Monday 4th July
We got up this morning to get a 4 hour bus that would take us to Hue via Danang and then through the hills known Ho van pass which is where top gear was once filmed. We stopped at the highest peak where an old american bunker was to take photos and stock up on snacks.
We arrived at the hotel in Hue around lunch time where we quickly threw our stuff in our rooms and then went back to the front of the hotel to start a bike tour of Hue. We had a convoy of 15 so we bossed the roads and made all other traffic wait for us. The first stop on the tour was a convent where we had a 5 course vegetarian lunch, made and served by the nuns.
After lunch we set off down little dirt tracks and off road at times. It was a good atmosphere with the convoy as whenever we went anywhere the drivers would chant and with the size of our convoy we made quite a roar! We went through little villages where small kids would run out to greet us and give us high fives as we zoomed by.
The tour took us round all the main tourist attractions around Hue inlcuding the King's tomb and the tiger collesseum. We then went up to a nice spot overlooking the Perfume river which made for some nice Kodak opportunities, then headed over to the city's pagoda standing over the river.
The next stop was quite strange. We turned up at this little house in the middle of a village, walked in side and were greeted by a lady with one arm making traditional Vietnamese hats! Apparently shes the most famous hat maker in the whole country. She then flogged some of the group a few souveniers and we headed off again.
Our penultimate stop was at the Citadel which we just drove through and took photos as we went and then headed out into the rice fields to watch the local farmers at work.
In the evening we went for a group meal. There was a pool table in the restaurant so obviously the next round of the pool competition had to be played. Sadly we ended the round 11-8 down overall. After the meal we went to a bar called Brown Eyes where we got some free shots and buckets and danced the night away.
Tuesday 5th July
We lounged around the hotel for most of the morning and then headed out to buy supplies for the night train we had late afternoon. We got to the train station a bit early which was bad luck because it was bloody boiling!! We had to sit in the waiting area where there was no air con so we had to fashion our own fans out of anything we could find.
We got on the train and to our surprise we recieved free water, biscuits, tea and noodles. Then in a moment of madness we decided to order some beers for our cabin which housed 4 lads all together. We ordered 14, got one free and the guy returned with a cool box filled with slabs of ice to keep our beverages ice cold! We didnt really have room for it but we liked the idea of it so much we got used to it. After sitting in the boiling waiting room at the station we were happy to find a powerful air con system in our cabin. We were later told that it was actually broken and was stuck on full power...it made for a cold nights sleep.