Extremely hot and somewhat unremarkable…
Hue was kind of a pit stop for us, the bus stopped in Hue anyway so we thought we would too. We spent 2 nights there and the first day was pushing 40 degrees, glorious if you’re lying on a beach, not so nice if you’re walking around the city.
The city has a much more chilled vibe than the capital city of Hanoi, and the river running through it is beautiful, particularly when lit up at night.
We visited a Pagoda which a monk kindly opened up for us to look around, and we saw the wall filled with pictures of all Buddha’s past lives. We also ventured to Dong Ba market, a market similar to the one in Hanoi, 2 stories high and filled with everything from silk to fresh spices. We got the impression that they don’t like westerners and they were not up for bartering at all! They tried to charge us a crazy expensive price for a few mangoes.
Instead, we walked to a big supermarket, bought some cold beers, a baguette and some crisps and enjoyed crisp sandwiches whilst looking out onto the lake/river (the one in the picture above).
We ventured to the night market in the evening which was particularly underwhelming. Little huts, selling souvenirs, filled the street by the river. It is worth visiting to see the beauty of the river by night but do not go for the quality of the market.
The following day we walked to the famous Imperial Citadel, the major site in Hue. The price, for westerners, is 150,000 VND (roughly £4.50) but if you’re a local its only 28,000 (less than £1). Ouch. Tourism prices.
The citadel has minimal information making it more difficult to appreciate the true sentiment of the historical UNESCO world heritage site. That said, elements of the citadel are beautiful and the bits of translated history we could read were interesting. The citadel was where the emperors of Vietnam ruled from, until the French came and they sacrificed their reign. It was also heavily bombed in the American War.
On our way back to the hostel we stopped off at a local version of Starbucks and I watched Liv sip on a gorgeous looking cookies and cream milkshake while my bitter, lactose intolerant, self slurped on a passion fruit soda (which was actually rather fun – it had bits of passion fruit jelly in).
Once again, we spent the evening drinking beer with some international friends (1 American, 1 Dutch, 1 French, 1 German, 1 Irish) from the hostel before getting ready to set off to Hoi An early in the morning.
Overall opinion on Hue: missable if you’re short on time.