A Travellerspoint blog

Tombs, Temples and the Citadel

A full day tour of Hue

overcast 19 °C
View Vietnam 2012 on NarLin's travel map.

Just got back from an excellent full day tour of Hue. Visited several vast tomb and temple complexes in the morning - very interesting and quite pleasant not to be sweating on a tour for a change! Plane Boy slipped on a muddy path and took a bit of a tumble, no harm done though. He had the video camera so sadly there's no record of the event (except for this blog...) We absorbed a lot more about the various emperors than on some previous tours - probably the cooler weather and Thinh, our top-notch guide.
A highlight was a kung fu display in a tiny pavillion in the middle of the forest, very impressive. Good buffet lunch followed by a wander around the immense Citadel, across the Perfume River from the modern city of Hue. Amazing place, in the middle of a long-term restoration not due for completion until 2025. Nerdia would like to return in a few years to see their progress.
Then it was off to a much older Buddhist temple, before a long boat ride back along the Perfume River to the 'main strip', an attractive sculpture park Nerdia's keen to visit again. Braved the evening rush hour to walk back to the hotel; now we're off for dinner. Back to yesterday's restaurant - maybe we'll find yesterday's scrumptious dishes on the menu again, maybe we'll end up with something else!
Downloads and presumably uploads are v e r y s l o w here so we're probably only going to try posting one or two photos a day. Hmm, what will we choose for today...
Cheers from Nerdia and Plane Boy.

Posted by NarLin 18:01 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

We Can't Read Vietnamese...

...but we still ordered great food!

rain 18 °C
View Vietnam 2012 on NarLin's travel map.

Well, after Nerdia managed to lose last night's blog entry just as she'd finished typing it, we're going to try to keep them a bit briefer. :)
So, yesterday: we picked up our errant suitcase from the airport at 7am, back in time for a light but nice buffet breakfast at the hotel. Then we strolled around in the drizzle, stopping for a very nice and unbelievably cheap Vietnamese coffee at a riverside cafe. Later we hit the nearest shopping centre, Big C - nothing fancy by Bordas holiday shopping standards, but very cheap and quite interesting. Bought lots of novelty packaged foods and beers, as usual; a security guard asked how many cans of the 15% "super beer" Plane Boy could manage... will find out soon.
For dinner we wandered into the nearest restaurant, right around the corner - which turned out to be the first place we've ever been without any English or a fully pictorial menu. Service was very slow indeed (maybe they lost our first order?) but whatever it was we ordered was outstanding when it did arrive at last. Tiny morsels of pork and beef cooked over an open brazier; some wrapped in vine leaves with a soy and chilli dipping sauce, others with a salt flakes, lime and green chilli accompaniment. Fantastic!
Ok, that was yesterday. Will upload this now and then blog about today.

Posted by NarLin 17:47 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Made it to Hue

O Baggage, Where Art Thou?

rain 19 °C
View Vietnam 2012 on NarLin's travel map.

We've arrived in Hue, though we could have reached London in the same amount of time given the 8 hour stopover in Hanoi. We'd been considering heading out of Hanoi Airport for a quick bit of sightseeing, but lost the urge after 30min at the baggage carousel failed to yield 50% of our luggage. Turns out it enjoyed Kuala Lumpur so much it had stayed there, while we'd hurried along behind the supersonic staffer escorting us through what seemed like half of KLIA to make our connecting flight after a delay leaving Perth. (And startled a Malaysian Airlines lady by accidentally trying to board too soon, thinking we were those annoying late people who hold up a flight by boarding late. Oops.)
Not much to do at Hanoi Airport, though normally coffee-free Nerdia set to work establishing a raging caffeine addiction via the excellent muddy Vietnamese coffee. And finished reading The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (quite good - well chosen, Book Club Plane Boy). The wind outside must have been cold judging by the assortment of parkas, hats and gloves appearing, but not that bad in the airport. Happily we'd each packed a change of clothes and Nerdia's trusty towel, which of course can double as scarf/windbreak/seat warmer (thank you, Douglas Adams).

The flight from Perth to KL was very pleasant, with comfy seats of which only 25% or so were occupied. :) Less comfy KL-Hanoi and Hanoi-Hue but not bad, except for the lack of air-conditioning on the final leg after the relative chill of Hanoi Airport. No biggie though. Nothing much of interest for Plane Boy but there's plenty of time left yet to spot some interesting aircraft.

Hotel (Hue Queen 2) is simple and nice, reminds Nerdia of Riverside in Ho Chi Hinh City with a bit of Siem Reap's Ramming Lodge thrown in. Happily checked us in at nearly 11pm, arranged a taxi to pick up our luggage and made us tres yummy room service cheeseburgers-on-toast. Even More happily, our errant bag arrived early this morning - we'd retrieved it and returned before breakfast.

Funny stuff seen so far:

  • donation box for Charity for Especially Difficult Children
  • bottles of mysterious booze containing entire (pickled) cobras with scorpions in their mouths (beat that, tequila worms) or jet black vodka
  • a heated argument between several large groups of people at another boarding gate

Now, after a light but yummy breakfast in the rooftop hotel restaurant, we're off to explore our bit of Hue.

Posted by NarLin 08:40 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Nerdia's not excited yet...

...and it's really bugging Plane Boy. :)

overcast 40 °C

One day to go before we head off to northern Vietnam once more, and the east coast for the first time. Not much to report so far, haven't even packed yet. Nerdia will be taking a copy of her Hoan Kiem Lake bridge photo, though, so she can set up a corresponding winter shot.
Stay tuned for our coming Vietnam odyssey!
Nerdia and Plane Boy.

Posted by NarLin 08:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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