The Citadel at Hue sits on the Perfume River
Hue – we passed the citadel on the way in and as we were dropped off found out that as it is a national holiday this weekend, everything is much more expensive. 400aed for a private car to show us the citadel and the pagoda and the tombs and then take us the 3 hours to the airport was pretty good I thought! Popped round the corner for a quick bowl of noodles and some fried rice for breakfast and back to the Sinh Tourist office to be picked up (Sinh domain here) these are recommended in all the books and I think it’s a deserved recommendation. The only caveat to that was the night bus. The actual company that runs the bus was called Camel Travel – ironic, based on where we live. And we had seen a couple other night buses that looked like they were in ‘better working order’ than the one we got.
Anyway, Tin was waiting for us at the Sinh Tourist Office – I had thought that he might also be a guide for us, but his limited English meant I was wrong! What it did mean though was that we had our bags in the back of the car all day with us as well, which was a
comfort, rather than leaving it in the Sinh Tourist office or paying a hotel a small fee to have them sit in the lobby all day. Tin, dropped us as at the Imperial City and said see you in 2 hours! And off he drove. There was definitely a moment where Thera and I thought that might be the last time we saw our bags – it was a hot and humid day in Hue and walking around the frankly massive imperial city was a hot and sticky experience. Quite amazing though from a structural perspective and how it was used in days gone by. A quick peek into the museum and we headed back to where we were dropped off, we were about half an hour early and were going to grab a cold one and sit in the shade till/if Tin turned up. But as we walked up the street, he pulled in and whisked us off to the Thien Mu Pagoda and this was the order of the day, following the Pagoda, our next stop of the day was Tu Duc Tomb – another impressive ruin, it originally took 3 years to build for the emperor Tu Duc and covers quite an expanse of land and from there on to another tomb but this time of Khai Dinh., this one took 11 years to complete and is much newer than Tu Duc and you can really see the blend of Eastern and Western architecture in the building. Now it may seem like I am skipping through this, but this is really to emphasise that this is how it felt whilst doing it. We once again tried to stuff too much into our time and this day felt like being pulled from pillar to post. After walking up the stairs to the gaudy room where the tomb is placed. We got some great photos of the very impressive building and then hopped back into the car for the 4 hour trip to Danang airport to catch our connecting flight back to HCMC – the fear of traffic and delays were unfounded and we ended up in Danang airport far too early, especially for an airport that doesn’t have a whole lot in it.
The Vietjet flight though left on time – 10.15pm – and we eventually fell through the door of our hotel in HCMC – The Eden Saigon Hotel – about 1.30am. A hot relaxing shower was oh so welcome and then SLEEP!