Our arrival to Hue was by a 13 hour over night train journey involving drinking beer, flicking away cockroaches, chatting about life and catching up on sleep.
As we checked into the hotel, we had 40 minutes to freshen up for our motorbike tour around the countryside of Hue, visiting a local market and more.
Riding through the countryside meant seeing the local farmers and acres of rice paddy’s and other plantation of food produce. I saw duck, pigs and seafood breeding plants. We stopped off at a village to see the Thanh Toan Bridge which is referred to as the “Japanese Bridge”.
The next stop was visiting the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), plenty of historical information about the 13 Emperors and how each one had a dedicated place of resting with walls, temples, gardens and more.
For lunch, we were given an opportunity to see a local nunnery, who aim to provide care, education and shelter for children up until the age of 18, where they learn a lot of skills from crafts and agriculture in the hopes of one day having their own business.
After lunch, it was time to see a local market where incense sticks and the iconic Vietnamese conical hat being handmade. Of course, I gave it a go to make an incense stick (video shall be up on Instagram).
Nearby, was the Perfume River. The photos do not justify the landscape.
The last part of the motorbike tour was visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda. The Pagoda has 7 stories and is one of the tallest religious building’s in Vietnam. There was a sense of serenity with the garden’s and the insight to Buddhism. It is also to be noted, the car in the photo of a monk burning himself in Saigon, 50 years ago is kept here.
Rooftop views of Hue.
In the evening, our group was invited and hosted to a dinner by a Vietnamese family. She was very welcoming and gave us a lesson on how to make spring rolls. Her son was the entertainer for the evening with his magic tricks.
The next morning was a visit to Imperial Citadel to explore the Forbidden Purple City. Many of the architecture were damaged by the Vietnam war. Sadly, when we arrived it was raining and I didn’t take many snaps but the weather did clear up after. There was a fact about one of the Emperor’s in his reign, he had 600 wives, I wonder what kept him occupied in his free time. The surrounding areas were garden’s to walk around.
This was the end of Hue as we travelled to Hoi An by bus. We stopped off for lunch at an oyster farm.
Hue is a place where I got to know a lot of history about Vietnam and the culture with many principles to follow. This part of the tour meant you could see the hardworking individual’s in the countryside who have family owned farms to make a living. Equally, I saw the places where Emperor’s lived and gained an insight to what it was like even with the remains being damaged by the war, it was unfortunate to see things destroyed. Next up is Hoi An, where I spent 3 days in the lantern city doing more fun activities.