Katja and Arne's travel stories

04.01.15 Hue, the citadel and forbidden city

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Katja and I go for a walk this morning. Just a nice stroll around the neighborhood. It’s Sunday and loud, I mean really loud, music started playing at 7:00. Rise and shine.

When we come back we went straight for breakfast and got a pleasant surprise. It was a really good breakfast, but the coffee tastes like something strange.
It was very nice weather forecasted for today, but it starts out cloudy. We decide to go to the citadel and check out the forbidden city. Hue was in the old days the capital of Vietnam and were a cultural hub for the nation.
We walk along the Perfume river and have no idea from where it got its name, and moved toward the citadel from the hotel.
There are hawkers trying to sell us boat rides over the river and are appalled by our notion of walking that long a distance. We enjoy the walk and even sit down at a little tea place and get something got to drink. Unfortunately it’s seems that tea bags from Lipton is the thing around here and not real green tea.

Well inside the citadel we walk around and take in the beauty. Samsung is ever present and have a video presentation of the city. We learn a lot from it, especially the big Chinese influence at that time. In the way they dressed, ruled, wrote Chinese kanji’s and closed of the emperial city.
The city was damaged extensively during the French recapture in 1947, and then again in the Tet offensive by the Americans in 1968. It’s placed on UNESCO’s world heritage list, and the rebuilding is coming along slowly. There is work going on inside the old city, but I guess it’s a matter of money.

We exit the old city as it gets closer to lunch time and sit down at a cafe. The owner had everything! Bikes, motorcycles, car, bus, boat…I fix everything.
We get the food and it’s delicious. After eating we strike a deal with him and go on a cyclos round of the old city and book him as a driver to take us to Hoi An tomorrow.
The tour around on the cyclos was supposed to last for an hour, but when we got off at the hotel we’ve been on the road for almost two. We have visited the home of Ho Chi Min, a museum, a pagoda and a Mandarin garden. We also made arrangement for the bicyclers to pick us up and take us to a native Vietnamese restaurant in the old town for dinner.

We spent an hour by the pool before the sun disappeared behind some palm trees and we split up. Katja and Mette went to a coffee bar and I just spent some time in the room.
We got picked up as agreed at 18:30 to be taken to dinner. We thought it was just down the road, but we went on for ages. We passed through all of Hue and moved on into an area with old French mansions. Finally we pulled up at a restaurant and the driver pointed across the road. “Very expensive and only western food. Don’t go there! In here only local food.”
We went inside and found a rather large restaurant with only Vietnamese guests. Three large parties with a lot of kids in one of them. It as bustling with activity, noise, even singing and not to mention the frogs. My knowledge of frogs are limited so I won’t goes on the specifics, but these guys were loud.

We ordered different dishes again so wet could share. The fresh spring rolls are constantly changing from place to place we eat then, but they taste really good. We also got served some green salad that included something that probably grows on the water somewhere, morning glory we think it’s called. It was extremely full of taste, and that taste was rather bitter. Not to my liking at all, more of an acquired taste I guess.

We also tested the local beer Huda. It’s a Carlsberg subsidiary that was established here in Hue back in the early nineties. Tried it, moved on. Nothing really to write much about.
After the meal we got back in the cyclos and started on the tour back. This time we timed it and we used about forty five minutes back to the hotel. You sit pretty exposed when you sit in front of the cyclos like that, but everyone here drives rather calmly and no-one pushes hard through traffic. It works as I described it in Bali.
We arrive back in the room and prepare a little for tomorrow’s road trip to Hoi An.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Je suis Charlie

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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