Forget everything I mentioned about the heat in Hoi An and Da Nang. Hue is on another level. Even when the sun has been down for five hours, the humidity here makes it feel hotte than a 95 degree day in California. Despite the brutal heat, Hue was a fantastic stop and has the best food on the trip yet.
Boutique Hue Homestay
After sleeping in a 10 bed dorm with weak air conditioning in Da Nang, our $7/night/person homestay was a palace. As usual, we were placed on the top floor and walked up 8 flights of stairs to get to our room. The view from our balcony erased the pain in my legs each time though.
Dong Ba Market
One of our best experiences on the trip so far happened in the Dong Ba market, across the Perfume river from our homestay. Meandering into the trash-filled streets and dingy rooms of the market, it seems like there could not possibly be anything worth eating, or even safe to eat, here.
In the maze of the market, we happen upon 3-4 street food stands in a warehouse-looking room. Each matron shouts at us to sit down in in order to secure our business over one another. We choose one by randon and sit down to order some Bun Bo Hue. Lucky for us, we happen to sit at the stand Anthony Bordain reviewed in his episode about in Vietnam! Nothing at her stand advertised this fact, but she did mention it after serving us.
It feels good to eat like a king for $2. We order two servings of Bun Bo Hue, Bahn Beo, Bahn Cuon, Nel Lui, and Sugar Cane Juice for $4 total. Here are some images of the food from Hue. If you ever make it to Hue, the Dong Ba market is a must.
Site Seeing in Hue
Over the course of 2 days we visited four major sites in the old Imperial capital. The Imperial Capital has an impressive moat filled with giant lilypads and flowers. Once through the gates, there are many ruins, gardens, and buildings to admire while learning about the previous emperors who reigned there.
The next day in Hue it was time for my second motorbike ride. We left around noon when most people are taking breaks or napping, so the roads were pretty mellow. We visited the Thien Mu Pagoda, the tomb of Ming Mang, and the tomb of Tu Duc.
Traveling to these three attractions we road on country highways, through neighborhoods, in the city, and on dirt back roads. The tombs were very impressive in terms of scale and how elaborate they are. Both of them covered something like 30 acres of sprawling statues, temples, buildings, moats, ponds, and gardens.
Night Life in Hue
Going to Brown Eyes bar in Hue was the second time in Vietnam that I felt like a B or C-list celebrity, soley because I am a Westerner. We walked into the bar and immediately some guy asked me if I knew how to play pool and 2 minutes later were playing next game, somehow cutting the line of 20 or so people watching the games. Walking past groups of people girls would ask if we wanted to join them or introduce themselves without us even engaging them.
This is the good side of sticking out like a sore thumb in this country. The flip side being people stare at your like an alien with unrelenting glares, even after you make eye contact with them and smile. Such a nice change of pace.
Other images from Hue
Hostels and Homestays in Hue, Vietnam
We booked a private twin room at the Hue Boutique Homestay for three nights in Hue. It was $7/night/person and was one of the best places we stayed in Vietnam. The rooms were nicely decorated, spacious, clean, had a nice A/C, mini-fridge, the staff was friendly, and the free breakfast was actually good! I would give this place two thumbs up and recommend staying here. It is near all of the great night life places in town and a short walk from the tourist attractions near the imperial city.
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my blog here and be sure to follow me on social media