We get up and are ready to go. After check out we walk across the street to have a coffee while waiting for our driver.
We get picked up on time and set out for a road trip bette between Hue and Hoi An. It’s possible to go by bus, but it takes you through the tunnel and not over the pass. A pass said to be amongst the most pretty routes that can be driven.
We start out by going to a pagoda outside of Hue. This is a rebellious monastery that have been a thorn in the side of the old governments. It’s most famous for the monk who drove his car to Hanoi and set himself on fire. This was a protest to the government’s sanctioned violence against the Buddhists monks in the country. His car is still there in the monastery together with pictures of him.
From there we drove to a mandarin cemetery. I have always thought, in my ignorance, that Mandarin was a Chinese person. Turns out all the old magistrates where mandarin, a form of upper class if you will. A lot of things makes more sense now.
Now we moved to the tomb of one of the old emperors. It’s heavy influenced by European style with the French first in line. This mausoleum is quite impressive and holds some of the best preserved bass relifes in the country.
When we walked there were glad we came in the,”cold” period and not during summer. It’s hot enough and it will rise with another ten degrees later in the year.
We now stopped at a bridge built in1776. A bridge only to be used by mandarins. As we crossed an old lady came up to us and exclaimed her age at 79, and that I’m a very handsome man. Seems like there is something with me and the old ladies of the East.
We found a flood meter that showed how high the flooding had been in bad years. In the nineties the water was up to more than 2.4 meters above normal. When your house is located on the riverbed you have nothing left when that happens.
We also walked through a tiny little museum where a lady enacted the old ways of grinding rice, catching fish and spinning threads. An entertaining little thing.
Last stop before lunch was Elephant spring. A real detour, but absolutely worth it. None of us went into the water, as it was a tad too cold, but the rock itself and surroundings were amazing.
We did lunch at an insanely expensive restaurant. It deserves no credit or being named. We walked down to the beach afterwards, and as it is winter here it’s almost deserted. It was as beautiful beach and I guess it will be heavy development in this area over the coming years.
After lunch we drove over the pass. We stopped and took some pictures there. Absolutely great view.
Top Gear went here and claim it’s the best coast road in the world. You can see it on youtube:
We made only one stop on the way from the pass to the hotel, at a place they sold marble sculptures. A place our driver claimed they needed to go for using the toilet, and I think they would have gotten a cut of our spending.
Finally we arrived at the hotel and it had been a great day. Our driver had been careful and nice and our guide had been nice. Than from yesterday had taken good care of us and we were really happy. Then he messed that up in a second. We had agreed on the price for the tour and when we arrived he almost doubled it. Well, he tried at least. All three of us went into best mode and gave home a lecture I think he’s still thinking of. We paid as agreed and walked away. We would have gladly put his name and contact info on here and been good ambassadors for him, but now we’re just annoyed and grumpy. Anyway, the tour was nice except for the last three minutes.
We cleaned up at the hotel, where Katja and I got an upgrade, by the way. Woohoo. Big room, great bathroom and a river view. Sweet!
Then we meet up with Mette and went for dinner. We found a little street food place and sat down on their baby chair. It’s squats with ass to the grass.
The food was really good and for all of us we paid the same as for one of our lunch dishes.
Tired, full and happy wet went back and went to sleep in our very nice beds.
The only thing worse than losing hope is to be the reason someone else loses hope.
― Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season