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Martin's Travel Journal Just a few photos and ramblings from my trips.


VIETNAM | Saturday, 23 April 2011 | Views [268]

The relaxed and chilled out surroundings of Hoi An were now far behind and stepping off the bus in Hue I was chucked back in the motor madness of Asian cities.

After eventually finding my hostel (which included a free ride on a motorbike with my incredibly heavy rucksack on) I headed out into nighttime Hue. I had dinner which included the local speciality Banh and then enjoyed a few drinks with some Americans I had met in the backpackers district. Later than I had wished I headed to bed knowing I had most of the next day to explore Hue.

Hue has the highest amount of rainfall out of all the Vietnamese cities, so it was inevitable that during my 24 hours in the city it would rain - especially as I was cycling. I had however travelled to Hue simply to see the Citadel and was not going to let the rain stop me.

After breakfast I cycled to the Citadel, home of the Imperial City. The Citadel was built in the early 19th Century and the centre was the royal palaces. Hue is a former capital of Vietnam and this was it's administrative centre but it was destroyed during the war and only parts have been reconstructed.

Cycling up to the citadel you are greeted by the massive flagtower which is prominent at the front of the city walls. Crossing over one of several moats and then enter the city through the impressive Ngo Mon Gate.

Inside I wandered for a couple of hours, visiting the royal palace, theatre and several residencies. The unrestored areas remain untouched since the war and bullet holes are still obvious, as well as constant weather and flooding damage.

The rain continued as I left the Citadel and cycled several kilometres west to the Thien Mu Pagoda and Hon Chen Temple, following the Perfume River. The Thien Mu Pagoda stands upon a hill looking down over the river and dates back to the 1600s.

Realising I had checked out of my hostel but still had a key I cycled back into town to avoid getting charged. I grabbed lunch at the delightful Mandarin Cafe before cycling on to the Contemporary Art Museum and then the Ho Cho Minh Museum. The museum tells the story of Ho Chi Minh from growing up to becoming 'President' of Vietnam. Uncle Ho was raised in Hue and famously went to the Quoc Hoc High School which still exists and is just across the road from the Museum. As it is still a school though you can't go in any further than the front gates.

I returned to the hostel then made my way down to the station, grabbing another bite to eat (conscious to the fact I was getting on the sleeper train at 5 and may not be able to eat again) before boarding the train for my 12 hour journey north to the capital.

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