Vietnam's former imperial capital left deserted as pandemic concerns escalate

By Kelvin Long, Huynh Phuong    March 24, 2020 | 08:13 pm GMT+7

Ancient town Hue in central Vietnam wears a dismal look as Covid-19 bars crowds from local historical sites, shopping centers, and the airport.

Hue Imperial Citadel, a World Heritage monument, had no visitors and was left deserted on March 18. Since March 14, authorities in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, closed all historical sites and tourist destinations to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hue Imperial Citadel was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal family (1802-1945) and a famous tourist destination on global tourism map. 

Hue Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site and former seat of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal family (1802-1945), stands deserted these days. Since March 14, Thua Thien-Hue Province authorities have closed all historical sites and tourist destinations to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

The Ky Dai Hue (Hue Flag Tower), usually busy with visitors, was now empty. Located in front of the Citadel, the flag tower is a symbol of H. After being officially constructed under Gia Longs reign (1807), Hue flag tower was continuously renovated in 1829, 1831 and 1840 under King Minh Mangs reign. The flag tower consists of two parts including tower and the flag pole.

Ky Dai Hue (Hue Flag Tower), located in front of the citadel, was officially constructed under Gia Long's reign in 1807, and renovated in 1829, 1831 and 1840 under King Minh Mang.

Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue is considered one of the most sacred places in Vietnam. The Buddhist temple, overlooking the Perfume River, was built in 1601.

Thien Mu Pagoda, about 5 km from Hue's center, is considered one of the most sacred places in Vietnam. The pagoda, overlooking Perfume River, was built in 1601.

A local wharf in front of the Thien Mu Pagoda is no longer crowded with dozens of boats waiting to carry visitors to explore the romantic Perfume River. 

Only two boats are docked at the usually bustling wharf in front of Thien Mu Pagoda. 

The tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, who reigned for nine years from 1916 to 1925, is located on the slopes of Chau Chu Mountain, which is about 10 kilometers from central Hue. It took 11 years to build, starting in 1920. The overall construction of the tomb is an emerging rectangular structure leaning against the mountain. 

The tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, who reigned for nine years from 1916 to 1925, is located on the slopes of Chau Chu Mountain, about 10 km from central Hue. It took 11 years to build, starting in 1920. 

[Caption]Hue High School for the Gifted, being the first and the oldest in Vietnam, was left deserted as all students have been allowed to stay away from classes until early April amid rising fears of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The country has recorded 107 new infections since March 6, with 106 still under treatment and one having recovered last week. 16 other patients were discharged last month after treatment. Of the active cases, 12 have tested negative either once or twice.

Hue High School for the Gifted, the first and oldest in Vietnam, is deserted as students remain at home to help contain the Covid-19 spread.

The country has recorded 107 new infections since March 6, with 106 still under treatment and one having recovered last week. Sixteen other patients were discharged last month after treatment.

Inside Hai Ba Trung High School yard on Le Loi Street, was soaked in peaceful atmosphere as all teaching and learning activities were suspended. The school let its students to stay at home until March 29. 

Hai Ba Trung High School on Le Loi Street will allow its students to stay home until March 29. 

[Caption]aa Stalls behind the Dong Ba Market are less crowded than usual. The largest market of the province, located on Tran Hung Dao Street, was opened under the reign of King Dong Khanh in 1887. In the past, the market was located near Dong Ba Gate, then King Thanh Thai moved it to its present position.

Dong Ba Market on Tran Hung Dao Street, the largest in the province, was opened during the reign of King Dong Khanh in 1887. In the past, the market was located near Dong Ba Gate, before King Thanh Thai moved it to its present site.

A wood-panel pedestrian bridge on the Perfume River connects the existing Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street with Ly Tu Trong Park. 

A bridge crossing Perfume River connects Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street with Ly Tu Trong Park. 

[Caption]aaA secluded scene inside a shopping center in Hue. Provincial authorities shut down all bars, karaoke parlors, cinemas and shops as a temporary measure to prevent the spread of the virus to the community. 

Malls in Hue remain empty as provincial authorities shut down bars, karaoke parlors, cinemas and shops in a temporary measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Phu Bai International Airport, one of the busiest in central Vietnam, had no passengers as Vietnam halted entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers from Sunday and also suspended many international flights. The airport, 15 km from Hues center, is currently able to serve up to 1.5 million passengers per year, but it often gets overloaded with two million passengers.

Phu Bai International Airport is left deserted as Vietnam halted entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers from Sunday, while also suspending many international routes. 

The airport, 15 km from Hue's center, is currently able to serve up to 1.5 million passengers per year, but often struggles with an overload of two million.

 
 
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