Hue, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do


Our bus to Hue wasn't actually a sleeper one. It left Hoi An at 8am and arrived at about 12pm. The distance between the two isn't that far at all and the views along the way were incredible. The center of Hue isn't too big at all, and the bus drop off point is only a few minutes walk from most of the main hostels. So, we checked in, dumped our bags and then headed for a wander. We stopped for lunch and had Bun Bo Hue - beef noodle soup, having been recommended the city's famous soup by a member of staff at the hostel in Hoi An. It was really tasty and definitely one of the better soups I tried on our travels. 

After lunch, we walked to the Imperial City, which if you've read about Hue in any guidebook, is one of the main things to do. It's 150k to get in (about a fiver) and it's huuuuge. There are lots of different buildings and things to see, and even some gardens. The day we visited it was really really hot, so it's fair to say we were doing a lot of shade hunting. If you're planning on visiting the Imperial City, I'd definitely recommend reading up on it before you go, there are signs and information boards everywhere, but you definitely need a bit of a general understanding to begin with! Also, storytime: one of the security guards by the palace slapped both Toria and I on the arse ?!? Love that. 

We then stopped at the Highlands Coffee cafe right by the entrance and had our first Banh Mi of the trip. Banh Mi, for those of you who aren't sure, is a baguette filled with meat and various salads/vegetables. We had the BBQ pork one and it was incredible, and was only about 60p! If you ever need a quick lunch/snack in Vietnam, Highlands Coffee is always a good shout. 

Fed and watered, we then headed to the markets. These were very similar to a lot of the other markets we'd been to, selling very similar stock at very similar prices. We also found a proper supermarket and having a wander around that brought me more excitement than I should probably admit. I don't know, there's something about foreign supermarkets. and buying snacks...

For dinner that evening we went to a restaurant called Nook, which had been recommended to us by the lady at our hostel. Now, the decor was lovely, very instagrammable: rooftop seating complete with fairly lights and colourful cushions. We both ordered the pork noodles, which weren't great and had immediate food envy when the table next to us had their burgers brought to them. So, moral of the story, order the burger. Always order the burger. 

The breakfast provided at the hostel was great, so after our banana pancakes we decided to rent a scooter and go for an explore. Now, neither of us had ridden a scooter before, but Hue was one of the quieter stops on our Vietnam itinerary so it seemed like the best place to give it a go. It was actually really good fun and thankfully no accidents were had. We drove to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc tombs, and had an explore of both. I'd recommend visiting both, and hiring a scooter is probably the best way to see them as they're pretty much in the middle of nowhere. 

For lunch, we had the famous Hue pork and lemongrass skewer rice paper rolls and they were AMAZING. An absolute 10/10. We then headed back to the hostel for a nap before getting back on the scooter and driving to the beach. It was about a 25 minute drive from the centre and is essentially just one long, fairly empty, road. The beach was lovely and pretty much empty. We definitely weren't in tourist territory as we were getting quite a few stares whilst at the beach and having a drink at a bar. We scooted back to the hostel and handed the scooter back. It cost £4 total to hire it for the day including helmets, so it definitely is a cheap, albeit slightly more dangerous, way of exploring the city. 

We had pizza for dinner, and oh my, it was incredible. If you're in Hue and want a pizza, head to Jalapenos. Think mozzarella, then add more, and then add even more mozzarella. Our bus wasn't until lunchtime the next day, so we had a leisurely morning and took the bus to Phong Nha at 13.30.

Very quiet, but lots of restaurants and friendly people

- Imperial City
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tu Duc Tombs
- The Beach

- Read up on the Imperial City before you visit
- Hire a scooter to see all the sights
- Order the lemongrass pork skewers - amazing !!!

Sunshine Hostel.

Another hostel in a good location, but was tricky to find initially, but people are more than happy to point you in the right direction. The beds were really comfy, each bed had curtains around it and breakfast was included. It was very well priced and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. 

With the bus timings, 2 days worked well for us

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