Tuesday, August 7, 2012

13 hour train ride to the old imperial city of Hue

Yes, 13 hours in a tight, smelly, hard bench train was our own fault because we tried to save some money. Taking the train from Ninh binh to Hue with our bikes was not as easy as just buying the ticket, we ended up spending almost an hour trying to figure out they wouldn't allow the bikes on the same train with us and plus they wouldn't give the exact price. Instead we would have to bring our bikes to the station early next day for loading and we would take the night train. They ended up charge us 50kg twice for the 2 bikes even though both combined weighed under 50kg. The ride was slow, really slow its only 560 km's but it took just over 13 hours, trap in a cabin they said was a/c but worked sporadically, loud men drinking and people sleeping everywhere, was quite the experience to say the least and the please cost us about $70 usd for everything. 

leaving our bikes at the train station and sorting out the payment 
these 2 guys sleep beside us in the train, it was a very long 13 hour train ride
as we traveled south we started to see cyclo's
just out side the old city wall
one of the gates to the palace
inside the old royal palace of Hue

one of the many temples along the river 

check out the traffic, and no accidents that we saw

We arrived in the afternoon and found a cheap place to stay near the train station facing the river, loads of place to stay plus it was the start of the Hue festival. First thing we notice it's an old city but what stood out was the girls wearing Ao dai, traditional Vietnamese dresses. Main attraction is the old palace,  spent a day seeing it and the last day enjoying the Hue festival with loads of things to see and do plus they had a few of beer tents.
we discovered a new delight, Che (cold sweat milk with loads  mixed beans and jelly)
never get tired of these banh mi sandwiches, this was the best one to date, and only cost 0.50 cents  with fried egg
bike parking outside the market
mask, almost every Vietnamese girl riding a scooter wears them
long sleeves even in the hottest days and again, every girl ride a scooter wears them
cute helmets they wear but I wonder how safe they are
Hue is a great little city with loads of stuff that keep us busy, looking forward to returning some day. Next we are riding the Hai van pass to Hoi an, wish us luck.