After a very relaxing and tranquil stay in Hoi An it was time to move on, our next leg of the journey was by train to the city of Hue, we desired to take the train from Danang to Hue as its journey winds it’s way along the coast with some stunning views of the coast line. The reason we wanted to to stop in Hue as we wanted to visit the city’s citadel which a recommended place to visit. In 1802 emperor Gia Long founded the Nguyen dynasty and moved the capital from Hanoi to Hue in an effort to unite North and South, but in 1968 Hue was back in the news again as a fierce battle took place during the Tet offensive, during the three and a half weeks that the battle raged more than 10,000 people lost there lives, now thankfully as we are all aware Vietnam has its independence.
Our hotel was situated on the south of the perfume river and in my opinion the better side to stay as it has quite a few restaurants and bars and is also the location of the popular DMZ bar. The citadel however is on the north side of the river and a short taxi ride from where we were staying. When you approach the citadel you are confronted by a very tall flagpole with the Vietnamese flag proudly flying at the top, and although many of its buildings were destroyed in the Vietnam war there is a great deal of restoration going on to try to bring the Citadel back to its former glory, I would throughly recommend a visit.
Sorry about the lack of captions on the images but the Internet is severely restricted here in Vietnam and will not let me use my tablet to access the full wordpress site.
Image 1: Is of an ornate calender one of may which can be seen around the site.
Image 2: View from inside one of the walkways
Image 3: Restored ornate doors
Image 4: This is the view from a rooftop bar we were having a drink in, the bridge in the bridge in the background was bombed many times in the Vietnam war and continually rebuilt, the Americans only stopped bombing it when it was discovered that it was American POW’s was doing the rebuilding.
Image 5: one of the many ornate gates in and around the Citadel.
Sunset over Hway
Well its holiday planning time again,and this trip is a big one, you see its my dear wife’s let say milestone birthday next year and also we have been together for forty years so we decided that we would do something special. Now from previous posts you can see we love travelling and have always been ones to do lets say not your average holiday, we have always booked our holidays independently and not with tour or holiday company, now for many people having the comfort of leaving it all to a travel agent is the way they like it but personally the planning of the holiday is just as enjoyable as the holiday itself.
We have travelled a great deal but mainly to the USA and throughout Europe and we have only been on the eastern side of the world a couple of times both these times to India with a stop overnight in Qatar but our experience of the east has left us wanting more. Now the idea of going to Vietnam was conceived after watching an episode of Top Gear where they travelled to Vietnam and travelled from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in the south, travelling north along the coast and ending up in a place called Halong Bay a Unesco world Heritage site which I instantly fell in love with as it looks a truly magnificent place.
Another reason for booking independently is that you can change your plans along the way the more information about the country you are visiting to you gain, so here is the itinerary so far
- Fly to Bangkok with Emirates airlines, where we have three nights at the hotel Boonsiri Palace.
- We then have the option of either taxi, coach or train to the border town of aranyaprathet
- Cross the border into Cambodia then travel onwards to Siem Reap by coach or taxi (no trains in Cambodia)
- We have three nights at the Hotel La Tradition d’Angkor it’s from here will be visiting the temples of Angkor
- Then our next leg is an onward journey by river speed boat , (looking forward to this part) to Phnom Penh for two nights where we are staying at the Aqua Boutique Guesthouse.
- Next it’s onto Ho Chi Minh City formerly Saigon. We are staying here for four nights and are staying at the Nhat Ha 3 Hotel it’s from here will be visiting the various sights that Saigon has to offer, the Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnels (not all the 200km of them I might add) and the Killing Fields etc, although the killing fields will be a rather sobering and distressing place to visit I feel its a must if you are in Saigon
- Next it’s an overnight sleeper train to Nha Trang where its time to chill for a couple of days. We staying at the Fairy Bay Hotel in a luxury sea view suite, I might add all for £60 per night bargain
- Then its on the train again to Hoi An a Unesco World Heritage site for three nights at the Vinh Hung Hotel & Spa
- Next it’s off to Hue (pronounced hway) where we are staying in the Orchid Hotel for two nights
- Then it’s an overnight sleeper train to Hanoi where we are staying for three nights at the Ha Noi Eternity Hotel with a day visiting Halong Bay
Finally here are some of the websites that I have used to put this trip together just click on the highlighted links
You can find more of the sites that I have used by checking out my Pearl Trees account, just click here Bob Rouse@ Pearl Trees . Keep a check on this from time to time for more additions and useful information for anyone planning a trip to Vietnam.
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