Hip Hip Hué!

We have now arrived in Hanoi which we will write more about later but first we haven’t mentioned anything about Hué yet…

So, what can we say about Hué? We stopped in Hué for 5 days as our flight to Hanoi was much much cheaper if we stayed an extra day or two. The hostel/hotel we stayed in was fantastic, but very very weird. When we turned up to check in, we were given steak and eggs, little did we know that was just the start of the feeding frenzy they enforced upon us. Over the 5 days we were given rice parcels, omelettes, a pizza, cakes, watermelon, coca nut, etc. Our room was lovely and quaint with a tiny wooden bath. Not a clever idea engineering wise as it leaked very badly and poured water all over the floor. The eccentric owner (who reminded me a lot of Ozzy Osborne, not for his looks, but for his post-drug abuse mental state) took quite a shining to Pez and laughed at anything and everything he did or said. We played quite a bit of chess in the hall as it rained non stop so when we left yesterday he gave us a print out of a chess board on paper and a chess set to carry with us on our travels!

In Hué, the most we did was take some long walks along the river and visit the Citadel. Quite an impressive site, but not as well restored as we had hoped. The grounds were quite beautiful and more impressive than the buildings, with a moat filled with coy carp and stunning trees lining the water. Just a side note, fish are stupid. When we raised our hands to take a picture every fish in the water assumed they were being fed so lifted their heads out of the water and opened their mouths. It reminded me of the joke Uncle Alan always used to say about every fish being called Bob!

Most evenings we spent perched on the door step of the hotel next door to ours with a lovely chap named Dutch Mike. Huda beers in hand, most conversations led to the best of British comedy. It was nice to share a mutual appreciation of Monty Python and Black Adder. Although, I have to blame Mike for fuelling Pez’s obsession with getting a motorbike!

Hanoi has been a bit more eventful. We have visited the famous Hoàn Kiêm Lake, the Hóa Lò prison Anne wandered about the Old Quarter. The lake is a respite from the crazy traffic of Hanoi and a bit of a paradise for young lovers! The prison, which has mostly been converted into a hotel/shopping centre complex, is a communist propaganda account of the humane treatment of American air pilots. Of course the only perspective is from the Vietnamese and the video showing them being allowed to make Christmas dinner and play basketball is a little cringe worthy. The Old Quarter is insane! It is like walking through a maze of people, bikes, cars and vendors. I love that each street is named after what it sells though, e.g. Silk street. Pez insists that consumer electronic street was the most popular in the 1890s. If only it was named in English rather than what looks like funny euphemisms. Our favourite street is “Hung Dong”!

This evening we went to the Opera House of Hanoi to see a collection of classic chamber works and fancy romantic action, including some ballet and opera. We had a private booth which was invaded by a Vietnamese man half way through the evening. Pez asked him to leave, but as he spoke no English he stayed standing behind my chair, breathing on my neck. It was infuriating. Thankfully, he left after a minute or two of his own accord. The performance and the Opera House were quite stunning and as I have never been to anything like that, it was nice to be initiated in Vietnam!

Tomorrow, we are off on a 3 day tour to Halong Bay, spending 2 nights on junk boat. I am super duper excited and will write more when we are back in Hanoi. Although, apparently the boat has an Internet connection which baffles me.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kate harris
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 02:44:17

    Sounds like you are having fun despite the rain.Happy Christmas and thank you for your card.I was very impressed that you were so organised.I will give you your Christmas present combined with birthday in April xxx

    Reply

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