After leaving Hanoi we had our first experience of the Reunification Express. We were in the Livitrans carriages – the most expensive and the first impression we got – cockroaches and plenty of them! Anyway other than the cockroaches it was an uneventful and uncomfortable trip.
Arriving in Hue was a nice culture shock because the incesant noise of Hanoi was over and Hue is a much smaller and laidback town.
The majority of hotels, backpackers and bars were in a small 3 or 4 block area and prices are cheap for food especially.
During the day we visited the Citadel which contained the palaces and capital buildings of the Nguyen Dynasty rulers of Vietnam from 1805 to 1945. The citadel has what I would politely call a run down charm to the place. Saying that looked like work was starting to be done and it seems to have survived the last 50 years and everything that went on around it in OK shape.
It is Vietnam’s answer to the Forbidden city.
Also while we were in Hue we took a cruise on the Perfume River, It was a bit of a waste of time and money -although it wasn’t expensive 100,000 dong I think. Our time might have been better spent going to one of the pagodas.
One other thing that was noticeable was there were more cyclo drivers offering prostitutes and marijuana in Hue than other places I’ve been in so far. Haven’t been to Saigon or Vung Tau yet though!
Hue also has a number of pagodas you can visit plus tours to the tunnels in the demilitarised zone. Due to fact that we had been travelling so much the previous days we didn’t do any of this and treated Hue as a bit of a rest and relaxation time.