Hue to go!!
Hue Travel Blog› entry 13 of 35 › view all entries
We arrived in Hue and were greeted by some of the staff at Hue Backpackers, the sister hostel of Hanoi Backpackers. A bunch of us off the bus were staying there so a few taxis had been organised to collect us. There wasn't quite enough room though so Jim ended up on the back of a moped instead (ello moto-bike please)!!! We arrived at the hostel which was nice with free beer between 5 and 6pm every day and happy hour from 8-9pm!! After showering and dropping off our bags we headed into the town to explore and ended up visiting the Citadel and Forbidden Purple City where we saw a real life elephant walking around the grounds, offering rides to visitors (and awesome statues of dragons!)!! The Citadel was heavily bombed during the war so there was a lot of war related stuff around Hue (like tanks!! - brings back memories of the Tank Museum!).
The following day we were up at the crack of dawn for the DMZ (demilitarised zone) tour and despite a large amount of driving there was a lot to see. We drove down route 9 a significant road during the war and stopped at Rock pile (which was an American observation base that could only be acessed by Helicopter!) that we had to view from afar. On route 9 we had a stop at the point where the Ho Chi Minh trail begins (the trail was a network of secret paths from North to South Vietnam through Laos, used by the North Vietnamese Army to reinforce the Viet Cong), and visited the site of an old US airfield in Khe Sanh which now houses a museum (soldiers referred to this area as 'Khe Sanh Hell' because it was in a valley, allowing the NVA and Viet Cong to surround them and pump artillery down onto them. It may not have been such a massacre if the general in charge ahd of let them pull back!). Here we saw different types of helicopter, sandbag bunkers, amongst other types of war memorabilia!
When back in the bus we viewed numerous shell craters on the roadside and stopped to look at a blown up abandoned tank, now covered in foliage (which was awesome!). On we went to the Vinh Moc Tunnels and our last stop, where we met 'Mr Flatline' a 4 foot something man who was born in the tunnels (my little mate) and is deaf and mute, and posed for some photos with us :) We went into a section of the tunnels (they were quite big though as these were lived in as opposed to being used for military operations) some of which were 23 metres underground!
On our way back to Hue we dropped off the tour guide and 10 metres down the road our driver began a taxi service, picking up 7 locals in total (I hugged my bag so tight no one could get near it)!! On the journey we saw the van infront knock a guy off his moped which was quite disturbing.
Back at the hostel we got some grub and had a night out with some fellow backpackers (and 2 of the Australian guys we met in Sapa!). Jim and the Aussies thought it would be fun to switch things around, taking 3 cyclo drivers for a ride (I accidentally crashed!)!!
On our last day in Hue we decided to walk to the beach and after about 45 mins of getting nowhere we pulled out the map to find it was 14.5km away (through a horrinle shanty type town I might add!), so turned back!! We were followed by a little Vietnamese lad who we were worried was going to try and pick pocket us (I had him sussed!)!! But eventually lost him and we hailed a cyclo to take us back to the hostel (I let him drive this time though!)!! In the afternoon we headed back towards the Citadel and Old Town to find the market, which was unsucessful! So we took some photos of cannons instead (cannon are brilliant)!! Then off to Hoi An the next morning.