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Stop 15 - Hue and Hoi An


View Overland adventures - UK to Ho Chi Minh City and back without getting on a plane! on Chloemillen92's travel map.

After another night on the train we pulled into Hue and made our way to the friendly hostel. It was early morning and already ridiculously hot. The temperature continued to rise as we sat in a bakery eating croissants until it reached its peak at pretty much the same time as we headed out to see the the city's main attraction - the ancient citadel. Most of us spent the next few hours exploring the former home and gardens of the Emporer, whilst Emon and Greg sat stationary on a wall looking like they were going to pass out from heat exhaustion.

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It was a pretty beautiful place with some amazing old buildings, walkways and some fancy gardens where the Emporer used to throw parties.

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We also came across a very photogenic wall.

The next day we hired a car and driver to take us to Hoi An making various stops en route.

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We visited an eerie, abandoned waterpark which featured a now dilapidated dragon aquarium in the middle of a lake. It had apparently had opened before it was ready in the early 2000's which turned out to be a bad business move.

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We drove over the famous Hai Van pass and stopped for some lunch with incredible views at the top.

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Lastly we stopped off at the Marble Mountains, a group of little mountains plonked in the middle of a busy town. At the top of the one we took the lift up to, were some huge caves with shrines inside, some temples and some pretty good views.

We arrived into our hotel mid afternoon and had a very refreshing dip in the pool! The next few days were spent site seeing, cycling about, chilling and eating.

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The town itself is very pretty and famous for having hundreds of handmade lanterns.

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There are some really old buildings here, ranging from temples, to houses, to assembly halls, with elements of Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese architecture and design. We found out whilst visiting one of them, that Hoi An used to be a very important trading port but then got left behind by the times when the new trading boats of the 18th and 19th century required a deeper port. This has turned out to be a pretty good thing as otherwise many of the ancient parts would probably have been destroyed.

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Walking around in the evenings was very atmospheric with lanterns being sold and put onto the river, many people wondering around and a huge choice of buzzy bars and restaurants.

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On our final afternoon Mike and went on a bike ride to the other side of the river, away from the old town and the tourist area. The change in landscape was really unexpected. Suddenly we were cycling down little roads amongst rice paddies and local houses!

Posted by Chloemillen92 08:03 Archived in Vietnam Tagged vietnam hue hoi_an central_vietnam

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