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Travel | Vietnam

Explore Hue in 12 hours: Part 1 on Imperial City and tombs

December 21, 2016
Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Vietnam

I have never heard of Hue to be honest, until a friend suggested Hoi An as our next destination and Hue turned up in the search results while we were planning. Even then, the results were few compared to other areas in the country. Turns out it was one of the best legs for sightseeing during our trip! Here’s my notes for the hours we spent in Hue:

0900|Breakfast in the Hotel

We started with the most sumptuous breakfast ever in Serene Shining hotel. Ala-carte buffet style, we could order unlimited portions of Hue’s famous dishes such as Bun Bo Hue (a type of beef noodles), omelettes, crepes, fruits and fresh fruit juices! This was a pleasant surprise considering that the hotel only set us back by SGD$25 per night.

Hue Serene Shining Palace Hotel

☝🏽Breakfast for two 😂

1000|Hard-sold into cyclo rides

Our hotel was located in a back alley some streets away from the main attractions. We were immediately thrown into the daily bustle of the locals the moment we stepped out. Having heard stories of pickpockets and thieves, we clutched tightly to our belongings and maneuvered our ways to the main streets.

Note: We did not encounter any robbery or pickpocketing throughout our entire trip but I must say this was the most cautious I’ve been overseas.

Within minutes of reaching the main street, we were coaxed into a cyclo ride for around USD2 each to the Citadel.

Cyclo Hue Vietnam
Touristy as it may be, the cyclo was a great way to experience the traffic and roads with you sitting in the ‘front’seat.

1015|Explore the Imperial City

Imperial City Citadel Hue Vietnam
Exploring the place requires some walking as the palace covers a fair bit of land. You could glimpse the glory and magnificence of the architecture in its heyday but it was contrasted with the ruins and rubbles of buildings that ceased to exist due to war and negligence.

Imperial City Citadel Hue Vietnam

Imperial City Citadel Hue Vietnam

There was obvious oriental influence. Along the way, there will be exhibits offering some information on the history of this World Heritage site.

Imperial City Citadel Hue Vietnam
It would have been a comfortable and relaxing tour, if not for the sweltering heat.

Imperial City Citadel Hue Vietnam
💡Broke traveler tip: Follow tour groups around to eavesdrop on the commentary.

Exiting the Citadel from the other end, we entered a small eatery and treated ourselves to a local dessert drink.

I dare say it was one of the most local experiences we had.

Hue Eatery, Vietnam

The locals didn’t seem to understand English but it appeared that there was only on drink on the menu so we went ahead with it anyway.

Hue drink stall Vietnam

The ingredients were unknown but the drink surprised us with its sweetness layered chewable crunchy bits. If anyone knows what it’s called, please share! 🙂

Hue dessert drink, VIetnam

1300|Ming Manh Tomb

Don’t miss this when you are in Hue!

We debated if it was safe to use Grab in Vietnam but eventually flagged down a Ma Linh taxi (Internet has it that it’s the most reliable taxi company). Thankfully, the driver lived up to the company’s reputation online and went by the meter.😅

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Vietnam

The road into the tomb is unassuming (that’s an overstatement in fact). But once inside, I was blown away by the architecture and landscape.

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Vietnam
The grounds was sprawling. Even in its derelicts, the compound was impressive. The tomb easily made its way to one of my favourite locations in Vietnam.

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Vietnam

The experience through the tomb compounds was serene and every scene was harmoniously composed.

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Vietnam

Hue was turning out to be a pleasant surprise for a random suggestion by my friend and my recount is only halfway through the day. Next up, we would visit another tomb and their local market, among other places. Click to read part 2! 

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