Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Visiting the Old City, Hue, Vietnam

Hue was definitely our favorite city in Vietnam.  Everything was very affordable, the people super polite and the historical sites beautiful.  Our taxi driver describes the city as a college town because many students go to Hue for college.

we were greeted by swan hearts upon entering our room <3
Our hotel room had a beautiful view of the city and the famous Perfume River.  It was also near a nice salon where one night, I went there to straighten my hair. My husband also got a haircut while waiting. They did a great job. We found that in Hue, you definitely get a lot for your money.

Unlike many parts of the world, Hue has not changed much because a major part of it became a UNESCO site. There were many cyclo drivers (an old part of Vietnamese travel) who asked us if we needed a ride. While we felt guilty to have someone bike for us, it was more sad to not use their service.  They helped us find neat places to visit and were eager to answer all our questions. We invited them to eat lunch and dinner with us and in doing so, learned about their lives.

visited Dai Noi (Citadel) on the first day in Hue
Dai Noi (former place for imperial government) was larger than I had imagined. We did not have enough time to tour the entire place, despite using a horse. 
elephant in Dai Noi (Citadel)-the Emperor used to ride this!

one of the many views from  Tomb of Tu Duc

Emperor Tu Duc was a writer and poet. This is one of the places where he sat down to write
We ate Lien Hoa Temple. The food was clean, cheap, delicious and service was impeccable. We wish that we had scheduled more time in Hue to visit all the sites, especially the beaches. It was such a nice experience!

Tips for Hue:
1. If you stay at Orchid Hotel, ask for their deluxe room or honeymoon suite.
2. If you have a chance to use the cyclo, do take them up on the offer. They're all licensed and will show you their license. They only charged us each 140,000 VND (~$7) for the entire day! That price just seemed absurd so we tipped generously.
3. Stay at least 4 days there to fully appreciate the city--beaches, river, mountains, parks, historical sites, restaurants...
4. Try to avoid summer (heard it's very hot)
5. Fly into Hue-fast & the flight was nice
6. It's cold in the winter and also sprinkles. Dress in layers.
7. If you're vegetarian, try Lien Hoa Temple.
8. If you're a food, check out restaurants on tripadvisor. Hue has many wonderful restaurants which you can try. Many offer Vietnamese French cuisine. Next time, we're definitely checking out one of the highly rated restaurants, e.g. Les Jardins de La Carambole. 

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