Hue is the home of the ancient imperial capital of Vietnam, or Annam. Think of it like China's Forbidden City for Vietnam.
Part of the charm of the trip was that we would make the trip via train. You can't beat the romanticism of train rides through a sunset. Well, now that I've actually been on one; yes, you can.
Fortunately, my in-laws decided to splurge and we got our own cubicle with cots. We hung out, listened to music and ate snacks that we brought. I was glad for those snacks when the meal came around.
And this was the best of the train meals we had!
I now know fear.
But the worst part of the train hits you about the same time the food finishes it's trip through your large intestine. One look at the toilet they expect you to use and you'll be amazed how long you can hold it in.
If I dropped my iPod in there, I'd just let it go...
Why must this trip resemble Fear Factor so often?
But there was one great thing about the train ride that made most of the 16 hour trek worth it - the view.
The rice fields full of women with home woven hats working. Like nothing has changed in 100 years.
Home made fishing nets along a nonchalant river.
Once in Hue we made way to our hotel. We ran across this quaint cafe.
Ironically titled the "DMZ" or De-Militarized Zone.
Once we checked in and ate lunch, we caught up with our tour, apparently in progress. We first came to the palace.
The Mandarin (Court Advisers)
Can you guess which one is actually Anna?
And the highlight of the trip was seeing the pictures of the old kings. I think the one that stood out most to me was the greatest king in their history. The pictures are so old that they have faded some, but you can still feel the nobility and honor of this great king Anh Beo.
Now there's a guy I'd take a bullet (or arrow) for.
And what would be a trip to any city in Vietnam without visiting it's local pagoda. A pagoda is a holy place for Buddhists. Not quite a temple, but close enough.
Following the pagoda, we boarded a boat and headed back to the center of Hue. We passed some old school fishermen.
They get GREAT gas millage!
This is the famous bridge in Hue as seen from the left pontoon of our boat.
Then suddenly, we found ourselves sitting at the war-torn DMZ cafe once again. They abandon you and expect you to find your own way back to your hotel. Once we got back to our hotel we noticed that we hadn't seen a fraction of what we paid for and were told we'd see. Sure enough, our tour agency messed up and was trying to cheat us out of some stops. Anna's dad arranged for some early morning sights before we had to leave to Hoi An the next morning.
We woke up ready to run. We caught the first half of the tour route that we missed the previous day to a village that makes incense and those famous pointed hats. We watched them make some.
She can finish a stick of incense in about 20-30 seconds.
That big blog of brown stuff to the top and center is the incense. It looks far less enticing in that form.
A few more pagodas and deceased king's palaces later we parted from the tour and set sail for Hoi An.