After wet and flooding Hoi An, we took a one hour yellow bus back to Da Nang. We checked out from wonderful Quyhn Nhan Homestay guest house at 11 am in order to travel to the old capital of Vietnam, Hue. Hue is around three-hour train journey away from Da Nang (approximately 100 kilometers).
Our purpose was to take an afternoon train from Da Nang to Hue. For some reason, there was only one train departing on Friday 16th of December. With that being said, we are obliged to book the train departing at 6.30 pm.
Because the Sun sets down around 5.30 – 6 pm in the central part of Vietnam, we were unable to see one of the most beautiful sceneries in the whole Southeast Asia. Having said that, we decided to take an early train back from Hue. With that arrangement, we wanted to be sure not to miss the landscapes again.
The train was almost fully booked when we entered the ticket booth after a fairly long queue. There were only 3rd class hard seats left. Obviously, we needed to grab those since we had an accommodation booked already from Hue. Furthermore, it didn’t matter us too much because the distance between Da Nang and Hue is a short enough. In addition, the ticket prices were cheap – costing us merely $3.50 for two tickets.
Traveling in 3rd class couch to Hue, The Old Capital of Vietnam
There was pretty wild atmosphere inside the 3rd class of the train. It was packed with the local people together with some Asian and Western tourists. It had rained all day so we were completely wet when sitting in our full-booked coach. Even though we have had ponchos on us during the whole day and stayed in the coffee shop of Big C shopping mall, there was just too much raining coming down.
After three hours of train traveling, we arrived at Hue train station. We used a cheap, good-reputation Vietnamese taxi once again when getting from the train station to the hotel. This time we took a green Mailinh taxi. Other good taxi companies using meter only and not trying to scam you are a white Vinasun and a yellow Taxi Tien Sa.
When we got to the Phong Nha Hotel, we had a quick snack before heading to bed.
Because the weather forecast didn’t predict as much rain for Saturday than Sunday, we rented a motorbike earlier than we first anticipated. After eating a free delicious pancake in the Phong Nha Hotel, we got a good deal for motorbike from there as well. And off we go!
Heading to the Hue Abandoned Water Park
Our first stop was abandoned water park approximately 10 kilometers South of Hue. We had wanted to visit there since seeing a news article about it a couple of years ago back in Finland. We wandered around the water park for few hours and got some great pics too. Unfortunately, the park itself wasn’t that spectacular. There were also rumors online that people had seen crocodiles in the park. The only crocodile we saw was the decoration in the children’s pool. Case closed.
After the abandoned water park we drove to the two popular tombs nearby but decided not go in. We weren’t prepared for the entrance fees which were surprisingly high, 200k dongs ($8) for two persons. Instead, we only admired the tombs from the outside and kept driving around the south side of Hue.
When we had been and seen places 4 hours on the South, we came back to the city. At that point, we were starving. TripAdvisor suggested us an easy on the pocket Italian restaurant. Because we haven’t eaten pasta for a long time, we gave a shot for this restaurant called Risotto.
And it was definitely worth it!
Wife was pretty exhausted in the Saturday evening so we put TV on and watched the Star Wars Episode VII. Coincidently or not, we had thought to go and see the latest Star Wars on movies so checking this out prepared us very well for that. Until that, I had visited few good reputation having opticians in order to compare prices and quality. I had been looking new glasses since the summer when I accidentally break the old ones.
Back to the basics what comes to the rain part of Central Vietnam
On Sunday water poured down again so we didn’t plan a much for our to-do list. Wife wanted to stay in the hotel so I took a long walk to one of the optics I had visited on Saturday. With that being said, I got the new glasses with great quality lenses and almost the frames I was looking for. I walked around the imperial city “accidentally” as well. I was having Runtastic app on my iPhone which calculates the distance, speed, time, and other good information about your moving. My results were 10.5 kilometers of walking in two hours including few stops.
We had a 10.30 am train from Hue to Da Nang on Monday. Having said that, we woke up early in order to grab breakfast and work an efficiently hour. Then we took a taxi to the train station and off we go with great scenery of the journey.
Our next destination after staying one night in Da Nang is Mui Ne. Mui Ne is a small village on the Southeast coast of Vietnam, near bigger town Phan Thiet. I’ll tell you about our next 1000 kilometers train story from Hue to Mui Ne via Da Nang, Binh Thuan, and Phan Thiet during the next posting.
Last but not least, Merry Christmas everybody!