Day 251: November 18, 2018
We were up at 6:30 am to take a Grab car to the Ho Chi Minh airport at 7:30 am. We were warned that traffic might be bad, but it ended up being all right. We checked in then chilled in the airport. We ate some pho and spring rolls for lunch then boarded our hour and a half flight to Hué.
On arrival we got a Grab car to our Airbnb. I had selected the wrong address in the app so we had to do a bit of a loop. Our Airbnb was huge, but very impractical. The main floor had a living room, kitchen and garage, but it was too open to have A/C so we really only stayed up in the bedroom.
We chilled for a bit then walked to a pizza place for supper. Sadly, it wasn’t very tasty. We walked back a different route looking for a grocery store, but none seem to exist here. We did find a place to buy water then we walked back to the Airbnb to sleep.
Day 252: November 19, 2018
I was bitten by bugs all night so I ended up sleeping in to try to get enough rest. We got dressed then walked up the street, looking for a place for breakfast. We settled on a hotel restaurant, but the food was a bit disappointing. We continued walking up the street, across the Perfume River to the Imperial City.
In 1789, Nguyen Anh ascended to the unified Vietnamese throne. Construction of his capital city started in 1804. The complex was the seat of power until the French arrived in the 1880s. In 1947, sieges occurred that destroyed much of the inner city. Restoration is still ongoing.
Ramparts, 2 km x 2 km, protect the Imperial City. The entire complex is surrounded by a moat. There were not many people visiting even though GoogleMaps labeled it as “very busy”. It was a nice place to walk around and look at the architecture and gardens.
We left and went to what we thought looked like a grocery store. It was not. We continued walking to the centre of town to a local restaurant suggested by our Airbnb host. It was basic, but tasty.
We walked to a nearby mini mart and purchased some yogurt and snacks. We then took a Grab car back to our Airbnb as we were very tired of walking. It wasn’t insanely hot, but I was still pouring sweat from the humidity.
Danny went for a run and I chilled. Eventually, we walked up the street looking for food. We crossed the canal in front of our Airbnb to go the opposite way we had the previous night. There were many nice looking coffee shops, but none had food. There were lots of little local stalls, but we weren’t sure about eating at them. We ended up at a different hotel restaurant. They had really good pizza which made up for the previous night’s pizza.
We walked back to the Airbnb with full tummies, but angry moods. We had started arguing over supper about money. It doesn’t really matter to either of us, but neither of us wanted to back down. Sometimes when you reflect on what you are fighting about it just doesn’t make sense.
Day 253: November 20, 2018
We slept in a bit then talked about our money discussion the previous night. Once we were happy again, we took a Grab car to the Royal Tomb of Khai Dinh King. The driver told us he would wait and take us to our next stop which was great because we weren’t positive how we were going to get back.
Khai Dinh was the twelfth Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty and he ruled from 1916 until 1925. He worked closely with the French making him unpopular among the people. The tomb itself looked much older than it was. There were interesting bodyguard statues at the second level.
At the top there was a building with the tomb inside. It was a quick visit, but worth the stop.
We located our driver, but when I put our next stop into the Grab app it said there were no drivers. We agreed to pay the price Grab had quoted in cash and drove to Thuy Tien Lake Abandoned Water Park.
When we arrived there was a closed gate with a sign saying, “No Visitors”, and two security guards. I read online later rumours that it was closed very recently due to safety concerns.
We had our driver take us back to the centre of Hué where we walked along the river then stopped at a restaurant for lunch. I had a milk tea which was sugary flavoured milk with jelly pieces inside.
After lunch, we walked around looking at the clothing and souvenir shops. We eventually headed back to our Airbnb. The honking here does get on your nerves and crossing the street involves a lot of dodging of scooters.
Back at the Airbnb I caught up on blogging and Danny booked us some upcoming day tours. For supper, we went up the street to a hotel restaurant. The waiter was hovering a bit. We soon learned he just wanted to chat to practice his English. We had a nice conversation with him. It is nice to talk with a local that isn’t trying to sell you anything.
We walked back towards the Airbnb and along the way we saw a mass of people sitting in front of a café. Vietnam vs. Myanmar football was on the screens and everyone was watching. The seats were packed out on to the sidewalk and spilling out onto the shoulder of the road. We took some seats on the shoulder and ordered teas.
The screen in one café was slightly slower than in the café right next door. When something happened in the game, half the crowd would cheer then a second later the other half would cheer. It was comical to watch.
We finished our drinks and left at the half. At the Airbnb we watched “First They Killed My Father” on Netflix. It is based on a true story of a girl that lived through the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. I had watched it previously, but hadn’t understood some of the intricacies of what was happening. It was nice to re-watch and understand it a bit more.
Hué was a nice quiet town, but I’m not sure if we needed so many days there. It was nice to see the Imperial City and the tombs were interesting. Next we are heading by bus south to Hoi An.