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Friday, 19 December 2008


18th - 19th December

So after a hellish 12 hour journey and just one toilet break we were both pretty grumpy. Ten minutes after passing through the centre of Hue, where we wanted to get off, we were dropped at a hotel. To the amazement of the staff, we refused the kind offers of ‘Room for 10 dollar!’ and set off walking back the way the bus had just been. Our mood definitely wasn’t improving!

Settling for a bargain $5 room, we set out on foot to get our bearings. We were bombarded as ever with offers for tuk tuk and moto, but not really having a destination (the sky was looking stormy and we didn’t want to venture far) confused the hell out of the drivers – ‘just walking’ became our favourite phrase.

Lucy and Rene, our friends from Thailand, arrived at the same hotel later in the day. Since we left them in Pai, they took the opposite route to us - they were heading north through Vietnam as we were heading south. An evening of exchanging notes and recommendations for the upcoming parts of our respective journeys followed. Thanks for the tips guys!

The following day we all headed out together by motorbike, accompanied by Mr Hung, a local guide. We had a whistlestop tour of all the main sights around Hue, and were finished by noon, as we had a bus to catch. We expected to be whizzing between sights on the bikes, but the pace was much more relaxed.

We visited the most important pagoda in the area – Thien Mu, and also a second pagoda. An incense stick making village was also on the agenda, where Sam was able to try her hand at Incense stick rolling and became a dab hand. A new career perhaps?! The Tu Doc tomb was the most expensive part of the day, with admission costing 60,000 dong. Inside we saw the tombs of former Vietnamese royalty. It wasn’t what we’d all expected but was fairly interesting none the less.

On the way back we called at an American bunker used in the Vietnam war (referred to as the American war by the Vietnamese), with a great view of the River Song. It was a bit grim inside the bunkers but we could hardly feel sorry for them! Mr Hung left us to spend the last hour by ourselves so we took off around the citadel in the centre of the city.

After a flying visit to Hue, we were on our next bus that same afternoon; Hoi Ann, thank god just a few short hours away.

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