It hadn’t stopped raining since I left Ho Chi Minh City and the lousy weather didn’t seem to be letting up once I made it to Hue. There are a lot of interesting things I wanted to see and do in Hue, but many of them were outside. I contemplated if I should just move north to Hanoi and better weather or tough it out in soggy Hue. I decided to try it for a couple days and see how it went.
The Hue Imperial City
I decide to brave the non-stop rain and visit the Imperial Palace. I don my rain gear and grab my umbrella before heading out.
It doesn’t take long before I’m soaked to the bone and questioning my decision. Sightseeing in the rain was going to suck, but my only other option was to stay inside the hotel which didn’t seem fun either.
The Vietnamese are riding their motorbikes in the rain like it is no big deal. They throw a giant poncho on that covers up them and the front of the bike and go on about their business.
The Imperial City was built in the early 1800s and was the seat of power for the ruling Nguyen Dynasty until the French Occupation.
The citadel which houses the Imperial City is protected by a moat and large stone wall 2 km thick. Inside the Imperial City is further protected by another wall. And within that is what is known as the Purple Forbidden City which was restricted to just the imperial family. It is also the exact same name as the Forbidden City in China.
The first sight I saw was a giant Vietnamese flag flying high over the citadel.
It is directly across from the Meridian Gate and the entrance to the Imperial City.
Once inside I was free to wander around the grounds. Unfortunately, two wars has destroyed much of the old city and other than some covered walkways much of the inner grounds is nothing but building foundations overgrown with grass.
If it was dry, I would have enjoyed exploring the Imperial City, but I found myself hurrying through or loitering in the hallways hoping the rain might stop for a little bit.
That never happened and I eventually surrendered and made my way back across the Perfume River to my hotel to dry out.
Food In Hue
There were a few good restaurants within walking distance of my hotel. I tried some of the local Hue Cuisine which included pork skewers and clay pot chicken. I’ve yet to have a meal in Vietnam I didn’t like. The chicken was delicious as was the local brew called Huda.
Of course, I like my Western food and tried the local Italian restaurant (Pizza? Yes please!).
They included these little tart and tangy fruit as dessert. I have no idea what they were called.
I also tried a Mexican – Vietnamese fusion restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised by my food.
Avoiding The Rain
The next couple of days I try to wait out the rain to do a little sightseeing. The best I could manage was a walk around the local area checking out some of the DMZ themed bars and guest houses.
Thankfully there are plenty of coffee shops in Hue and whenever the rain would start to pour, I’d duck inside and grab a cup of joe while I waited for the rain to lighten up.
I was hoping the rain would eventually move on past Hue, but there was a major storm sitting off the coast in the South China Sea and it looked like it would be dumping rain for a few more days. I finally gave in and packed my bags not able to see much of what I came for in Hue. I’d have to come back and try another time. For now, I’d be heading off to Hanoi.