30.08.2011 - 31.08.2011
Arrived in Hue early morning after taking a sleeper bus - not as scary as we were led to believe although I would still keep everything valuable in sight - it's a great way of saving time as you're sleeping anyway and even better you're combining the bus fare with accommodation! They take a little getting used to though especially if you are tall! (so needless to say I was fine!). They can get a little cold with the air conditioning so they give you a small blanket which is handy! Woke a couple of times during the night but once the Vietnamese dude sleeping above me turned off his very loud tv I was sleeping like a baby!
Staying in Hue backpackers which we had organised from the hostel in Hanoi which saved us lugging our backpacks around the city. At first glance it appears much quieter than other cities we have been in but nevertheless we set off to explore the city for the day visiting the Citadel (a former imperial city on the banks of the river) which housed an Imperial enclosure and forbidden purple city. Its pretty much just gardens now after it was bombed during the war rebuilt. They have begun renovations but its a work in progress by6 the looks of it! What we have noticed is that unlike many tourist attractions in Europe they don't have guided tours which makes it a little difficult to appreciate exactly what you are looking at! This place did have a video reconstruction of what the palace looked like in olden times courtesy of Samsung on probably the biggest tv screen I've ever seen! Took a motorbike ride for the first time (I was holding on for dear life at the start!) to see the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tomb of Tu duc both important landmarks in the city. This we got for 80k vietnamese dong after much bargaining (about 2.50e!). Have bought an open bus ticket here for $34 dollars with 4 stops (Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Lat and Saigon) to save money on the bus fares. Looking forward to Hoi An and maybe getting some dresses/suits made!