Wow I have just realised how long it has been since we wrote a blog. since being back in Hanoi we have moved to 4 different places! First we moved to Huè, Hoi An, Nha Trang and today we arrived in Dalat.
Hue was so cold and wet and miserable which kind of altered our view of the place really. While we were there we wanted to visit a place called the forbidden purple city which was inside the citadel. The forbidden purple city was an area that was reserved for the private life of the emperor at the time. We got there and was really hoping to see something amazing with the title forbidden purple city but to our disappointment there was nothing but blank space and foundations. I don't think the weather helped either which was a shame. The day after the forbidden purple city we decided to go on a tour to see the tombs of three emperors which were incredible. All three tombs were completely different and were all built whilst the emperors we still alive. My favourite temple was very gothic looking and had many cultural influences in terms of the architecture. There was a mix of French, Italian, Thai and Vietnamese Influences which really worked well together! All the temples were built out of the city in the mountains as they needed to be higher up. In the past there have been 13 emperors however there are only 12 tombs in vietnam as the 13th emperor was buried in France. We both really enjoyed the day at the tombs and would highly recommend it to anyone who is stopping in Hue.
We took a bus from Huè to Hoi An in a desperate search for some warm weather! Hoi An is four hours south of Huè and is absolutely stunning! The buildings are all have a yellow colour that strangely makes you feel like your somewhere medditeraian. It is an old trading port from the 17th century with a lot of influences from the Chinese and Japanese culture. Hoi An was granted world heritage status in the 90's and they have set up a tour where you pay 90,000 VND to visit 5 heritage sites in the town. All the money from the selling of tickets goes to the preservation of the old town which is brilliant. We visited a Chinese temple, a Chinese house which had been in the family for 27 generations, a Vietnamese house, The Japanese Covered Bridge which was built in 1593 and was said to have begun construction in the year of the monkey and finished on the year of the dog , due to this one side was supposed to have been guarded by monkeys and the other by dogs! Back in the day the Japanese lived one side of the bridge and the Chinese lived on the other, a silk factory where we saw silk worms and finally a traditional music concert. We paid extra to have a tour guide to take Ben and I to these places so we got the history and meaning behind certain things rather then just going in and thinking "I wonder what that's for oh I'll google it" it made a massive difference and its a must in Hoi An! We also went to a place called My Son which was a Cham temple built in a valley not far from Hoi An. The temple was built in this particular spot for many reason that in the end represent the balance of ying and yang. My son had four areas in which temples were built however there is only one that is in semi good condition. It was really interesting and a really nice sight! Our tour guide was a little mental but it made it interesting and funny!
After a few days in Hoi An we moved on to Nha Trang on a sleeper bus as it took 12 hours! This was by far the worst sleeper bus journey to date. We had two vietnamese men sleeping on the floor next to us and they had no idea of personal space! The man sleeping next to Ben was coughing on him all night and then for the next few days he did not feel well at all! Nha Trang was lovely! We had a hotel with a view of the beach which was really nice. In Nha Trang there is not a great deal to do that does not involve alcohol or the beach. So when in Rome.... The first night we were there we went to a place called red apple and then on to a beach party which was amazing! And we got in free! Bonus! The next day we chilled out and decided to book a trip on the party boat which was epic! We were on this boat at 8:30 and first visited an aquarium but after the aquarium the party begun. By 10 we were starting on the tigers! I know me drinking lager SHOCK! There was lots of music, sea, sun and scenary it was gorgus. The lunch on the boat was amazing it was like a proper banquet. We did lots of swimming in the sea which was fun and then we were rewarded by a performance from the crew on the boat who called themselves the nha trang boy band. One dressed up as a lady boy but it was hilarious! They got everyone up from the different countries to sing a song and ours was yellow submarine! I did not know a single word. There was some lads on the boat from new Zealand and they did a Haka for us which was cool. After the boy band treat we went back in the sea for free "cocktails" off the floating bar, which was basically a man in a rubber ring, which you had to hold on to. The "cocktails" we're vile. The bartender even called them the s*** f****ing minging cocktail, it was hilarious. After that we begun to head back and by four we were all completely hammered! It was a good day. We spent 5 days in nha Trang as it was nice to relax but we had to leave before our liver packed in!
We decided before going any further south to stop at a place called Dalat which is in the mountains. We went with the idea that it would be really picturesque and pretty but it was just like any other city on top of the mountain which was a little disappointing. We decided to stay for 2 days on the second day we hired a moped and explored which was really nice. It is a little strange in Dalat because there are greenhouses as far as the eye can see. They grow a lot of flowers here and also make wine which is sold all over Vietnam. We went to a place called crazy house which is ironically pretty crazy. It's hard to even explain so it's best just to look at the pics lol.
We left Dalat on the third morning and headed to Mui Ne. We only stated one night here as we only wanted to visit the sand dunes. They were brilliant! We went in a jeep up to the first dune and our driver was crazy! When we got to the dunes we hired a 300 cc quad bike and blitz around for 20 minutes. It was brilliant and I even drove it! On the way back from the white sand dune we headed to another dune where we watched the sun set which again was really nice. We then went back to the hotel in which there was a power cut! Luckily it looks like this happens regularly as they had a back up generator like many other property's in Mui Ne!
So that's our story all up to date! It has been a mental few weeks with lots of travelling involved but it's all been worth it and we are enjoying every minute! Miss you all so much and hope all is well in old blighty x x x