Arriving at Hue!
Today we arrived in Hue at around 12pm after being on the train since 7pm the night before. It was safe to say that we were feeling a tiny bit tired!!! Our ticket stated that we would arrive in Hue at around 6am but when we were traveling on the train and 6am came along, we went to get off at a station only to have two other travelers get on to say they were on their way to Hue. So we stayed in our very comfy seats and watched the scenery, going a tiny bit insane. We witnessed a little Vietnamese boy have his mum take off his pants only to pee all over the floor in front of us so that was definitely a highlight of the trip.
When we arrived in Hue we found a beautiful hotel right opposite an awesome backpackers. The backpackers was full so we couldn’t stay there but the place we stayed was the same price and it had an awesome big bed with heaps of space in the room and a cute little bathroom.
After settling in we decided to go get some food since we hadn’t eaten since 7 the night before. We didn’t have to go far as there was a bar/cafe right on the corner of our street. We ordered some sandwiches and oh my god. Whether it was because we were hungry or because they actually were – the sandwiches were one of a kind!
Even though we didn’t want the sandwich to end, it did, so we decided to walk down to a market. We had to pass over the river and to do this we crossed an awesome bridge that Daniel was in love with. We were admiring the sights of the beautiful river and the sunshine while walking over the bridge and had lots of fun just strolling around the city. Once we found the market we immediately felt overwhelmed as you do in a typical south east Asian market. People everywhere, so many stalls selling the same or very similar things from fruit, vegetables, meat to jewelry, clothes and most importantly – conical hats!
We had heard along the grape vine the rumor that conical hats are best purchased in Hue because they are famous for making ‘poem hats’. Now what are poem hats you may ask? Well! They look like regular conical hats on the outside but when you hold them up against light and look at the inside, each hat has a series of pictures telling a story. We were very excited to purchase ours and after doing so, the lady we bought them off insisted that we go to her other shop to see what else she had to sell.
On the way to her other shop, she showered us with compliments and made jokes with us and was seemingly a lovely, kind lady. This is where our naive nature comes in to play and led to our constant downfall in Vietnam. After taking us to her shop she constantly begged us to buy her 100% cotton T-shirts, the only ones in Vietnam, and her Vietnamese silk and hats and whatever else she had to offer. Her constantly nagging led us to buying a couple of T-shirts and even though we didn’t buy her overpriced silk, starting at $70, we left with her offering it to us for $15. So, if we learnt anything from that experience we learnt that you definitely should never ever ever ever be scared to haggle with them! There are always discounts waiting!! You just need to be strong!!
After this we decided to have a relax in the hotel as we were extremely tired. We had planned to go out with Alex for dinner so thought to just take it easy until then.
Once we had rested we went to the backpackers across the road to get some dinner and a few drinks. The food was so unbelievably delicious and even though it wasn’t vietnamese cuisine it was good to have some western food :p The drinks on offer were also really interesting. Shots on offer included those of the flavored vodka variety including arse flavor and snickers flavor. Not being game enough to try the arse flavor, we settled for passion fruit cocktails which just so happened to have a happy hour deal – buy three, get three free and the cost of one cocktail being $1.75. It was safe to say that I had one too many and by 9pm it was time for me to leave the company of Alex after having to use the bathroom a number of times. Needless to say, I feel asleep quite quickly when arriving at the hotel.