Motorbike tours are the way forward
30.08.2010 30 °C
We arrived in Hue by bus from Hoi An, which was only 3 hours - a delight after all our long haul journeys. As we got off the bus we were pounced on by a dozen locals all asking if we were staying at their hotel, not helped by the fact that I had the LP guidebook out. I did spot a young gent waving a leaflet with the name of our hotel on it, and we got a free lift to the hotel.
We asked about getting a train to Hanoi from Hue, as cal wasn't keen for another sleeper bus, but the times were pretty rubbish and it was pretty expensive compared to the bus. So we stuck with the bus, there was only one more long journey to go!
Hue is quite a small town, and we had a full day and a half there. First afternoon we took a wander and went to the market. Pretty typical of any vietnamese market really...we spent about 30mins in a supermarket just because it was air conditioned. Cal was suffering from epic sunburn so we stopped by the pharmacy to get him some cream for his burns - the aftersun just wasn't working!
We took a stroll in the evening, went for dinner and a few drinks and ended up chatting to a couple from Vancouver. We had a great laugh, and drank lots of beer. One of the best nights we've had on the trip I think.
Next day we checked out of the hotel, and went on a Motorbike tour to the citadel, pagoda and tombs. Great way to see the place, we booked through 'Cafe on Thu Wheels' and the drivers were great.
We were surprised at how much of the citadel was in ruins, but restoration was underway. Some of the bullet holes in the wall were MASSIVE! The americans really did a job on this place in the war! The pagoda was lovely, the gardens in the surrounding area were beautiful. Then we went to Tu Duc Tomb - it's a big one! But I think at this point in the trip, we'd seen alot of ruins/tombs/temples so were a bit unappreciative of it.
You definetly don't need more than 2 days in Hue - as nice as it is, there isn't a massive amount of things to do once you've snappd pictures of the citadel etc...there are plenty more tombs and pagodas that the ones we seen, depends on your interests.
Back to the cafe for some dinner before we took the bus. We were delighted with the type of bus when it arrived, unfortunately there had been some issues with overbooking and several folk were lying on the floor for around 2hrs untill we met up with another bus and they got a bed on there. Our experiences with the open tour bus are that its a very cheap and convenient way to travel in vietnam, but not neccessarily the most comfortable or enjoyable!