After Ho Chi Minh City we flew to Hue, where we were scheduled to stay for three nights at a resort about 45 min drive from Hue airport. I have never in my life has stayed in a resort and it didn’t seem like something I would really enjoy, but my start of the year was so hectic that we decided that it might be a good idea to spend a few days somewhere where you just have to relax. 🙂
So we ended up booking Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa and were picked up from the airport by their driver for an additional fee of course. Ironically the weather turned bad the same day we arrived and the next two days it was pouring rain and just under +20°C. And as we were staying in a resort, there really wasn’t anything to do. We spent the first day washing our clothes in the sink and just lying in bed. The resort offered laundry service, but they wanted to charge per piece of clothing, which was ridiculously expensive, so we ended up washing our clothes ourselves.
The resort itself looked very nice and service was very good. Our cabin was nice and big. The only downside was that we didn’t have a pool and common pool was about a kilometer away. You could either walk and enjoy the view, ride a bicycle, which was provided or call for a buggy with a driver and they would drive you wherever you wanter in the resort.
In the evening we walked to the restaurant, which was a major disappointment. The food was simply just average at best and cost quite a bit more than in Ho Chi Minh City. And as we were located somewhat in the middle of nowhere, there aren’t really alternatives. Also because it rained for three days straight, it’s not like we really wanted to bike anywhere. The breakfast at the same restaurant was okayish, but having to eat not so great food for three days straight was a bummer.
After spending more than a day holed up in our cabin, we decided that rain or not, we will go and explore some sights around Hue. We booked a car and a driver via the resort for 67€ to visit three locations. The price depended on how many people would be joining and how many locations we wanted to visit. We chose to visit the Hue city citadel, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and where the Nguyen dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, Tomb of Tự Đức, and Tomb of Khải Định.
I was wearing the only pair of pants I had with me and was truly grateful for my lightweight down jacket as it was actually quite cold. The resort provided us with huge umbrellas, so that at least helped us to stay dry.
Our first stop was to the citadel and we bought a combo ticket, which cost about 15€ per person and granted access to the three sites we wanted to visit plus an additional site (Minh Mang Tomb).
The area is quite large and I think that we explored for about two hours, but I’m sure we didn’t see everything.
The exit was located somewhere else than where the entrance was, but it was starting to rain really heavily and there weren’t any lines at the entrance, so we just walked out the same way we came despite arrows pointing to some other direction for the exit. 😉
After Hue we headed towards the Tomb of Tự Đức. Oh, by the way, our driver was the same guy, who picked us from the airport and his way of driving was unbelievably annoying. He was honking and flashing lights all the time even when there really wasn’t anyone around not to mention that there would be any kind of danger. It got annoying really fast and not in the least because he was driving uncertainly and rather slowly and over-carefully. If he’d spend half the time he used for honking and flashing lights on focusing on traffic itself, it would’ve been a much more comfortable experience.
Anyway, at the Tomb of Tự Đức it was raining a bit less and we walked around for about an hour.
The tomb was built for the Nguyễn Emperor Tự Đức (obviously :)) from 1864 to 1867, who ruled Vietnam for 45 years. He also had more than one hundred wives and concubines. The site has a tomb section and a temple section, which was used by Tu Duc and his wives as a retreat. The emperor himself is actually buried somewhere else in a secret location in the Hue region. The 200 laborers, who constructed the actual burial site were all killed after they returned, so the actual location of the real tomb of Tu Duc remains a secret.
Our final stop was at the Tomb of Khải Định, who was the twelfth king of the Nguyen dynasty. The construction of the tomb took eleven years from 1920 to 1931 and is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture and was likely influenced by French architectural styles.
Tomb of Khải Định is situated on a rather small area and has many steep staircases. This site was probably my favorite one as the structures and buildings had this very gothic vibe and the rainy day only accentuated it. 🙂
After this we returned back to the resort and had a disappointing dinner.
The next day we checked out and spent a couple of hours sitting in the resort lobby because our flight was later and late check out wasn’t possible on that day for our cabin.
Finally we taken to the Hue airport, which was very small, so it wasn’t really necessary to be there that early. Luckily we had another driver this time instead of the honking guy. 🙂
If I would do this trip again, I would stay in Hue instead of the resort and stay for one day longer and visit Hoi An, which is supposed to have some amazing temples as well. I’m sure that Hue has many good dinner options and this experience didn’t make me like resorts at all. 😀 I think I was more relaxed because I just had to stay in bed and do nothing, but this isn’t exactly what I’m looking for when traveling. 🙂