#ComeWalkWithMe: Ngọ Môn at Sunrise

The gate with the Chinese characters saying “South Gate” on it.

Many Westerners as well as the local people mistranslated Ngọ Môn – the main entrance to Hoàng Thành (Huế Royal City) is Noon Gate. This happens as the word “Ngọ” in ancient Chinese – Vietnamese language means “noon” when talking about time but it indicates “South” when referring to direction. Ngọ Môn of Huế Royal City actually has the latter meaning: the gate facing to the South.

I see Ngọ Môn as a venue of transition between the local people’s appearance and tourists’. The space in front of it begins to be crowded with local people doing their morning exercises or late afternoon walk around sunrise or sunset but between those times it’s all for visitors who come admiring the Huế Citadel.

Below are pictures of local people doing their routine morning exercises in front of Ngọ Môn around sunrise on February 19, 2017.

Walking is the most popular morning excercise in Huế.
This is weird but this elder man practises golf in front of Ngọ Môn every day and his golf balls have a red tail (so he can locate where they land on Ngọ Môn Square).
Young people are kicking the shuttlecock while cleaning workers are doing their work at Ngọ Môn Square.
Cycling has become a trendy morning sport in Huế over the last few years.
Local people love to linger around the Ngọ Môn during the morning walk.
Elderly women are doing some gentle exercise by the rampart of Huế Royal City.
A walker is wearing the iconic conical hat.
The square in front of Ngọ Môn is spacious so people who live near it love to do sport/entertainment activities there.
Pets are found enjoying their morning walk as well.
A lottery ticket seller is walking past Ngọ Môn.