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Vietnam: Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue – Then and Now

November 5, 2010

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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.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    November 9, 2010 3:41 am

    Love the plant growing out of the top of the left column in the old picture.

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