Hue and Hanoi--Feb 1-6, 2006


Next stop was a city about 4 hours north of Hoi An called Hue. It is famous for the citadel in the center of the city as well as being so close to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) separating North and South Vietnam.

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Boat ride on the Perfume River

I spent one day on a boat ride down the Perfume River which cuts right through Hue. The old adage that you get what you pay for really came through on this tour. For $1.50 you got the boat ride to see pagodas and old emperor's tombs and lunch. At first you are thinking that is pretty good until you get there. The first thing they do is give you a menu to order food for lunch and they try to tell you there is no food at any of the stops. I chose not to order because lunch was supposed to be included. As it turned out, lunch was included but all it was was fried tofu and a little rice. Not much of a lunch! Then everywhere the boat went you had to pay an entrance fee of about $3.50. That would have been ok, but you only had about 30 minutes at each site, definitely not enough time to enjoy your $3 worth! And at two of the sites you had to take a moto to get there because they were a little way away from the river. This meant paying another $2 or so for the ride. All in all it was a very expensive (by Vietnamese standards) day.

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We did get to see a couple of nice pagodas and temples on the tour.

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As well as tombs of former emperors. They all include multiple temples as well as the tombs on some massive areas.

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76 years of Communism

In case you did not know, Feb 3 marks the 76th anniversary when Ho Chi Minh started the Communist party in Vietnam. There are signs and banners all over the countries to remind you.

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Hanoi--Capital of Vietnam

My next stop was Hanoi which is the capital of Vietnam. It is a hustling and bustling city with thousands of motorcycles breezing by and some really good food. In the end it is just a big city that I used a hopping off point to the northern parts of Vietnam. The picture below shows the lake in the middle of the city at night.

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