Tuesday August 11, 2015 (Asia, Southeast Asia, Vietnam)
A rhyming blog post title? That may be a new pinnacle for this site. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Yesterday we enjoyed a day out on the town in Hué. It's a convenient transit point from Hoi An on the way up to Dong Hoi, which is where a bunch of fun caves are located. We just took a bus from Hoi An for the low, low price of 6 USD that brought us to… a seemingly random location on the outskirts of Hué. No worries, though – eventually a whole slew of cabs arrived to take us to our hotel.
We had really only planned for one full day in Hué, and one of the big things to do is to visit the Citadel. It's also known as the Imperial City and is the location of the former capital of Vietnam. On our way there we stopped into the Dong Ba Markets to take a peek. I caught one of the locals napping on the job. Shame!
The palace itself was reasonably fun to walk around, although it was a bit pricey at around 10 CAD per person to enter. Much of the area is under construction and renovation, and due to damage sustained in the war there is still a lot of work required to bring the walled city back to its former glory. Regardless, it was quite a nice way to spend a day. We certainly spent a lot of time hugging the building walls in a feeble attempt to avoid the heat. It didn't work.
Just outside of the Imperial City is another war remnants area where you can spot more mortars, artillery, tanks, and even a MiG-21 flown by the Vietnamese forces. Pretty fascinating stuff to have just sitting around off the side of the road.
This morning we took another "bus" (which turned out to be, technically, a minivan stuffed full with 21 people) on a five hour trip to Dong Hoi. At least this bus had proper air conditioning unlike our last. We're moving up in the world. We've organized a trip to the caves in the surrounding area for tomorrow morning. I doubt it'll make much sense to bring the camera in, but we should capture some GoPro footage we can pop in a video later.
We ate dinner at 7th Heaven Restaurant here in Dong Hoi this evening. It's only been open for about three weeks, and it's run by a former Vietnam war medic who goes by the name "Doc". He had a lot of incredible stories to tell us, and our server Nga was possibly the cheeriest person ever to have taken my order. We continue to meet so many lovely people!