My stay in Hue was longer than I had anticipated. I didn’t want to come back to this city, but circumstances forced me to do so. I’m glad I returned because I was able to view a lot of things that I had missed the previous time around.
It took a few of days to get to Hue. It was the first time in over a year of travel that I considered spending the night on the street.
After a cup of coffee, I departed Pho Chau in the hopes of finding a lodging near the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. It seems to be a cool place with a lot of hotels.
I arrived in town and checked into the first hotel I saw. There were no rooms available. I moved on to the next location, but there was no room. Every single room was booked as I walked up and down the block! In Vietnam, there was a holiday, and everything was booked.
There was a hilarious cultural misinterpretation that threw me for a loop. If we hold our palm out and tilt it side to side in the Americas, it implies kind of, maybe, a little bit, more or less. It’s not a simple yes or no situation. If you shake your hand when someone asks if you liked the food, it doesn’t mean you didn’t like it. It literally means “somewhat of.”
In Vietnam, a hand motion that is extremely similar to this one says no. So I’d go to these hotels and ask if they had any rooms, and they’d shake my hand. They said “kind of” to me, so I’d stand there staring at them, assuming they meant a room was available. “Soooo. there’s a room?” I’d then say. No. That one took me a long time to figure out.
Because Dong Hoi was so close, I decided to return to the motel where I had previously slept. It was a decent establishment, and the women who worked there were quite pleasant.
When I arrived at the hotel, it was also fully booked. When they went looking for me, they discovered that every hotel in town was fully booked. I was starting to feel concerned at this point. The holiday season had just begun, and the hotels would be completely booked for the next four or five nights.
It was around 3 or 4 p.m., and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to Hue in time, but I decided to get on the road and see what I could discover.
I arrived on Highway QL1, which is extremely congested and unpleasant to ride on. I saw a hotel sign after approximately 30 to 60 minutes of riding out of town. I came to a halt and was able to secure a room for four times the typical rate. I would have paid a tenfold increase in price!
That night, I began my research and discovered the holiday. I didn’t enjoy pre-booking in the past, but it was now required. Because Hue is such a large city, I assumed there would be plenty of hotel rooms. I reserved a room and was relieved to know that I would have somewhere to stay the next day.
I cycled into Hue the next day and located the hotel that I had reserved. The building’s first floor housed an internet cafe. The desk clerk informed me that he did not utilize booking.com. There was no room for me because someone had set up a fake account. I was able to get my money back in the end, but not having a place was the most difficult part.
As a result, I began visiting every location in Hue that I could discover. They were all completely full. Fortunately for me, a local man noticed me and we struck up a conversation. I explained that I was unable to locate a room. He stated if I offered him money, he’d assist me in my hunt. I agreed, and we spent around 2 to 3 hours driving around Hue. We went from the outskirts of town to the heart of the city. We wandered around aimlessly. We finally arrived at a location just across one of the bridges (Dap Da?). They had a room available, so I immediately reserved it for four or five days till the holiday was ended. A family arrived seeking for a room while I was filling out the papers for the accommodation. I’d snatched the final one!
I was really grateful to my guide and gave him a substantial sum of money. He promised to take me on some tours in the coming days. I didn’t want to go on tours, but I wanted to thank him with some business, so I agreed.
The guide arrived the next day and brought me to the military museum.
It was fine, but there were so many people in town that every tourist spot was overcrowded and unpleasant to see.
We also visited a temple that was really busy.
I preferred the temple’s boats to the temple itself.
We went to a site where incense was manufactured. It was fine, but I’d had enough of the tourist traps.
We went to a cool antique tomb (I’m pretty sure it was a tomb, but it could have been a palace?) that was really cool.
We also visited a small fishing town on the city’s outskirts.
I was also taken to a family member’s property, where I got to see inside the house while standing in the rice field. A large number of chili peppers were drying on the driveway of the residence. I inquired if they made hot sauce that I could purchase, but they did not.
We also visited some hip cafes on the outskirts of town. The guide’s sister owned a small business that produced fresh baby food. On the wall was a standard menu with items such as fish and vegetables. However, it was completely ground up and designed for infants. I thought it was amusing at first because we don’t have infant eateries in the United States. But the more I consider it, the more I believe it could be a multimillion-dollar venture out here.
The first couple of days spent with the guide were enjoyable, then things quickly deteriorated. He tried to have his technician friend charge me three or four times the standard fee for an oil change because I needed one. I told him I’d bike all the way across the nation. At least 20 times, I’d had the oil changed. I knew how much it was going to cost. I paid the regular charge and paid the guide for his tour service, then informed him I was going to be busy the next day and didn’t want a tour.
I would have paid him to drag me around Hue for another two days. I was still appreciative for his assistance in finding a hotel, but I’m not going to hang out with folks who are attempting to defraud me.
That was the most of my time in Hue. Another thing I did was almost murder an elderly man, which enraged his family. To purchase some beer, I walked to the supermarket near my hotel. We struck up a conversation with the store’s owner, an elderly Vietnamese man. We started drinking together since he was inebriated. He wanted to try vaping because I was doing it. I tried to warn him that it would hurt and that it would require a different approach than smoking a cigarette. He ripped a large chunk out of my vaporizer and began coughing violently. I assumed he would have to go to the hospital. His family was furious, but it’s possible that they were enraged because he was inebriated. He eventually calmed down and was amicable about the vaping.
Aside from that, I just passed the time till the holiday was gone. I left for Danang once it was completed. Since I was in Danang for months, I’m still unsure how to write the post. I suppose I’ll just choose some of my favorite photos and tales. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next one!