Hue-ge Scam

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 15, 2007


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hard to decide between a clean-but-sitting-upright night bus here in Vietnam or the 'full bed fitted but pot luck on the conditions' Chinese buses, think the best smelling one wins out every time though.

We rolled into Hue around 6am but already the hotel touts were out in force surrounding the bus like vultures ready to pick off anyone looking slightly indecisive about where they were staying. Me of course had no clue where I was going to stay (or even where the heck the bus had stopped in Hue) but I managed to hide my cluelessness and Rob and I both wandered off together figuring safety in numbers was safer as they swooped on any lone stragglers.

After evading the touts and checking into a great little hotel I headed off towards the Citadel which is the main attraction here in Hue and had a nosey around the grounds for a little while although most of the area was covered in rigging for lights, boxed paper lanterns and giant plastic animals for a festival about to start in a few days. That did remove some of the ancient mysterious feel about the place as you gaze over at a ornately decorated building with a giant plastic elephant leaning against the wall.

Escaping the midday heat I popped into a little restaurant for some garlic bread and a crepe with peanut butter sauce - mmmm healthy.

Wandering back down the street I ran into a guy who introduced himself as Di and on asking where I was from exclaimed he too had family in Scotland (hmmm spider-sense already tingling). Unsure at this point if it was a scam or not I agreed to go for a few beers with him which seemed like the best con ever it was one as the sun was high in the sky by this point. Sitting drinking some ice cold local Hue Beers he told me all about himself and his family and even if it was a scam I was happy to have chatted away with a local for a few hours for the cost of a few dollars as I chose to pay him back for the beers on declining to buy him a 600,000 Dong bottle of whisky as a 'gift'.

Feeling the after effects of a night of fragmented sleep on the night bus catching up with me I turned in for an early night as I passed in the hotel a little girl barely big enough to reach up to the table copying down the details out of my passport, guess they really do start working young here.
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