Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hue and Hoi An

Whilst Hanoi was a city bursting with life, noise and colour Hue, a city in Southern Vietnam was much more tranquil and less exhausting. The night bus journey to Hue was pretty horrific but once we got there and settled into out hostel, Hue Backpackers (FYI it was amazing - free beer!!!) we instantly feel in love with the place and it's chilled out atmosphere. The first day in Hue was spent exploring the old citadel which to be honest was a bit disappointing especially when compared with the Forbidden City in Beijing. The weather was absolutely boiling which really did not add to my appreciation of the ruins. When we arrived in the citadel we bumped into Ben and Fran, an English couple we met in Halong Bay and arranged to go for a drink that evening. After exploring the old ruins and all the surrounding streets we headed back to the hostel for free beer, fish n chips and headed out for the evening. We went to a couple of bars including one with the most mental waitress I've ever met. Apparently she was called Crazy Bonkers and not only was she extremely annoying but hilarious she also had the most high pitched deafening laugh ever!!!!! The evening was a succession of jagerbombs and cocktails... not the best idea considering we had to get up at 7.30am the next morning.

After an early start we headed out on a boat tour to visit some tombs and temples. The temples were pretty templey (as if I'm templed out all ready) but the tombs were really fascinating. We saw 3 in total and each one was better and more grand than the previous. I can't remember their names and I don't have 'the bible' handy so I'm not even going to try and guess but I would definitely recommend checking them out if you are ever in this part of the world. Each tomb was completely different in terms or design, size and architecture but each fascinating to walk around and wonder how the emperors used to live way back then. Some of the sites were merely for burial purposes but other had live in areas and hence much larger in size. We meet another English couple on the tour, Bob and Natalie (we seem to have a thing for picking up these Brits) and that evening the 5 of use met Ben and Fran for some good English grub minus the beers and plus the hangover remnants.

Another 7.30am rise meant we could catch the early bus to Hoi An, a small city on the coast where tailor made clothing is a speciality. We arrived in the high heat and decided to stay at the first place are eyes meet. This happened to be a luxury hotel next to the bus stop and for $6 each we were in heaven complete with a swimming pool, a first on this trip!!! After a swim, it started to rain so I decided to have a cheap facial and pedi (Daire had a massage!!!) until the weather died down and we could hit the streets to get some clothes made. After looking for ages I found a place to have my 2 dresses made. A replica of a shift dress I already own and a floaty maxi dress perfect for summer parties and evenings on the beach. Daire had a suit and 2 shirts made and Claudia got a top and playsuit.

That evening we meet all the Brits again at an arranged time and place and enjoyed happy hour cocktails and beers plus some non Vietnamese food!!!!!! Once again not ideal for a 7.30 wake up call but fun nevertheless.

Today we went to check out My Son, an ancient Cham temple in the jungle which was pretty interesting but really run down. It was hit badly during the war and not much is really left standing. If I never see a temple again (except Angkor Wat!!!) it'll be too soon!!!!!! The afternoon was spent collecting out tailor made clothes. Daire and I got ours made in the same shop and they did such a good job neither of us needed any adjustments. Claudia however was not so lucky and is waiting to pick up her adjusted items as I type. Tonight we have to catch another night bus to Nha Trang, our much need beach stop!!! I plan to scuba dive and hopefully pick up my advanced PADI plus laying on the beach reading my Dexter novels will be a well deserved treat from all our early mornings and busy days.

I got a little sun burnt today but hopefully it'll sort itself out by the time I go diving! Last night we also had to say goodbye to the Brits as they are on a much longer and more relaxing time scale than us. The night bus this evening will probably be as horrific as the last one but at least we'll get a few relaxing days on the beach to catch up on sleep. It was pouring with rain again today so fingers crossed for some nice weather. After the beach we are heading to Hoi Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta before entering Cambodia where things will calm down significantly and we wont be as busy... phew!!

Anyway, must dash now. Bus to catch and shower to have. Speak soon xxxxxxxxxxxx

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