Vodka night, royal tombs and French cuisine...
Trip Start Jun 26, 2009
180Trip End Jun 29, 2010
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The first hotel we had was nice but had an ant problem (as well as a few other minor issues) so we moved to a lovely hotel round the corner which was dirt cheap and clean as well as the staff being really friendly. Hue is quite touristy compared to other places we'd been (except Hanoi) and there are taxis/cyclos/motos EVERYWHERE and they don't take no for an answer. You hear "Hello... where you from... where you go... taxi?!" about a gazillion times a day, regardless of your answers! We tried various ways to stop them hassling us from ignoring them to politely saying no (which was the most ineffective!) to using our brolly as a shield (which was the most effective!)
Yes, the weather in Hue was RUBBISH! It started really sunny but turned about half way through the week, leading to floods. It did make it nice and cool though...
So, our first night in Hue was spent having a couple of drinks at the youth hostel which was nice. Drew wanted to watch the football (shocker!) so we were there a while... We noticed they had loads of home made flavoured vodka so what started as a quiet drink to watch the football quickly escalated into seeing how many flavours of vodka we could stomach! Drew had "arse" (which is bovril), cinnamon, fishermans friend and Le Mon (aka lemon but he was drunk when he read the label as le mon). Apparently the cinnamon was rank but the arse and fishermans friend were nice. I had the snickers which was nice but promptly switched to the girlie drinks (ie mango daiquiri) as the vodka shots were massive!
We ended up chatting to the staff (who were mental - they were trying to make up new cocktails and shots so were downing loads of their new concoctions whilst claiming it was a perk of the job). One of the barmaids is doing an English course so we were helping her with her English in return for her teaching us handy Vietnamese phrases (eg how to say "no thank you" [khong, cam on] to the motos and "how much" [bao nhieu tien] as, apparently, we'll get a better price if we ask in Vietnamese). It turned into an even messier night when we were invited by the bar staff to Brown Eyes, the local after hours bar. It was a lot of fun but a bit hazy...
We then had a few quiet (and cheap!) days..
On Tuesday, we explored the Citadel, a kind of castle built by the Emperor in the 1800s. There was lots to explore as it is quite a large area. The first thing to see was the flagpole which, whilst it sounds a bit rubbish, was massive (see the pics of me standing next to it)! We also saw the Imperial Enclosure which was the Emperor's residence as well as the Forbidden Purple City which is an area within the Imperial Enclosure reserved solely for the Emperor. Unfortunately, this part was just ruins. We saw loads of other stuff such as the Emperor's mum's quarters, the reading room, etc. It was a scorcher of a day though so we did it nice and slowly...
The day after the Citadel outing was spent exploring the market where we got a wicked tea-set (Wow... We're so hardcore!) before heading to the supermarket for a few essentials (eg bug spray)!
The weather then started turning so we had another quiet few days...
We decided to brave the horrid weather (and floods) and hired a moped to explore the royal tombs (rulers from the Nguyen dynasty)
Whilst in Hue, we also treated ourselves to a posh dinner at La Carambole, a French restaurant near our hotel. We had french cheese and bread with a bottle of Vietnamese wine (from Dalat which we will be visiting in a few weeks). It was absolute heaven...