Train to Hue

Hue Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
By the look on James' face, he seemed to be the only one who knew what awaited us on this train journey.

Ok, I spoke too soon.  Did I say that the train had to be better than India?  Ah, alas it wasn’t.  Same, same!  It is peak season here in Vietnam at the moment ��" not for tourists but for locals.  Hence the Reunification Express train was packed with Uni students.  Hong could not secure 3 bunk beds in the one cabin (there are 4 in each, 2 top and 2 bottom).  We had 2 top bunks in one cabin and 1 top bunk in another cabin between me, James and Lauren.  Either I left James and Lauren in a cabin together with 2 strangers or I stayed with 1 and put 1 in another cabin on their own with 3 strangers.  It was like Sophie’s Choice.  Seeing my dilemma, the dad of another family from our group offered to take the 1 bed with 3 strangers (all men who snored terribly apparently) and Lauren could sleep with their family (mum and 2 sons).

After a swim at another hotel (ours had no pool) in Hue.
  Then James and me were in the other cabin with what turned out to be 4-6 locals.  They kept the light on all night and chatted constantly and at 11pm decided to rearrange their luggage.  Poor James was nackered and in desperate need of some shut eye.  He is calling it the ‘worst part of our trip’.  Well put!!

Train trip from hell behind us (I wont even go into the toilet conditions here, I just told the kids not to drink for the whole trip to minimise the visits!!!) and we arrived in lovely Hue.  It was nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a town.  Hue is really pretty too.  Used to be the capital of Vietnam up until a few decades ago.  We are right near the river and our hotel has a small restaurant on the top floor ��" it has fantastic view over the river and Hue and we look over it all while having breakie.

Cyclo in Hue.
  Talk about living the high life.

I am slowly discovering that the ‘pagoda’ to Vietnam is what the fort is to India or the cathedral is to Europe.  They are everywhere and we are visiting them all.  It has been over 38 degrees here for the past 3 days but the humidity is a real killer.  The kids are doing really well looking at pagodas in this kind of heat ��" even the adults are winging about it. 

Yesterday we looked around the Citadel.  It is very much like China with different dynasties, emperors and their hundreds of concubines who were all looked after by eunuchs.  There is so much history to see but so much of it has been lost due to the French or the Vietnam war.

The group - at the Citadel in Hue.
  Today we visited a Kings tomb along the Perfume River (ok, someone with a good sense of humour called it the Perfume River ��" this is no YSL or Chanel).  We also walked around a Buddhist temple filled with Buddhist monks ��" some younger than James and with their heads completely shaved.  A little old lady (I would think at least 150 yrs old) was overjoyed to see Lauren.  She could not stop hugging her and kissed her cheek again and again.  When she turned around and saw that there were 6 kids there she nearly burst with excitement and proceeded to grab the ones she could and hug and kiss away.

Well, tomorrow we are taking a bus along China Beach (which the Vietnamese now call Vietnam Beach ��" and rightly so I reckon) to Hoi An. 

Food here is amazing.  I had the best curry of my life last night and have managed to down the odd Tiger beer on a hot afternoon also.  You will all be surprised to hear that I have not even been shopping yet.... it’s true!  Too much going on with boats, trains, buses and motorbikes.  All good though.


wiseone says:
Love reading your entries, what a classic of a trip. James face before getting on the train is priceless. I can relate to the pagoda story and love your analogy of the perfume river - I have visions of you boating down Chanel no. 5 in vietnam!!! All is well here 32 weeks and getting bigger by the day, I'm seriously going to bust these kids out. Take care, speak soon Nicx
Posted on: Jul 15, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
By the look on James face, he see…
By the look on James' face, he se…
After a swim at another hotel (our…
After a swim at another hotel (ou…
Cyclo in Hue.
Cyclo in Hue.
The group - at the Citadel in Hue.
The group - at the Citadel in Hue.
Our breakie view over the river in…
Our breakie view over the river i…
Incense sticks at a small incense …
Incense sticks at a small incense…
photo by: Paulovic