Today we didn't get up until around 10am - had such an amazing night sleep compared to the night before! Although Jaan keeps winging he's cold as I have the air-con on really low :).
The plan was that we would go and look around and find a cheaper hotel to stay in and not one that was down a dark alley! After we walked to the end of the Alley and seeing it for the first time in the day we decided that we would stay in the same hotel but ask for a cheaper room as I knew we could get it cheaper but when we arrived last night we were in no mood to start bargaining.
Breakfast was included in the price so we decided to have that also - which turned out to be really nice - omelette with a baguette and jam. We asked if they had any other cheaper rooms which they did for $12 which included breakfast. We had a look at the room and it was the same as our current one but a tiny bit smaller. We said we would take this. He then came back to us just before we ate to say they would prefer if we could stay in our current room and they would lower the price to $13 which included breakfast - this was because they did not have a cleaner working today so they wouldn't be able to clean our current room for new guests. We said that was ok and we would stay where we were for $13 a night - our budget is $15 a night so this was all good :).
Whilst eating we saw some brochures advertising a motorbike tour of Hue which the hotel did for $15 - this was on a mo-ped and included a driver each. We thought we would give it a try as had read some great reviews about it and was the quickest and easiest way to see everything in Hue.
We chatted to two of the guys who worked here - Nguyen (pronounced new-inn - say it really fast) who is the son of the owner of our hotel - Canh Tien Guesthouse - and a guy whose nickname was Bob. They said they would be our drivers. We got the price down to $13 each and agreed we would do this.
Nguyen gave us some sleek rain coats to put in our bags and wrote down the places we would be visiting (5 in total). He said he would be taking Jaan and someone from the hotel next door would take me as Bob had to wait here for some guests that were booked in. My driver was called Pho - well that was how it was pronounced but not sure on correct spelling! My guy couldn't speak as great English as Nguyen but he was really nice - I have noticed everyone here really struggles to say Amy - they can say Jaan fine but Amy they just can't get!
I decided to put my leggings on under my shorts and wear my cardi when on the bike so just in case the worst happened and I fell off that would act as a layer of skin - so that is why I look so sexy in leggings and shorts - yes I was boiling!! I turned out to be a boiling hot day and I got sunburnt!
So after we had put our helmets on we set off! I was really nervous to begin with as in Hanoi it was pretty mental on mo-peds but here was alot quieter. The ride to our first stop was really good, driving through little villages and seeing everyday life. The first stop was the Tomb of Khai Dinh. This was on a gorgeous hillside - it had alot of steps so we were soon very sweaty! I won't go into detail about each place we visit as I could write forever about who they were etc but you can always google them! :D Whilst here we bumped into the ozzie couple which gave us directions the night before - they were really sweet saying that they had worried about us and hoped we found somewhere to stay. Once we had had a look around here and taken lots of photos (well Jaan did!) we went back to meet our guides. They had waited outside as you have to pay to get inside (55,000 dong each).
We jumped back on the bikes and we next stopped at the Tomb of Thieu Tri - this wasn't in our original plan but Nguyen said he had stopped here to show us as an extra - he was really nice and did anything possibly to make sure we were enjoying our trip. Here there were a few locals fishing in the nearby river and we had a walk around. This tomb was in a state of ruin and apparently is rarely visited - the countryside was beautiful though. Once hopping back on the bike we stopped at a crafts village. They had the most gorgeous paintings here which we would of loved to buy but we couldn't really imagine backpacking around Asia with them! I brought a kind of make-up bag which has 3 smaller bags inside as we felt we had to buy something! It was only a dollar anyway! After here we stopped at some bunkers which were still standing and the views from here were amazing - see the pics :)
We hopped back on the bikes and was taken to the Tomb of Tu Duc which was the biggest of them all - the whole "complex" was massive. Again our drivers waited outside in a nearby cafe. The whole time they were both so friendly, especially Nguyen he definitely was getting a tip! He said he wanted to make our trip the best to say thank you for choosing to stay at their hotel as there are around 5 hotels in the same area. We stayed at this tomb alot longer than the others - it was gorgeous here and had several tombs of Tu Ducs family here - including his adopted son who ruled for only seven months before dying at the age of 15! This whole area was enclosed by a giant wall. Once we had finished here we went back to our drivers and set off again to a place called Tu Hieu Pagoda.
On the way we had a really interesting drive, passing rice fields and they stopped to allow us to take some photos. We had to go over a few bridges on the way which were especially for mo-peds and they were tiny! I didn't think we'd get through without me catching a leg or something but we did - you can see this on our photos. Tu Hieu Pagoda was beautiful. Monks lived here so you could also look around most of their quarters - of course ensuring you took your shoes off before entering!
All in all this all took around 4-5 hours. We were going to get dropped off at the Citadel which was another sight to see in Hue but we decided we would visit that tomorrow when feeling a bit more fresh so we headed back to the hotel. The roads were rather busy at this time and a few times I held my breath but we both made it back in one piece!
Nguyen recomended a place where we could eat for really cheap and was really nice - a street place where the locals eat - but we (I) decided we would go there tomorrow as I just wanted to sit in a restaurant and chill out after a long day. It was soooo hot today I didn't realise and I have burnt! We forgot to take suncream to reapply. We had a gorgeous meal tonight and then decided to go for a few drinks at a local lively bar. We also had some of the local Hue Beer which was really nice and then treated ourselves to a few Malibus for me and Whiskey for Jaan.
We both had a fab day today and really glad we took a chance and did the motorbike tour.