower; holding hands tightly while walking together on Truong Tien Bridge as the sun sets and the breeze blows over the bridge railings; stopping in the middle of the bridge to take a breath and then feeling as if the time stands still for the two of us at that moment; going to the Western Quarter when the night falls. I liked these things so much that I told my husband "I made the right choice when coming to Hue, didn't I?" excitedly shared Yen Thanh.

Mr. Tran Huu Thuy Giang, Director of the Department of Tourism, said that each destination would have different strengths. Regarding the ideal place for "eating, praying and loving", Hue is confident to affirm that it is a place where all three factors converge. Hue is the "Capital of gastronomy", the Center of Buddhism, and the place for diverse beliefs and religious sites. 

Hue is also a place for those seeking the original and historical values. This city is the most romantic place with peaceful spaces. In addition, Hue has a depth where like-minded souls easily meet, reunite, and interfere in such peaceful and romantic spaces.

Finding the ideal of life

Born and living in Hue for half a person's life, perhaps many people will think that I “have a bias” for my birthplace. But after a conversation with Mr. Hylton Lipkin - the first Ambassador of World Wellness Weekend in Vietnam, the General Manager of Alba Wellness Resort, a native of South Africa, an expert in health and wellness in many countries in the world who has lived in Hue for a few years, I am more certain that Hue is a city worth living in and "the land of happiness".

Every corner of Hue is beautiful 

Although having worked in 10 countries, many continents in the world, and some localities in Vietnam, only when coming to Hue can Hylton Lipkin feel the abundant energy source that helps him aspire to live every day to the fullest with his loved ones. He also had the feeling that this place was ideal for him to recover from the pandemic after coming to this ancient capital. That is also the reason why he considers Hue as his second homeland and brings his wife and two children to this land.

As a health expert, Hylton Lipkin judged that the environment in Hue is fresh with green being the main color. With such a small city, the Perfume River located in the heart of the city helps to create an endless source of energy. Diving into the field of gastronomy, it is special and unique, especially when cuisines are also associated with health protection.

Coming to Hue and "enjoying" Tet holiday here for a few times, Mr. Hylton Lipkin said "eating, praying and loving" is all wrapped up during this occasion. Having participated in many traditional festivals, the most important holidays of the year in many countries, the traditional Tet here is very different, as it is an opportunity for Vietnamese people to express their feelings of love more.

During Tet holiday, people leave the past behind to aim for good things so that they can eat, pray, and love together. The word “love” here means the affection in sacred moments of family reunion.

“It is the moments wrapped up during Tet holiday that makes me love the people and culture of this land. This is the "universal key" of Hue, which can open all the "doors" to harmonize with nature, culture, and gastronomy. Therefore, Hue will win the hearts of health tourists, which will be the trend of traveling in the future," said Mr. Hylton Lipkin.

After that emotional conversation, I recalled the winter 5 years ago when I had the opportunity to talk about meditation with businesswoman Ta Thi Ngoc Thao, the owner of Cat Tuong Quan Zen House.

According to Ms. Thao, it is no coincidence that Hue is the "center" of Buddhism. The highest "realm" when living in the world is always directed to find happiness, ease, and peace. This land always radiates the energy and spirit of harmony between heaven and earth. That is what makes Hue a destination where many people find well-being.

Story and photos: Duc Quang