Hué, and the getting to Hué!

Remember that sleeper bus I mentioned? Well that turned out to be a suprise, but not in a good way.

I anticipated a bus about half full with plenty of single, isolated bunks as pictured in the last post. What arrived was a full bus, and I had been assigned the back seat, top bunk. This is a row of 5 beds, next to each other like a can of sardines. I had the middle bed. To my left were a couple from Austria who I had been chatting to while waiting for the bus and to my right were 2 girls from The Pennines (not far from home!!)

We chatted for a bit but mostly we wanted to sleep. I thought this epuldne hard, but after Mark Kermode’s Movie Review podcast, I fell asleep listening to Steven Colbert’s I am America and so can you audiobook! Worked a treat, even though I kept laughing at it.

Anyway, 2 of the fowlest toilet stops I have ever experienced later and I’m at Hué! Guesthouse owners are litterally jumping onto the bus to give out cards and hassle! Managed to break free and went to some of the LP recomended places. All of them had upped thier rates from when it was written, but I said yes to one of them anyway. Bit dear at $20 a night though!!

Then I was thinking about it and checked it out on Tripadvisor… It seems this place had a habit of ripping folks off and it was in poor location, albeit central. So I checked out some other hotels and guesthouses and eventually settle on the Amigo Hotel. Did a runner from the first hotel as I had not handed my passport in yet! Laughing, but maybe I should have cleaned the minibar out as well….

Anyway, the Amigo is great! Just as nice as the one I left and I managed to barter them down to $10 a night! Got my laundry done at 20000 dong a kilo and it was back, dry and ironed in 4 hours!

I went to the market in the citaldel to get a few clothes since I needed more and wanted a Vietnam star t shirt. I ended up bartering 1/3 off it and a dark red polo shirt that made by “Lacoste”.

I also tried to get shorts but the largest size is 32 here… And I’m a 33 at best!

Had some dinner then went to the DMZ bar, where I ended up sinking 5 bottles of Huda beer at 16000 dong a pop and watching PIAA APAC Rallying and a repeat of the Malaysian GP. Nice

And I fell asleep watching Aircrash Investigation.

Today I got my lazy arse out of bed at 9am (late for me) and headed off to find a cheapo breakfast. £2 gets you a massive fresh orange juice and big bowl of Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup). I spent quite a while chatting to the resteraunt owners then headed for the Citadel and the inner citadel. On the way I spotted this.

Just the tallest flag tower in Vietnam

Just the tallest flag tower in Vietnam

Actually to be fair I spotted that as soon as I got anywhere near the river 😛

I went on an explore of the inner citadel and the Forbidden Purple City (the Emporer’s private gardens where only he, eunocs and concubines were allowed). This was left for ruins for about 100 years but tourism sort of brought it back (and boy do they know it at 55000 dong per admission).

The Forbidden Purple City main gardens

The Forbidden Purple City main gardens

Sort of sums up how much this place was neglected until it was recognised as an historical site

Sort of sums up how much this place was neglected until it was recognised as an historical site

Still it was, and still is an exciting place

Still it was, and still is an exciting place

Going round some of the outbuildings felt more like Urban Exploration rather than a tourist site

Going round some of the outbuildings felt more like Urban Exploration rather than a tourist site

The Main Palace from the Gatehouse

The Main Palace from the Gatehouse

Then after a bit more roaming, I went to the train station only to discover there was no train to Hoi An… so now I’m back at the hotel sorting that out and hiding from the rain.

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