Life Life

06/06/2021 - 16:07

Dear bicycles...

More than a year has passed, and what remains in my mind about the movie "Dreamy Eyes" is not the plot or the "pretty" characters but the scenes of Hue in the movie and the objects, especially the bicycle… of a bygone era.

Thien An Hill is the myrtle forest in "Dreamy Eyes". Photo: Ngoc Ha

Thien An Hill, also known as a miniature Da Lat in the ancient capital, is the myrtle forest in "Dreamy Eyes". How romantic is the scene where Ngan and Ha Lan (2 main characters) rode bicycles together on a summer day and picked ripe myrtle fruits to eat until their mouths turned purple.

Or, the Kim Long road in the poetic scene, where Ngan drove the Ha Lan back from school on his bicycle, is also very memorable. The characters are beautiful, the scenery is beautiful and the bicycle, also, is very lovely. In order to prepare for the scenes, the crew of "Dreamy Eyes" tailored more than 200 sets of ao dai and uniforms, searched for and meticulously restored hundreds of old bicycles and school bags in 60's - 70's style.

I thought of Ngan's bicycle in Victor Vu's movie when I learned about the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding for the pilot project of a public bicycle sharing system in Hue. This is a memorandum signed between Hue People's Committee, Vietsoftpro Joint Stock Company and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). The signing ceremony was held recently within the framework of the Digital Transformation Week - Hue 2021 "Opportunities and Challenges". 

Similar projects have become familiar in the West or in neighboring countries that I have had the opportunity to visit. Surprisingly, however, in Vietnam, Hue will be the first locality to launch a smart bicycle system. The project was initiated more than a year ago and will now soon become a reality.

Dong Khanh schoolgirl in purple ao dai cycling to school was a symbol of romance in the past. It is also surprising to know that Hue is one of the few places left in Vietnam that still has ‘bicycle taxis’.

Nearly 100 years ago, Tu Do stadium was built, and it is the first and only stadium in the country with a banked cycling track. Coupe de Hue 2019 was the most adventurous and arduous bicycle race in Vietnam and is equivalent to the world famous Tour de France.

Hue also has a walking path and even a bicycle path along the banks of the Perfume River. Starting out as an imported product, the bicycle has become familiar with and honored by Hue people.

Hue Smile Travel excitingly introduced their new bicycle tours to explore Hue. Specifically, the tours include cycling along the banks of the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda; cycling around the Citadel to admire the ancient beauty of the ancient capital; cycling along Le Loi street to visit the most famous school in Hue; cycling under the pine forest to admire the beautiful scenery of Thien An; cycling through the reed grass area to visit the majestic Khai Dinh tomb and cycling across Truong Tien bridge to watch the Perfume River drifting by. Having also explored those roads on my bicycle, I can recall the interesting experience.

I have been told that during a visit to Mr. Ho Xuan Dai's thanh tra pomelo garden house (Thuy Bieu ward, Hue city), Mr. Peter (an American tourist) said that, there are not many cities in the world which have a slow pace of life like Hue, and bicycles are a useful means of experiencing. Cycling not only offers people an opportunity to see the heritage and scenery in Hue, but also to get closer to the local people and get an insight into their lives. I think these are also the reasons why the dear bicycles are and will forever be with Hue in the development journey.