The Livitrans sleepers carriage was great! I was sleeping like a baby! Sometimes the air co was on ice-land mode, sometimes sahara mode, but that’s fine…. I slept well anyway! So, we arrived at Hue, and I was so…. ready to start the day! I have limited time in Hue, to visit all the interesting place there. OK, our biggest issue in this trip is : limited time everywhere, and anytime!
The Hue Holiday hotel in Hue city greet us with good arranged pick up on train station, and great breakfast!! While we had breakfast in the hotel, I asked the receptionist if they have the tour on Perfume River, visiting some tomb and pagoda along the river. They have it, 18USD per pax, including lunch, visiting 2 Tomb and 2 Pagodas, end at Citadel. Entrace fee are not included. I might be overpriced….. I have read some review in the travel forum, got 24 USD for 5 persons! Anyway….. i could spend 1-2 hours, checking the prices around travel agents there, to get better offer, or go straight to Truong Tien Bridge to the dragon boat owner, and make the deal….. But I choose to save that 1-2 or more hours, saved my energy, took that 80 USD for all of us, and enjoy the hassle free time! Live are choices, can’t have all together!
So, after breakfast and some little personal preparation, we walked a bit, to the perfume river, and met the dragon boat. We have no English spoken guide, but it was OK, tailing by a guide sometimes not fun too. The tour would be around 4 hours, and no strict end time, which was good too, I’m tired of hurrying! Dragon boat is a small wooden boat with motor, and Its exterior is dragon like! Interesting! They have some plastic chair arranged for us.
The boatman was quite old, around 50, I guess, he didn’t speak English, but he smiled a lot. The boat stewardess was an old lady, didn’t speak English too, but she could communicate with her hand and smile really well! After one hour cruising, I found that this boatman and his stewardess are husband and wives. And…. this boat is their home! I saw some pictures hanging on the boat’s wall, some books on the rack, TV, and of course well prepared kitchen! 2 hours later, we enjoy some food that have been prepared on this kitchen! Simple, yummy, and interesting! May be, they have landed house too, but… I don’t know….. honestly, I wanted to know…. well, I regret that they couldn’t speak English in this matter…..
In Vietnam, river is something important! They have so many big rivers, really big, I never saw big river like this in Java island! Many people living in the river, and life from the river! I saw many parking boat area along the river. The pagodas and tombs we visited also facing the river, or at least have a good river view! Many people paddling along the river, both standing or seating, like they were standing on the solid ground! Amazing!
I was visiting Minh Mang Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, Thien Mu Pagoda, Hong Chen Temple, and ends at Citadel. Tombs is the main attraction on Hue. Hue was old capital city of Vietnam, many kings were living there before those wars, so…. u can find many tombs there. Every tomb has their own style, depend on the kings who built it. Generally, it looks like Chinese architecture, but I think there must be differences between Chinese style and Vietnam style. All tombs were awesome! They’re colorful by the ceramics mosaic, highly crafted details, beautiful shape, well arranged garden…… Damn! I love architecture, I love old rustic things, I love high crafted things….. I have so….. many reasons to love the tombs! But….. the tombs were large enough, especially Tu Duc Tombs, and….. the sun was to punishing! It was no wind at all! Great! I got dehydrated really fast! Some part of the tombs have renovated, it gave me weird feelings….. I preferred them to look old and rustic, but didn’t mean that it should be ruined looked, hahahaha!
Thien Mu pagoda was really big, some monks living and studying there. It is really interesting too! Large site with garden, river view, nice place for mediation, and studying, except for those tourists!! I wonder how those monks could survived with lots of tourist flowing every day, (sometimes) with curious eyes scanned them as they’re aliens…..
After 4 hours on the river, finally the tour end. It ends on front of Citadel. Citadel also listed in “things-to-do” in Hue. Without any long conversation, we walked into citadel, and queuing for ticket. It was another evening in Vietnam, the sun shine really bright, the Citadel walls stand big and proud, until a saw a familiar face!!! My sis called me, and pointed to a Caucasian man, standing on top of the wall, “Looks familiar, right?” she asked me. YES! He is Ryan! A Russian CS, I hosted almost a year ago!
It was amazing evening in Hue! I never contacted Ryan after he left Indonesia, I knew he was in Vietnam or Cambodia, cos he was swearing a lot about FB banning in Vietnam. Well, actually it wasn’t strongly banned….. I could open it easily at the hotel’s computer in Hanoi. I think he haven’t open CS website for long time either , it was no chance he knew that I would be in Vietnam soon! So, meeting him at Hue was totally miracle! Ryan was really surprised to met me, he never met Indo people in Vietnam. Well, no wonder, Vietnam is not popular destination for Indo tourist! Ryan was arrive at Hue 1 day earlier than me, and citadel was the first tourist spot he visited in Hue. World is really small! I believe it! Hahahha!
We spent the evening chatting while exploring citadel, till it closed. I always amazed by how fast Ryan learn new language! I have met 4 Russians before, and I made my conclusion, Russian speaks English really bad! But…. Ryan have changed my opinion! He speaks clear English! He learn bahasa Indonesia during his stay in Indo, for 1 year! As we walk around in Citadel, I realized, he have learn Vietnamese a bit!
After Citadel, We walk to central market, shopping some souvenir. Ryan amazed by the amounts we bought. Well, he is a traveler, and he haven’t planed to go home soon, of course buying souvenirs is not in his to-do list. While me, I am regular tourist! Ok, not that regular, but yes… I have to buy souvenirs! After dinner, we walked down Truong Tien Bridge, crossing Perfume river, back to our hotel.
Bye-bye, Ryan! See u somewhere in this small world!!