Hue – Old Capital of Vietnam

It was time to say good-bye to Hoi An – what a pleasant stay it was. Again the train was our chosen mode of transportation and so we boarded the 2 o’clock train to Hue. The three hours train ride passed some beautiful scenery including coast lines and an abundance of rice fields. It was Vietnam as you see it on a travel brochure. We enjoyed the view in the dining car which could easily have been from the seventies.

We booked the Holiday Diamond Hotel in Hue and what a good choice it was (to pad ourselves on the back). The service in this 24 USD hotel was absolute five star – the staff greeted us always by our names, asked how our day was and offered us free juice after a tiring day of sightseeing. Even the hotel room was decorated with roses. We can only give them four thumbs up and think many hotels in Europa should take them as a role model concerning hospitality.

The next three days were a mix of relaxing and sightseeing. One thing we realized is that if you travel for such an extensive period like we do you lose a bit the urge to see every single temple, sight and pagoda and devote more time to reading and watching people’s everyday life.

Nevertheless we for sure enjoyed the walled city and former Royal Palace on the north side of the river. As so often walled cities have something ancient and perhaps even mystical. It is not that hard to imagine how the Vietnamese emperors lived within the walls. However these days the big open spaces are also used for soccer and flying kites which we thought was quite charming.

As always in Vietnam we also enjoyed the food in Hue. Similar to Hoi An we loved the local pancakes and found some very nice restaurants.

On the late afternoon of the 12th June we boarded an overnight train to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. As so often in Asia there were a lot of kids onboard and it seemed that they had all either too much sugar or coffee (or both) as they enjoyed running up and down the aisle and for sure said “Hello” each time they passed our compartment. It was good fun for sure.

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