We arrived in Hue by bus from Danang. As we stepped off the bus we were greeted by the usual group of taxi drivers all shouting for our business. There was one guy offering us a seat on a mini bus into town for what he described as a cheap trip. He wanted 50,000 per person but we knew that a taxi would cost less than that. When in Vietnam I would suggest that you only get into the green taxis as they are the most genuine, they always use the meter and take the shortest route. Our trip from the bus station to our accommodation stopping along the way at the train station so we could buy some tickets cost us 60,000 in total, much cheaper than if we had got on that mini bus plus we got dropped off right outside our hotel.
Once we had settled in and sorted our bags out we did what we always do in a new place; we went for a walk around. it was just after 12 and we were hungry so we went in search of somewhere to eat. We came across a bakery called La Boulangerie, which means “the French bakery”. As well as being a business they also train young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and give them the skills they need to go on and work in a the hospitality industry. We had a lovely lunch here and the service was amazing. I would recommend this place as your money is going towards a great cause.
After lunch we carried on with our walk and found a local farmers produce shop. It was late in the day by now and most of the stock had been sold so our advice would be to get there early to avoid disappointment. We later passed a restaurant called Bingsu King and we had to stop to look in as it looked very interesting. It was a desert like no other and we had never seen one before so we had to try it out. It was made from a pile of ice flakes with ice cream on top and surrounding it was chocolate brownies covered in chocolate sauce. It was amazing and worth the stop!
We decided to walk back in the direction of our hotel and along the way we met a Dutch couple with a small puppy. We assumed they must live in Hue but after speaking to them for a while we found out that they were travelling like us. They had come across a small market selling dogs and fell in love with one, they didn’t want to leave it there so decided to buy it and work out a way to take it back to Holland with them. The day we met them they had just taken the dog for its injections and were working on getting him a doggy passport. We hope it all worked out for them and the dog!
While we have been travelling it hasn’t been uncommon for someone to approach us looking for conversation to help them improve their English. It’s a great way to find out more about the place you are in. We spoke to one guy by the river and he told us about the big market on the other side of the river, he also told us that it is a short walk across the bridge so there is no need to pay for one of the many boats offering you a trip across for a fee. We both benefited from the conversation.
Following the advice we had received the day before we set out that morning and walked to Dong Ba Market. It didn’t take long to walk across the bridge and when we arrived we were very surprised at the size of the market, it was massive! We were interested in purchasing one of the many tea sets, but as soon as we approached one stall the lady came at us like a crazy person. I told her that we would like to look at the options ourselves and we would make our own mind up. She said OK, but this only lasted less than 15 seconds before she was pushing us again to purchase a tea set, so we walked away. Eventually we found a lovely gentleman who was selling teas sets and after a short browse we bought from him. The tea set was a present for someone so we decided rather than keep it in out bag all day we would go to the post office and send it straight away. Unfortunately for us the post office in Hue closes from 12pm till 2pm, we had arrived at 12pm!
We had yet to visit the 19th-century Citadel that is situated in the centre of Hue. We decided that while we waited for the post office to open we would go visit it now. The weather decided it wasn’t going to be on our side and within about five minutes it was raining. It didn’t stop us, although at one point it started to come down really heavy so we found shelter at a cafe called BaGian. Here we tried some local Vietnamese coffee, it was amazing and the place was full of charm which made it more of a pleasure to be stuck there while we waited for the rain to go away.
That evening we decided to eat at a place close to our hotel, it was called Eh Fucking Good. With such a crazy name we had to try it out and on the plus side they had a 2-4-1 offer on pizzas and they tasted great! The next day we hung around till our train left and headed to Hanoi.