Hangin in Hue

November 29th 2005
Published: December 10th 2005
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Bus StopBus StopBus Stop

A few Israelis, Vietnamese and Eartha have a cigarette break as the bus stops on the way to Hue.
Well, I am back traveling on my own as Tamar headed back to Israel. I took the overnight bus to Hue which left Hanoi at 6pm and arrived in Hue at 6am. Ugh....

After selecting from the many tauts who attacked the bus upon arrival, I (and an Australian girl named Eartha who I befriended on the bus) ended up at a nice $5 guesthouse (we each had our own rooms). Luckily I showered immediately because not 10 minutes afterwards the transformer near the guesthouse exploded cutting the electricity for hours.

I have been writing a bunch in my posts so this time I will let the photos and captions do most of the speaking for my time in Hue. I will say that Hue is a great little town where I was able to get back into the swing of traveling alone as there were only a few places where other travelers hung out at night....making it simple to meet folks.

Hue is about 50 kms south of the famous Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from the Vietnam conflict. In the area area also many famous locations from the war (Khe Sahn combat base, Hamburger Hill, The Rockpile, etc.).

One of the many statues that inhabit the park along side the Perfume River in Hue. In the background are two park workers wearing traditional Vietnamesse hats.
I was very anxious to see these sites but was a bit disappointed as there is not much left of anything from the war. And what there is has been transformed for tourists. So I left it up to my imagination to help try and experience the history as I stood at the various sites like the 17th parallel.

As for my impressions of Vietnam so far, I am impressed with how modern everything is. I thought this would be a rough place to travel but the Vietnamese are quick to learn what makes "white people" happy and have created many of the comforts of home. Unfortunately, that was not what I was looking for and thus much of the time here so far has been a bit "soul-less". From what other travelers tell me, it looks like the next big adventure facing me will not come until Africa.

It's off to Hoi An next.

Additional photos below
Photos: 38, Displayed: 23


Street ShoesStreet Shoes
Street Shoes

This street vendor meticulously sets up his shoe wares (David Noorily would be impressed) along side the Perfume River in Hue.
Fishy OfferingsFishy Offerings
Fishy Offerings

I perused the Sunday Morning market in Hue and watched closely as women negotiated to purchase all kinds of seafood (frogs, fish, shrimp, squid).
Kids GamesKids Games
Kids Games

When I stopped to watch these kids play a game in which they threw their flip-flops on the street, the group together for this joyous pose.

When I left my hotel, a cyclo driver whistled to get my attention and behold he had on an IU sweatshirt. I am sporting my new $2.75 haircut I got in Hanoi (it was worth every penny)!
17th Parallel17th Parallel
17th Parallel

This is the bridge that crosses the Ben Hai river which served as the border between North and South Vietnam before and during the war. It was part of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). Now there is a statue on the North Side (far in the distance of this photo) of a mother and child looking over the river waiting to be reunited with their husband/father.
Vinh Moc tunnelsVinh Moc tunnels
Vinh Moc tunnels

The area of Vihn Moc was continuously bombed by the US (as it was a part of the Ho Chi Mihn trail used to bring supplies from the north to the south) so the town built a vast system of tunnels where over 300 people lived for 6 years.

I was able to get about 5 meters into the tunnels before my mind said "enough". The rest of my group spent over 20 minutes down in the tunnels.
Trench warfareTrench warfare
Trench warfare

These trenches were built as part of the Ho Chi Mihn trail as well. Today they are cemented-up some to preserve them.
The RockpileThe Rockpile
The Rockpile

This area was used the US marines as a lookout and a long range artillery post. Its name comes from the fact that it is a hill made of rocks (very creative). I am holding a photo from 1968 for comparison. Not much here now.
Football TeamFootball Team
Football Team

As our tour stopped to visit a minority village, I used the opportunity to play football (soccer to you in the US) with the local kids.

Just like in China's Tibet region months ago, a rockslide created a delay for my bus. Once again, I got out and helped the locals (this time sans Ollie) move rocks and direct traffic.
Khe Sanh combat baseKhe Sanh combat base
Khe Sanh combat base

The site of one of the conflict's most famous sieges, it now is a museum with a few US military artifacts. Here is a Huey helicopter.
Khe Sanh combat baseKhe Sanh combat base
Khe Sanh combat base

Another helicopter
Khe Sanh combat baseKhe Sanh combat base
Khe Sanh combat base

I hide in a re-made bunker on the base.
DMZ cafeDMZ cafe
DMZ cafe

The DMZ tour troops re-grouped at the DMZ Cafe in Hue for some suds and pool.
Same Same but differentSame Same but different
Same Same but different

Here we find workers with traditional clothes using modern tools to complete their jobs.
Busines LunchBusines Lunch
Busines Lunch

I eat lunch at a local sidewalk eatery with my cyclo (bicycle taxi) driver. If you look at the people's heads all turned tom me you get the feeling that not many white people eat here. We had whole little shrimp wrapped in some dough and other local tasties.

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