This morning was one of the only coach transfer we had between cities, as we made our way from Hoi An to Hue. We are staying at the Asia Hotel, in the centre of the town with restaurants and bars galore around us. After checking in and welcome juices, we had some free time. Katie and I grabbed something to eat from the hotel restaurant (very average pasta) and hung out at the pool a bit with some of the others. We had a nap in our room, although Katie’s pillow apparently smelled like an old man’s armpit (I think it was at this hotel), and then we made our way downstairs for our cyclo tour (another inclusion – thanks Contiki!)
The Cyclo tour, which is essentially an adult pram powered by a grown Vietnamese man on a bicycle, took us on a pleasant 20 minute trip to the Imperial City. My cyclo cyclist (or whatever their official term is) pointed out things along the way such as the markets, the cinema, and certain bridges. Quick tip: the cyclo tour is already paid for. You can tip if you want but you don’t have to – I took a 10 000 VND out before we left so that I could just give it to him. Some of the others were “harassed” (for want of a better word) for a higher tip.
We had our group photo in front of the giant flag. Lee asked us to do some yoga poses as this was her last one (for a while, I have a feeling she’ll be back haha). The floor was so hot! Our local guide Singh took us through the Imperial City, and taught us more about the history. Apparently the king who was living there had loads of wives! We had a chance to go in to one of the temples, which is always interesting. The various histories of the various Kings were all detailed inside.
After some time, we made our way back to the bus and on to the Lady Buddha Pagoda. By this point I was tired and hot and I’d be lying if I tried to tell you anything of significance about the Pagoda. There was a beautiful view of the lake though, as well as a really cool bonsai garden. I even saw some trainee monks!
Just before dinner there was a local group who did a performance outside the hotel in the street, complete with dragons and drums. We watched that for a bit which was cool.
For dinner tonight we went to a place down the road from the hotel called Le’s Garden. They had cocktail happy hour, and another extensive menu to choose from. I had caramelised shrimp which was tasty, but a really small portion, especially considering the mojitos… We were given Jenga to play (Brian was a stickler for the rules in our one so we never got very far). It was a really fun dinner of socialising with everyone. Then we went off to a (very dodgy, DropZone-like) bar club thing called Brown Eyes. Don’t waste your money buying cocktails there – they were terrible. The music was pretty cool, but I must say I struggled with the extreme ignoring of personal space by the groups there, and the smell which was your typical drunk hot club smell. Gross. Anyway, that sort of thing isn’t really my scene anymore anyway, so I decided to go home while the night was still good. Sam and I made our way back to the hotel, which was a really funny walk where we discussed how much he was going to irritate his girlfriend when he got back to the room (SORRY SHAYLA!) and I made my way back for a nice shower before bed. Had a huge giggle with Katie when she got back (as per usual) as it turns out she went on a bit of a roundabout route coming back. Sleep time, and then in the morning off to Hanoi and our final few days!