Vietnam: Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue – Then and Now
Descending the Cairo Side – a novel of the traveling life
Available as an e-book on Amazon.com
I was flipping through some photographs from my parents’ trip to Indo-China and noticed a familiar site, the Thien Mu Pagoda just outside of Hue. The temple complex has a long history and dates from around 1600. Thien Mu has survived a lot of storms, including a cyclone in the early 1900s and violent political protests during the 1980s.
In the old, hard-line communist Vietnam, the government understandably didn’t spend a lot of money on the place. Here it is as seen by my parents, probably in 1994.
1) The pagoda in 1994. Looks a bit weather-beaten: photo by Ken and Peg Herring
But today, with Vietnam’s opening to the West and the resultant increase in cash-generating tourism, Thien Mu sports its latest in a long line of face-lifts.
2) The newest look; one of the columns in front is still under repair and covered by scaffolding: photo by me in 2005
Frankly I like the atmosphere of the old photo better, but I doubt that anyone in Vietnam has much nostalgia for the recent past.