Life Life

20/01/2022 - 08:38

Never getting fed up

“Our Hue is inherently beautiful. With just a bit of tidying up, no other places can compare.” I’m of the same mind and quite in agreement with that comment by Mr. Nguyen Dac Xuan in a talk with him.

Feeling peaceful on the walking path along the Perfume river on the northern side

I bumped into Khuong at the foot of the Vong Canh hill. We came by different means. I walked and Khuong cycled. But it was exciting that we met each other at a famous place of the ancient imperial capital. 

Khuong and I are old classmates at high school. It has been such a long time since we met. It was Sunday and we were both free. We decided to drop by the Cafe 81 at the foot of the hill. How time flies! Nearly 30-40 years have passed. 

Still remembering the days when we wore shorts to school, now we are both almost elderly men. Now we agree with the saying “health is golden,” as people conclude. If one doesn’t want to suffer from pain in bones and joints, one should soon choose some exercise to practice. I choose walking for “elegance” and leisure. For such an energetic man clinking with money like Khuong, cycling suits. 

We talked and found out that we share something in common. We are both used to exercising every morning. We feel sluggish if we don’t do it. So, except rainy days, as soon as the sun appears, he with his bicycle and I in socks and sneakers leave home. 

Not only to exercise, but also to explore and to behold the streets and the dear countryside. Choosing walking, I just can walk around the area where I live: Quang Te Hill, Tuong Van Pagoda, Tu Hieu Pagoda, Nam Giao Esplanade. At weekends or on public holidays when I have more free time, I walk further to Vong Canh Hill, Tu Duc Mausoleum, Dong Khanh Mausoleum or at times, I wander to Dong Thien Pagoda, then to the slope at Lim Bridge.

Though taking the same routes and seeing the same hamlets every day, I never get fed up, but always fascinated. Khuong feels the same way. With excitement, he advised: “Get a bicycle, you will see even more interesting things and your mind will be widen.” 

Then, as if to increase the excitement, Khuong told me about the routes he and his team had taken. From Kim Long they cycled to Thien Mu Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Ngoc Ho. They went down to Truong Ha roaming along the coast, to windy Vinh Tu in Tam Giang Lagoon, then to Ha Cang to visit Do Do School and the “lonely tree” of Ha Lan and Ngan in the movie Dreamy Eyes.

On those poetic routes, Khuong and his friends also discovered and enjoyed many exotic delicious foods such as well-known seafood in the lagoon, banh uot eaten with pork in Phu Le, An Lo, grapefruit in Phong Thu, Nguyet Bieu, or simply just banh duc, banh beo sold by a street vender. 

Even the morning coffee at an unexpected cute coffee shop like Cafe 81 where Khuong and I were sitting here was also an interesting thing for cyclists every morning. Khuong was so persuasive that I felt like buying an “iron horse” immediately to be able to cycle every morning. But remembering the saying “haste makes waste,” I know many people buy a bicycle but they just cycle for some days, then hang them up. Well, for now, I just keep walking then. Later on, if my determination lingers, then I will buy one. 

Especially the promenade at the Da Vien islet and the walking path along the Perfume river on the north bank leading up to the Thien Mu pagoda is taking form, not to mention on the southern bank, the Lòn bridge has been completed. What is more, the city plans to continue the path along the river up to Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street.

Too many walking paths excite my legs every morning before work. More than that, they are always busy, full of life and allure for anyone who takes. 

It is not because I am so passionate about the city that I make such a good comment. If the route from Nam Giao, Tu Duc, Tu Hieu, Vong Canh, and fertile villages attract me with its calmness, greenness, and eternal fairy stories, the walking paths along the Huong river mesmerize me with the landscape beauty where heaven meets earth, the purity and peacefulness of the rivers and woods, and the fragrance and brilliance of flowers of all kinds as well as the sounds of birds chirping and winds singing...

Amid that scenery is a fresh, leisurely, energetic life emanating from bodies of those who love exercising and sports, the smiles of contentment of those who are taking their photos and sending them to their friends, or who want to preserve their beautiful moments by the dreamy Perfume river.

It is the movements that Hue City suggests and is trying to carry out in recent times such as "Green Sunday,” “City of 4 Seasons of Flowers,” “Thanks to Perfume River,” “Green - Clean - Bright” that make the miracle. Even Hue people are taken aback and become fascinated with the scenery of their homeland. The more they travel around, the more they want to explore. So although the walking path to the Thien Mu pagoda, or the Da Vien park haven’t been completed, many people did come to experience. 

“Our Hue is inherently beautiful. With just a bit of tidying up, no other places can compare.” I’m of the same mind and quite in agreement with that comment by Mr. Nguyen Dac Xuan in a talk with him about the tales of Hue. But words fail to describe the beauty of this place. Come to visit, and you will see how amazing Hue is. 

Story and photo: Dien Thong