Vietnam - Day 6 - Hue
December 30, 2019
We had a lie in today until 7:30am and then went up to the 12th floor for breakfast. The food was pretty good with a wide selection, mostly Vietnamese but also some western style. I opted for noodle soup which seems to be the local favourite for breakfast. Bella went for her favourite, spaghetti bolognese!
After breakfast we took a short walk down to the perfume river, named as such because during the spring it smells of perfume due to the fragrant underwater flowers.
We found our dragon boat and headed along the river for about an hour to look at a Pergoda. The river banks are mostly parkland which is a sharp contrast to the red river in Hanoi which is completely built up. We take in the sights and watch the other river traffic on the way.
On arrival we hop off and head up the steps to the Pergoda. It’s not particularly busy and we stop to take photos and for our guide to share the story of how he met his wife thanks to a fortune teller and praying at this particular Pergoda.
The children are so taken with the story that they ask Thui to go and pray with them inside the Pergoda which he happily obliged.
Along the side of the Pergoda is a wonderful fish pond which is clearly well kept by the monks. The water is crystal clear and the pond is stocked with large koi carp. It’s the first pond we’ve seen with clean water since arriving and the fish are enjoying themselves swimming around.
By the pond is the Austin car of the monk who drove to Saigon and set himself on fire in protest of the persecution of Buddhist people in Vietnam. It’s a stark reminder of the unrest and complex political situation that Vietnam has gone through in recent times.
We head back to the boat and back along the river. About half way through the journey home the boat’s engine overheated which caused some excitement. Thankfully the captain and his wife weren’t phased by this and had the problem solved quickly but not before we’d drifted into the centre of the river where we’d started to float down stream at quite some pace.
After arriving back where we started it was time for lunch and free time for the rest of the day. We walked back to the area where we’d had dinner the night before and found a nice restaurant for lunch. The place was full of locals and had some interesting food on the menu. Snakes head topping the list.
We opt for more pedestrian food choices but are not disappointed. My lunch plate with minced prawns, chicken salad and rice was delicious.
Diana’s whole fish was amazing, so tasty and fresh. Bella wasn’t quite so impressed!
We weren’t able to fully identify the dessert but it was something like green bean paste surrounded with banana sticky rice. I thought it tasted great, everyone else wasn’t so keen.
Bella has discovered toothpicks. Since most restaurants in Vietnam have them on the table, Bella has taken to wearing one like a Texan!
After lunch we return to the hotel and have a drink in the bar before heading back to our room to relax.
At 6:30pm we head out to have dinner in a local family home. Our children aren’t particularly wild about this but I’m keen to experience the real Vietnam as much as possible.
The host is a war veteran who welcomes us into his living room and serves us a typical meal. We start with pumpkin and lotus soup which wasn’t a popular choice with the majority of diners! We then moved on to fried rice, pork ribs, chicken and prawn stir fry and pork spring rolls. Dessert was fresh banana and pineapple. All delicious.
We finished the evening with bitter green tea, stories and questions about the war and shots of a homemade rice spirit called ‘Happy Water’. The Happy Water was really smooth and the host seeing that I enjoyed it offered us several rounds. A great experience and one that you really don’t get very often.
We said our goodbyes and walked back to the hotel and into bed. Tomorrow is back to our usual early start as we’re moving to Hoi An.