Day two in Hue and the sun is shining. We managed to hire a bicycle for the day for 30,000 VND (Vietnamese currency) which is about £1. Not bad at all! The bikes weren’t amazing and they had a basket on the front which was a bit embarrassing but whatever – just gotta embrace the experience ha.
We set off cycling towards the Imperial Citadel which we visited the day before because it was next to the river and had some pretty spectacular views. One of the most exciting parts about cycling about was avoiding near death at almost every turn. The traffic and road system in Vietnam is very different to what I’m used too and it’s a constant game of human frogger and Chicken whenever crossing a road or turning.
At one point we crossed the bridge going over the river next to the Citadel and stopped at a red traffic light waiting to turn left (across the traffic). There were 6 of us on bikes. We were surrounded by about 30-40 mopeds/motorbikes and several cars waiting to also do the same thing. When the light went green there is no other word to summarise what happened than absolute chaos. Two mopeds crashed in front of me, I nearly got run down by a taxi and one of the girls behind got cut up by a sea of motorbikes. How we made it across the road in one piece I’ll never know but it saved me from a call to my travel insurance company.
The river road was really nice especially in the sun. We took a right turn down a side street and ended up in some more rural villages. This is what I really wanted to see! Something different from the chaos of a big city. The villages were incredible. It was like we had just entered a film set and we were riding through it. There was a lot of farm land and we saw so many wild animals roaming around. The cost of £1 to hire these bikes was definitely worth it… just for a few of these experiences.
After going through a small village we turned back on to the river road which eventually took us to the Pagoda, one of the oldest and biggest in Vietnam. It was pretty spectacular and good to see for free!
We had another sleeper train in the evening so we had to be back to the hotel for 4/5pm. Our last stop was a coffee shop along one of the rivers in Hue. The view was pretty cool, the coffee tasted good and we had a good laugh.
It just goes to show sometimes the best days are the cheapest. You just need a small plan, a license to explore and an open mind in terms of finding places and potentially getting lost.
So here we are. Time for our third sleeper train. We managed to get an upgrade to first class this time which should make a big difference. Hopefully I can get some sleep otherwise I’ll be a miserable ba%!?rd in the morning.