We had a very whistlestop tour of Hue. It was only 3 hours by bus from Hoi An and when we arrived at our hotel we were presented with a delicious fruit juice, that was much more fruit than drink. The next day we booked onto a city tour, we were only there for one day so thought this was the best way to see everything and actually know what we were looking at. On the bus we met a lovely mum and her little boy who were from Germany but had been travelling around Asia for 1 1/2 years! It was amazing, he was only 5 years old yet his English was incredible and we told me all about the different animals he'd seen in India!
The morning consisted of a series of tombs. Hue was the capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945, and it wasthe imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, and all the old emperors are buried around the city in impressive tombs, which the emporers built themselves before their actual death. The first one was the tomb of Minh Mang who died in 1841. All of the tombs have several elements to them - an honour courtyard, a temple to worship the emperer and a courtyard full of stone elephants, horses and military manderins, however each tomb reflects the personality of that emperer. We also visited the tomb of Tu Duc who was very short so all his stone manderins were made very small, and finally the tomb of Khai Dinh from 1925. After lunch was a visit to the citadel, including the Forbidden purple city. Much of this has been recently restored, and the buildings looked beautiful decorated in red and gold.
We arrived in Hanoi by night train this morning, a considerably nicer experience than last time, despite being in a cabin with 6 beds instead of 4. Kate and I were the only ones in it for the entire 14 hour journey so it was lovely and peaceful. The plan for the last week in Vietnam is an overnight train to Sapa tomorrow for 2 nights, back to Hanoi, then an overnight trip out to Halong Bay, back to Hanoi and then next stop Sidmouth!