Happy Hue :-) #Vietnam #Holiday

Thursday 2013-07-04

Today we flew Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi to Da Nang so we could catch a train from Da Nang to Hue

We ended up in a nice lounge at the airport and I managed to keep down a couple of spring rolls and some pork belly (I mentioned in the previous post that I woke up with traveller’s diarrhoea).

They also had lots of local treats. I didn’t dare try too much.

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The food on the flight was interesting

I have no idea what that was on the cucumber or the pink stuff next to it. It was a good light meal which didn’t create any major bowel activity 🙂

We’ll get to fly Vietnam Airlines again. I would recommend it to any traveller. The service is good.

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My train ticket

My train ticket for the trip from Da Nang to Hue

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It cost $USD4. Sadly they collect the ticket in the end, so I have no souvenir of the train journey.

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The station was very busy. We watched The Matrix in Vietnamese while waiting.

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The train journey from Da Nang to Hue was picturesque with great views of the ocean, islands and there is so much greenery. On the west side there were heaps of farms, mainly rice, with an extraordinary number of cemeteries. We were in carriage one and were sitting amongst a tour group of locals who spent of the journey sleeping or eating sweet corn.

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Once in Hue we checked in to the Hotel Saigon Morin and this was our view

Outside our room in Hue #vietnam #holiday

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The hotel is very grand and dates back to 1901

Our room looked something like this

We had a river view and polished wooden floors

The hotel is well situated being a short walk from the train station and very close to the south bank area. The Cầu Trường Tiền bridge is very close and permits an easy walk across the Huong or perfume river to the Imperial city via one of four gates.

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Passionfruit drink at the Confetti Restaurant and Art Gallery. This restaurant is not far from the hotel. You can see how close it is on this RunKeeper activity map

Passionfruit drink #dinner #vietnam #holiday

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Check out some of the art

This restaurant is also an art gallery #vietnam #holiday

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Spring rolls. These were really good.

Vietnamese spring rolls #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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These were packed tight, had a great texture and were fried nicely.

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Banh Nam is a traditional Hue dish

Banh Nam #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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Banh Nam #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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Bánh khoái also known as Hue Fried Pancakes are a famous Hue dish too

Hue fried pancake #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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Hue fried pancake #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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The hotel at night

Our hotel lit up #vietnam #holiday

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The bridge Cầu Trường Tiền

The bridge Cãu Tràng Tiēn lit up

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So colourful

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Friday 2013-07-05

Today we woke up refreshed after a nice meal at the Confetti Restaurant and Art Gallery. Our room is right over a busy intersection and the scooters hooting and cars honking went late into the night. I reckon they started again around 5 am. The good thing is we can close the windows and curtains to dampen most of the noise.

The Hue Saigon Morin is a beautiful old hotel established in 1901.We enjoyed breakfast outside in a courtyard. The weather is magnificent. It was a clear sky and the ambient temperature was perfect. The breakfast selection is typical of any large hotel with a mixture of local and international cuisines.

I was still feeling a little delicate so I asked for a simple omelet along with a little bacon and a fried dumpling.

#breakfast fried dumpling with omelet and bacon #vietnam #holiday

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Don’t judge me but there is nothing wrong with cheesecake for breakfast.

#breakfast cheesecake #dontjudgeme I'm on #vietnam #holiday

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This one had a cake rather than a biscuit base.

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After breakfast we ventured out to the Imperial City (Citadel). Check out our walk from the hotel on RunKeeper

I won’t post all the images. I took so many photographs.

As we walked out

At the Imperial Citadel today. It was a very interesting place to visit.

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Some of the restoration work is amazing.

The restoration work at the Imperial Citadel is amazing #vietnam #holiday

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There was a lot of gold.

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This is a newly restored area.

Beautiful restoration work at the Imperial Citadel #vietnam #holiday

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The beginning of some work.

It looks painstakingly hard work restoring the Imperial City #vietnam #holiday

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On the way back we walked past a military graveyard.

For @tinythecabbie I saw this and thought you'd like it #vietnam #holiday

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I remain grateful to Bron who is a wonderful travelling companion who tolerates my need to blog and engage in social media. She is very special.

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In the afternoon we planned to take a boat ride along the Huong River (the Perfume River). In Hue, there are a lot of boat operators, many of them tout for business by accosting as you walk near the river. The Lonely Planet guide and TripAdvisor alert travellers about these touts and the need to bargain effectively. We weren’t in the mood to haggle and be subject to some harassment in terms of being offered the opportunity to be a captive audience on the boat and its “gift shop”. When we looked at many of the dragon boats they were shells with plastic chairs on the deck.

