Travel Travel

23/10/2019 - 08:25

Hue is a pleasant place to live

Just my quick thought of Hue. I bet that if anyone disagrees with me of the city’s livability, to some extent, they wouldn’t argue with me that Hue is a pleasant place to live.

Hue city has many green spaces and fresh air

Sooner or later, we will realize just how important living in harmony with nature is. The recent alarming and prolonged air pollution crises in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have reminded us of our inevitable dependence on the natural environment.

Fortunately, Hue city offers a great living environment. This is an affirmation that needs no further proof. With its various green spaces and a variety of inland water bodies, low population density, industry not identified as the key field of development, no traffic congestion, and an orientation to develop eco-urbanism, the city is naturally endowed with plenty of fresh air.

With such endowments, we need to preserve and promote them. The Clean & Green Hue campaign has inspired both the government and the people alike. Hue people may not be as wealthy, but indeed, the city is a worthwhile place to reside.

Sometimes I think, it’s hard to say whether one makes a high or low income just by looking at their monthly salary, whether it’s a few or tens of million dongs. My next-door neighbor is a popular Pho vendor whose stall opens only at night near Nam Giao Esplanade.

He said, when in Da Lat for vacation, he paid 35,000 dongs for a bowl of hu tieu noodle soup whereas he sold a much finer bowl of pho at night for only 20,000 VND. When I asked why Da Lat was so "expensive", he said because everyone spent money that way. It dawned on me that there was a difference in the cost of living. 

One may not expect a decent income in Hue, but as the city has a low cost of living, its people do not necessarily have a poor living standard. Perhaps now, food is no longer the primary concern, even for the poor. Thanks to the favorable natural conditions - the sea, lagoons, rivers, and lakes, the food for Hue locals is by no means costly.

Jobs in Hue are also numerous, so Hue is habitable (though we often think of jobs from the public sector only and not in others; in fact, jobs in the private sectors sometimes yield a much higher income). The city may not be known for its financial well-being, but there’s reason to believe that Hue is completely livable.

I bet if the city’s environmental and air quality is considered an additional factor besides income, the level of life satisfaction will increase. When all measures including the environment, the atmosphere, the landscape, and the cost of living are taken into account, Hue is indeed a livable city!

The city’s livability is also attributed to a host of factors, such as excellent social stability. Many people acknowledge the city’s peacefulness. “If my children leave home for university, I feel rest assured to choose Hue" - many people have said so. After tens of years living here, I believe so, too.

Perhaps the city’s natural features and a long-established culture make its locals like to "live slowly". A pleasant living environment can very well be the cause.

This is just like how the Southerners were so blessed with rich nature in the past that they formed a liberal, open-minded and selfless personality. They simply took a fishing rod out to the field, caught a fish, a frog, or an eel, picked some lotus root, water hyacinth, heartleaf false pickerelweed, or rice paddy herb... and a delicious meal was ready!

Leafy spaces and the Perfume River flowing in the heart of the city are the unique beauty of Hue. Photo: Hoang Hai

What else makes Hue livable? A highly ranked academic and research environment? The schooling system is both prestigious and affordable. The healthcare services are among the top-quality in the country. The living environment is inspiring enough to evoke emotions and nourish human souls.

While economic development depends on certain favorable conditions of each locality, such a nourishing environment for emotions and souls is not readily available everywhere. It must be a combination of beauty, elegance, and harmony with growth potentials for poets, writers, musicians, painters to nurture their talents, so their artworks could spread to a wider public and bring about positive emotions.

Just my quick thought of Hue. I bet that if anyone disagrees with me of the city’s livability, to some extent, they wouldn’t argue with me that Hue is a pleasant place to live. For example, for a meal, just fifteen thousand dongs and we’ll have 100gr of fresh lagoon shrimp. Hue people can improvise many delicious, cheap, and nutritious dishes. Savoring Hue folk cuisine is such a delight, isn’t it?

Story: Le Phuong - Photos: Thai Binh