Once we left the rainy and backpackery Hoi An, things were looking up for us. We drove across a mountain pass with a nice view and were heading to Hue.
On the way we stopped in a seafood restaurant. Matt and I weren’t really hungry as we had a big hotel breakfast and it was only 11am or so. However, our guide convinced us to at least try the clams with lemongrass and I’m glad he did because they were very, very tasty! It was one of those restaurants where you select the live creatures from different aquariums or buckets in this case. So you can be sure that everything is definitely fresh.
In Hue we saw the citadel, where generations of kings used to live with their wives, concubines, eunuchs and servants. It was really well done actually, with a little museum which had really interesting explanations about what the king’s daily life would have looked like. For example he had hundreds of dishes each dinner and ate with specially treated chopsticks that would turn blue when the food contained poison.
The moat around the citadel had a lot of fish. And when someone threw some food down to them, a ton of fish came to eat as if they hadn’t seen food for days!
I noticed in Vietnam they like to cut their hedges into animal shapes – ideally dragons of course. Here’s a cute one.
Then we went to see the Thien Mu pagoda and temple, where buddhist monks are living still today. I had to cover myself up – not for religious reasons but due to the high number of mosquitoes around which seemed to like me a lot. I had so many mosquito bites, I was going crazy.
Also spot the dragonflies in the sky in this photo! There were a lot of those around as well.
The last stop was the tomb of King Tu Duc. It was quite a large area with lots of different buildings and a lake and an island in the lake and so on… The king would spend time there when he needed to get away from the court, to relax, write poetry and hunt rabbits (they put rabbits on the little island so he could go and hunt them). Once he died, all his concubines had to move to the little village and stay there for the rest of their lives.
Next stop: Saigon!