Hue (02.07.2012): With only one full day in Hue we made ourselves get out of bed early, had breakfast and were on the road by 8am. We hired some bikes and were off to the Citadel. The Citadel is 10km by 10km, inside lies the Imperial Enclosure: a citadel-within-a-citadel. The Enclosure houses the Emperor's residence and is divided into several walled enclosures with the Forbidden Purple City at its centre.
After checking out the Imperial Enclosure we cycled around 6km to Thien Mu Pagoda which is built on the hill overlooking the Perfume River. Afterwards, we couldn't face the cycle back to Hue and a further cycle of 8km to the tombs so we chartered a dragon boat from outside the Pagoda. It took some haggling but we managed to get one at an ok price. Bikes on board we set sail for the royal tombs. The Perfume River is amazing and I am glad we decided to take a ride particularly since as soon as we boarded there was a huge downpour!
The heat is really getting to us now. I would just love a nice cool day. Glad on our call re. the boat, we alighted by the tombs and headed for the Tomb of Tuc Duc. The tomb is said to be the most popular and most impressive of the royal mausoleums - I will take the books word for it as we didn't have enough time to check out any others. On the way to the tomb we stopped off at the Incense and Conical Hat Village where a nice lady (ok she was after my money) showed me how to make incense sticks. I couldn't resist buying a non la - a traditional conical hat. I wonder if I will be allowed it on the flights?
The tomb was really picturesque with a lovely lake and lots of temples. We are just about temple'ed out though. I am sure everyone reading our blog is too ah!!
After the 8km cycle home we stopped for a beer (though I had a fruit shake) and headed back to our lovely little 'Jade Hotel'. I am sure we will miss all these nice hotels when we are in Oz. The hostels we will be staying in at Oz are around 4 times or more the price of a hotel here!
We will be heading off to Phong Nha tomorrow on a local bus (which apparently breaks down a lot) at 10:30am. No idea when we will get there but expecting a long uncomfortable journey. We are heading to a Farmstay to see a bit of the off the beaten track Vietnam - along with some caves!