Dragon boats offering river rides along the perfume river #Vietnam #Holiday

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It’s a predicament because we wanted to see at least one of the major tombs. It looks like we missed the boat (pun intended) after we saw a booking agent’s office that described four hour tours but we’d missed the times.

Instead we swam and lounged by the hotel’s very nice swimming pool.

Relaxing by the pool after deciding against a river boat ride #vietnam #holiday

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On our last evening in Hue we dined at the finest restaurant to be found in this fair city, viz., Les Jardins De La Carambole

Bron had done some research today because we were keen to find some spectacular food given Hue’s reputation for fine dining and the cuisine of Hue has been described as “Royal Food”. Les Jardins De La Carambole is the number one choice on TripAdvisor and while TripAdvisor recommendations really depend on context and the reviewer’s expectations, all the reviews were overwhelmingly positive.

The restaurant was not too difficult to find. It did require negotiating the gates to the Imperial city at night but everything is well lit and there are heaps of people out on the streets playing games. Here’s how we found it from the hotel using my RunKeeper activity.

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I started with a fruit cocktail

#dinner Fruit cocktail #drink #vietnam #holiday

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The Bánh xèo (in Hue it is known as Bánh khoái) tonight was about 3 to 5 better than the Hue fried pancake we tried last night. The flavours just exploded in our mouths.

#dinner Hue fried pancake Ban Khoai #superyummy #vietnam #holiday

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It even looked better than last night’s meal which we weren’t unhappy with.

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Bron was dead keen on the fresh spring rolls with pork and prawn.

These were the best fresh spring rolls I’ve ever eaten. Seriously, these were that good.

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We then had the Vietnamese grilled salmon steak with lemongrass and chilli.

This was spectacularly good. The chilli and lemongrass topping gave the salmon an amazing flavour.

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To finish we enjoyed the duck with chilli and lemongrass

#dinner Vietnamese duck with chilli and lemongrass #superyummy #vietnam #holiday

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This was very nice.

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A close up of the carrot garnish

#dinner Look at this garnish #wow #vietnam #holiday

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I had an ice cream sundae for dessert

#dessert ice cream sundae #vietnam #holiday

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#dessert Me eating dessert. Thanks Bron for the photo #vietnam #holiday

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Bron had a banana and chocolate crepe

#dessert Bron's banana and chocolate crepe #vietnam #holiday

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Saturday 2013-07-06

We woke up to the sounds of cars, scooters and their horns.

Today we travel by car from Hue to Hoi An.

But first we needed breakfast.

I chose Bún riêu cua. This is a noodle dish served in a tomato broth topped with a crab paste. It was pretty good.

#breakfast Bún riêu cua crab meat noodles #yummy #vietnam #holiday

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After the noodles I enjoyed some coconut drops, a profiterole and a croissant.

#breakfast Coconut drops, a profiterole and a croissant #vietnam #holiday

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And so ends our happy stay in Hue. We probably didn’t see as much as what we could have seen, especially the tombs but we enjoyed the splendour and beauty of the Imperial citadel, a splash in the pool and some of the finest dining so far in Vietnam.

As far as the hotel is concerned, I would recommend the Saigon Morin. It’s a four star hotel that caters well to travellers. The breakfast is complimentary. If you can afford it ask for a river view deluxe room. It is spacious and well appointed. You won’t be disappointed. The hotel staff are all very friendly and helpful.

To be continued from Hoi An. Be good. Eat YUMMY 🙂

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Les Jardins De La Carambole http://www.lesjardinsdelacarambole.com/en/apropos.html
TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293926-d2668637-Reviews-Les_Jardins_de_La_Carambole-Hue_Thua_Thien_Hue_Province.html
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/am21i

Saigon Morin Hotel http://www.morinhotel.com.vn/
TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293926-d302838-Reviews-Hotel_Saigon_Morin-Hue_Thua_Thien_Hue_Province.html
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/KgTQ5

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5 thoughts on “Happy Hue :-) #Vietnam #Holiday

  1. Pingback: The #Vietnam #Holiday summary post | Yummy Lummy

  2. Gary, Hue was one of my favourite places in Vietnam. I could easily live there I liked it *that* much. I’m glad that it resonated with you too.

    It’s lovely seeing all your pictures and reading about where you’ve been. It reminds me that I really must go back to Vietnam soon. Maybe next year.

    • We just arrived in Hoi An via the Cham Museum and the Marble Mountains. The 156 steps to the top and then some other steep stairs really demonstrated how out of shape I am.

      Hue is lovely and the food was so good.

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