Hue


Advertisement
Vietnam's flag
Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế
December 19th 2010
Published: December 19th 2010
Edit Blog Post

HueHueHue

Imperial City
David here...

We had booked tickets for a 07:30am bus from Hoi An to Hue (pronounced Hway), which would pick us up at our hotel. The bus didn't turn up until 08:15am, after much worrying from us. The hotel staff were very friendly and told us the bus will come and is sometimes late as it has lots of pick ups around town. This reassurance was nice, especially seeing as we didn't book the tickets through them. When the bus did finally turn up, we were shocked to find that it was not your normal coach but a sleeper one, where the seats are laid back instead of upright. Seeing as our journey was only 4 hours, it was a bit of a shock, though what do you expect for £1.50.

The journey was fine, quite comfortable actually and we made good time. We were led to believe that the bus would drop us off not far from the centre of town however as we approached Hue it pulled into an isolated area, with little to no traffic and everyone was told that this is the drop off point and the bus was then going onto Hanoi. We got
HueHueHue

Imperial City
off the bus as instructed and were immediately swarmed upon by a small but persistent group of Taxi drivers and guesthouse touts. We'd been in this position before but this was just something else. It was bordering on aggressive. We told a few white lies and said we were already booked into our preferred hotel and started walking away. One of the touts flew after us and insisted that even though we had booked, we had not paid so could go with him to random hotel #23 and if we did not like, take us to our 'booked' hotel. Needless to say, we are not that stupid and declined his very kind offer. We were then told that the centre was too far to walk and we were offered a taxi to the centre for $2. We asked where we were on the map and got 3 different answers that varied from 'off this map' to 'round about here!'. By this point we had had enough, with me responding to one question of 'Where you wanna go?' with 'Away from here!'. One of the touts then showed us on the map we had where we were it turned out it
HueHueHue

Imperial City
was not far away from the centre. He then offered us a taxi for $2. When we stated it was only about 800m to walk he responded that 'there were lots of corners'. We had to laugh at that and then made our way to town and our preferred hotel, The Amigo.

This place was brilliant. From the moment we arrived we felt welcomed, with a nice cup of tea each and smiling faces. The room (and they only had 2 left) was airy, spacious and very nicely decorated and was exactly what we hoped for. It was slightly more expensive than we wanted to pay so after some nifty haggling we got a bit knocked off and got ourselves a bit of a bargain, which is unusual for us as our haggling skills do leave a bit to be desired. But what's the point of haggling over a few pence in the grand scheme of things?

Hue itself is basically made up of 2 areas; the Imperial city and the touristy area where the hotels are. The touristy area is what you would expect, with lots of hotels, bars and restaurants all vying for your custom. When
HueHueHue

Imperial City, Buddha showing his horns
we arrived we wandered round this area for a bit just taking in the city and getting a feeling for it. The next day we went to the Imperial city and spent pretty much the whole day there, walking round the grounds, looking at the pagodas, temples and buildings of the old imperial palace. This place is beautiful and well worth the £2 entrance fee to get in.

On our last day in Hue we rented out bikes ($1.50 from our hotel) and cycled to some of the sites further out. We visited the Tomb of Tu Dac, (where we saw our 3rd snake of the trip - a Red-necked Keelback I think), the Tu Hieu Pagoda and the Nam Giao Esplanade, one of the most important religious sites in all of Vietnam...and we were the only people there. The tomb was a real surprise as it was a number of buildings, including a lovely pavilion by a pond and a number of temples. The tomb was used by the emperor who built it while he was still alive as a retreat and you could see why. The tomb was set in a lovely pine forest and was very
HueHueHue

Imperial City
quiet. We managed to get a few pictures of the snake we saw, with Suzanne following it closely with the camera. I used my infinite snake wisdom and proclaimed that it didn't look venomous as it only had a small head, not very good for biting things, but keep a good distance away from it anyway. When I looked up the species, until recently it was believed the snake was harmless however after a recent spate of bitings and near fatalities it has been reclassified as dangerous. There were a further 2 or 3 other sites we visited on our bikes but it was just good fun to be in the countryside cycling around and it was a great way to see the outlying stuff. It was just nice to have our own transport and do something under our own steam without being hassled constantly by touts, which does get grating after a while.

Our only gripe with Hue was to do with the food. We had read that Hue was one of 'THE' places to eat local, street food in Vietnam so were anticipating some great soups, noodle and rice dishes and pancakes. We wandered round looking for
HueHueHue

Imperial City
some 'local' food and when we did try some, it was usually nothing special and we were overcharged each time. On our last night, instead of going to a restaurant type place, we picked out a few stalls down by the river and tried their wares. We had some Veggie pasties that were nice but everything else was very disappointing. We had baked corn on the cob and sweet potatoes (both very dry), we had a deep fried meet pancake type 'thing' which was OK but nothing special and then a fried sandwich thing that was just stodgy and tasted a bit like soap. So, overall we were very disappointed with the fare in Hue, especially after our local successes in Quy Nhon and the lovely food in Hoi An that we had. Overall though, Hue was a lovely stop for us which we enjoyed. It helped being in a lovely hotel room with friendly staff and the cycling was a real highlight and I know we'll do that again on this trip at some point.


Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Advertisement

HueHue
Hue

Imperial City
HueHue
Hue

Vietnam scenery
HueHue
Hue

Red Necked Keel-back snake
HueHue
Hue

Steps to Pagoda
HueHue
Hue

Monument
HueHue
Hue

The Great Cycle Tour


Tot: 2.674s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 20; qc: 87; dbt: 0.036s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb