A modern and an ancient folk character join hands to add a piquant cultural touch to Hue, Vietnam’s former imperial capital.
Four friends in Hue came up with the idea to have No-Face, a fictional character in “Spirited Away,” a famous 2001 Japanese-animated fantasy film, and Tudigong, the God of the Soil in Chinese folk religion, take a tour of the town’s attractions.
One of the attractions was the Thuy Xuan incense village. Located on Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street, about seven kilometers from Hue’s center, Thuy Xuan is a verdant village at the foot of Vong Canh Hill beside the Perfume (Huong) River.
This is a favorite spot for many visitors because the brightly painted bundles of incense sticks are an irresistible lure for photographers, both amateurs and professionals. The fragrance of lit incense sticks only adds to the attraction.
The two characters strike a pose at the Hue Citadel, home to the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal family (1802-1945).
Located on the northern side of the Perfume River, across from the central part of the town, the citadel is one of the country’s biggest tourism draws. One way to enter this UNESCO World Heritage Site is through the Meridian Gate, which is off Le Duan Street.
Dinh Hoang, one of the four friends and photography enthusiasts, said: “We want to bring joy and laughter to people through these photos and at the same time, promote the image of Hue to the world.”
The above photograph was taken at the flag tower of the citadel. The flag pole is 37 meters high and is the highest in all of Vietnam.
The tower was built in the early 19th century during the reign (1802-1820) of Gia Long, the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.
The group completed the photo shoot in just 1.5 hours, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The above cute photograph was taken on the banks of the iconic Perfume River, famous for its peaceful and poetic setting.
In autumn, flowers from orchards upriver fall into the water, giving the river a perfume-like aroma, hence the name, locals say. The river associates with cultural life of Hue and an inspiration behind many songs and poems.
Behind the characters is Truong Tien Bridge, another symbol of Hue which runs 453 meters over the river.
The modern and ancient characters chill at a café by the Perfume River.
Hoang said that Tudigong was the symbol of luck and wealth, so this character is welcomed by everyone.
Many young people were keen to have their pictures taken with unlikely duo.
“The process of making this photo shoot was really fun, we had a good laugh from start to end. Everywhere we went, people looked at us with curiosity, especially the little ones who were fascinated and scared at the same time,” Hoang said.