Day 4 HCMC to Hue
Another early start.. 7.00am pick up for the trip out to the airport for our flight to Hue. There are rumoured to be about 1.3 million motorbikes in HCMC… and it seemed like half of them were on the road this morning. Tony had pre-booked and paid for a taxi through the hotel since e were not to sure how easy they were to get early in the morning without booking. The driver told us “taxi is already paid for but you can tip” .. I don’t think so, especially since the fee was well more than it had cost us to come into town from the airport the other day.
The flight to Hue was uneventful and we landed about 10.30. A taxi into town (20 minutes) was 162,000 dong ($8). The Moonlight Hotel is lovely and we even had a welcome sign up for us. We have a good view of the Perfume River from our balcony (which is bigger than the one at the Green Suites in HCMC but still not a patch on the balcony at the Vieng Mantra in Chiang Mai.
Out to find some lunch – we had left the hotel in HCMC too early for breakfast and the coffee at the domestic airport was the worst I have drunk so far on this trip. Then a wander round town to try and orientate ourselves. Hue was the Imperial capital of Vietnam several hundred years ago and has retained a calmness that is certainly not present in HCMC. It just feels like an overgrown country town…. it doesn’t have a shopping centre.
Hue now has a Night Market … on appropriately named Walking Street .. down on the edge of the river so we thought we’d check it out so we could easily navigate our way back there tonight. Running the gauntlet of the ever-present cyclo drivers (and the lady who followed us for 5 minutes trying to sell us a boat ride on the river) .. down along the river and back into the centre of ‘town’. By now the temperature was dropping and the humidity was rising and it looked very much like we were going to get a storm. The motorbike riders all got out their ponchos but we ploughed on and the grand total of 73 drips landed on us!
Back to the hotel but our nap didn’t eventuate – the hotel housekeeping staff were doing the room across the hall and the ladies were obviously gossiping about someone if the giggling was any indication. Out late afternoon for the night markets & dinner … only the night market has been suspended in preparation for the Hue Festival which starts here on Saturday (bugger, we’re leaving for Hanoi on Saturday)
Ended up having dinner at this cool place called Hot Tuna. Chatting with our lovely young waitress and we organised for her to give us a tour on Friday to the Royal Tombs, the Pagoda and a couple of villages out of town. Turns out that the night market not being open was indeed fortuitous. Should be a fun day – she is a uni student studying to be an English teacher.
A spot of shopping – an pair of pants for Tony – he spilt beer on todays pants (and we need to find a laundry place in the morning). And aside from the usual offers of ‘cyclo’ (no I don’t want a ride in your bloody cyclo) .. twice tonight he was offered drugs! First time in all our travels in SEAsia that this has happened!