13 January 2013
We arrive in the ancient capital of Hue at 8.30 and head straight to the hotel for showers and breakfast.
Refreshed again we head out to explore the city with a local guide and are surprised to find that the hotel was inside the walls off the citadel. We discover the vast and formerly magnificent imperial palace; a pagoda complex where monks and part-shaved novices are doing spring cleaning washing down all the surfaces and sanding and painting exhibits including the car that was driven to the capital by a monk in1963 who then set fire to himself. The grounds were brimming with bonsai that were also being renovated.
We then board a dragon boat for a cruise down the Perfume River to a local restaurant for a late lunch. Most of were feeling tired and not really enjoying the continual none too subtle sexual innuendo of our local guide and were contemplating a boycott of the still to come visit to an emperor’s tomb. But with some energy and patience restored by lunch we were delighted to find that the tomb was set within beautiful serene grounds that were even more beautiful because of a lack of people and the leafless frangipani trees giving a ghostly magnificence.
It was late by the time we got back and we opted for a free evening to relax and have an early night. Ingrid, Sarah and I had French fries and French wine at the hotel bar as we were all craving salt and were feeling restauranted out.
For this and other similar tours see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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