So another quick (3 hour) rail journey up the coast to the city of Hué. Views from the train were stunning as it hugged the coast but unfortunately overcast when we pulled in – no where near the UK weather we’re seeing on the news – hope everyone is okay.

View from the train (Danang to Hue). Shame about the grubby windows.

Hué used to be the capital of Vietnam and there are a lot of historical building to see here. The citadel is a massive space in the middle of the town and it is being restored at the moment – another victim of the war.

Flag Tower – Hue old Town

We also took a dragon boat to see some of the other sites on the banks of the river. The dragon boat is below and the family who run it also live on it so we were joined on our trip by their 11 month old baby girl – talk about flexible working! The only drawback was that we were on the boat for several hours and therefore a captive audience when the owner set out her shop on the floor of the boat with silk shirts, pictures etc. Guilted into buying one shirt (it’s pretty hideous btw) we had to draw the line when the deep blue, sun and stars kimono came out!

Our Dragon boat driver. Does a lovely line in silk kimonos too.

2 hour boat journey to the tombs lined on the banks of the river


The old Citadel – Hue

Hungry fish at feeding time!

The mausoleum for one the old Kings was an interesting place and relaxing boat a great way to get around. Having managed to get a few souvenirs we decided it was time to send our first parcel home so off the the post office. The clerk then produced 3 forms to complete with a very detailed list of contents of the parcel, how much each item was plus the names and addresses of sender and recipient three times! The parcel was 4kg but to be fair most of that was the packaging they used – an old beer box wrapped in about 10 metres of sticky tape, wrapped in brown paper and then tied with those plastic cords. If anything inside survives it will be a small miracle and in any case it will be 2-3 months before it gets there as it’s going overland.

The nightlife here is pretty lively and there are good food options and lots of bars offering drinks promotions. Octopussy and DMZ are the places to be. Surprisingly for the first time really we’re hassled on the way home from the bars by old men on cyclos (rickhaw style transport with one single seat at the front of the pushbike) offering us ‘lady massage’ and more descriptively ‘lady boom, boom – one hour’. Er, don’t think so…

and the beer today is Huda…fair to middling this one

So, given the the train option was 17 hours overnight (hence no view for most of it) and they’re not great we opted for a 55 minute flight up to Hanoi. Think we’ve ‘done’ the Vietnamese train thing…




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