14 October 2011

The Temple of Doom [Hue, Vietnam]

A bus swerving all over the road, and a driver sitting on the horn are two conditions which generally do not encourage restful sleep. So when I arrived in Hue all I wanted to do was get a couple of hours of decent shut-eye. But my first mission was to meet up with Yona and Simon, who were coming off an overnight bus also. They had picked up a German girl named Esther, so our threesome became four.

The highlight of my time in Hue was Esther and I hiring a scooter and driving out into the wilderness to find ancient tombs. It was very Indiana-Jones-esque... The thick forests full of exotic plants, the locals with strange outfits staring as you pass, strange animals creeping through the wilderness, and the massive stone tombs. We kind of stumbled upon the tomb of Khai Dinh, and I am really glad we did. It was AMAZING! Really intricate stone carvings, massive columns, and huge stone staircases leading up toward the tomb. It was like nothing I have ever seen. We also visited the tomb of Minh Mang, which was less impressive, but had beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

The Citadel is basically in the center of Hue - a massive walled complex, originally built as the Emporers residence. It is an interesting complex to wander around, with plenty of beautifully decorated buildings, and even a few nice fields, perfect for a quiet nap.

Vietnam so far:
- People are relatively friendly, but I continually question their motives. Mainly because:
- You can't go 100m without someone pestering you to buy something or go on their motorbike or something. Annoying!
- The food is quite good. I am really liking the Pho (local soup) and Nam (spring rolls).

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