Before we arrived at Hue, we agreed we would increase our budget for accommodation a little as we started to feel sorry for ourselves because of the previous hostels and the trauma they had put us through (only joking- but they were shocking!). Our Hue hotel was £35 for 3 nights for 2 of us – such a bargain for such small money. We have a proper shower and a floor that we can walk on without resulting in black feet!
From the second we arrived the staff were so helpful and provided us with a free drink after our trek. They then told us that tea and coffee were free for our entire stay, anytime we want one we can ask and they will provide for us. We walked into our room and both just looked at each other and smiled. This is just what we needed, it boosted our moods instantly. After not showering for 24 hours and being on a sweaty train we didn’t smell too good so we had a shower straight away and got ready to explore Hue.
We popped out and grabbed some lunch in a family run restaurant and then headed out and visited the Citadel. The Citadel (also known as the Imperial City). is a large city where the Emperor of Vietnam ran the country as Hue was the Capital of Vietnam until 1945. It was very humid and started to rain, so we got out our rain macs and continued to explore!
This cost around £5 each. Whilst we aren’t crazy about History we still wanted to check it out. We were there for about 1.5 hours, but it was a massive attraction we could have easily spent 4/5 hours. We decided to head back to our lovely hotel and relax for the rest of the afternoon.
That evening we went across the road to the same family restaurant, I ordered Satay Chicken and rice and James had Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs. The waitress warned me that my dish was slightly spicy, but I felt brave so I still had it. It is fair to say the lady was right, it was spicy, and when they say ‘slightly’, they don’t mean slightly. My mouth was on fire, so I just had to wash it down with a nice cold beer!
That evening we were quite tired so headed back to the room to get a good night sleep so we could make the most of our next day in Hue.
Our first day
Our first full day in Hue was nothing but a failure, but still enjoyable and created memories. I’m not too sure where to even start?! We thought it would be a good idea to hire a bicycle (less than £1 each for the whole day) so we could ride to the Pagoda which we were told was only a 20/30-minute cycle. We hopped on our bikes, and considering I haven’t ridden a bike in about 10 years it didn’t come naturally, to say the least. I rode it more like a scooter! With the rush of motorbikes and cars, we got 20 minutes away and I heard a massive bang – turned around and James’ tyre had completely burst. We didn’t know what to do, until a man in a van passing us realised what happened and pointed us in the way of a tyre shop. We walked our bikes to the shop and he tried ripping us off, so we said no and started to walk back to our hotel.
What was a 15-minute bike journey turned out to be a 45-minute walk back! Eventually, we made it to the hotel at around 13:00 sweating through our eyes and explained what happened and the hotel staff couldn’t apologise enough.
We decided as we were shattered from the long walk and heat, that we would attempt to ride to the Pagoda the next day. That evening we walked further into the town where we ate at a slightly more expensive restaurant. I ordered Chicken Stir Fry and James had Crispy Fried Beef Noodles.
We also ordered some frozen Strawberry Daiquiri which went down a treat.
As we were walking around in the town we were handed a leaflet to a club called Brown Eyes Bar, the TripAdvisor reviews were brilliant so we thought we would try it out. We walked in and although it was very quiet, we still enjoyed our time there because the staff were just so friendly and welcoming. I was taught how to make my hands look like crabs, that’s everyone’s goal in life, right?
We played pool and then James played with another traveller from The Netherlands. We got ourselves a vodka and coke bucket for less than £5, and as drinks were flowing we started to dance with the locals and we made some more friends from Australia.
That night will definitely be a night that we will look back on and remember for the rest of our lives. At this point, I felt like I was properly travelling and felt truly grateful I could experience it.