The sleeper train to Hue (pronounced ‘whey’) was certainly an experience! We booked two ‘soft sleeper’ tickets for about £25 each. You can pay a tour operator over the odds to purchase the tickets for you, or you can just walk to the Ga Ha Noi station and buy them yourself. Turning up to catch the train was a little daunting; no one speaks english and its not overly clear what to do… but we struggled through. There’s normally someone there who will help you. The train is the SE3, and our cabin consisted of four beds (two bunks), and a small table. Note that if you book the bottom bunks (as we did), the standard practice is for everyone in the cabin to sit communally on the bottom bunks until bedtime. The people we were sharing with were nice so we didn’t mind, but I think it could be awkward if they weren’t so friendly. Also, if you’re travelling with someone else book early to make sure you get put in the same cabin. 14 hours later we got off the train……….
After Hanoi, Hue is like a breath of fresh air. Its all very pretty, people are friendlier and we were very happy. Our hotel was just £11 per room per night (the Hong Thien). We got a free upgrade to a nicer room which meant we could just walk down some stairs directly to the pool. Bearing in mind we had been constantly on the go for over two weeks we loved having the time to re-charge our batteries and relax. We made up a game called pool-pong and played everyday after breakfast.
The area of Hue that we stayed in was quite lively, the Hue Backpackers hostel did some ridiculously cheap deals on cocktails and beers! Its a great place to go, almost everytime we went we ended up chatting with people and later all stumbling along to Brown Eyes night club until silly o’clock in the morning. Well- we’re on holiday right?!
We did venture out a few days: one day we took our bikes for a spin along to Thuan An beach. There was a little cafe that ripped us off for a couple of cans of coke but the beach itself was pretty.
We were going to visit the Citadel but it was expensive- over ten times the amount for most other attractions… plus the girl on the desk was unfriendly so we didn’t bother. Instead we went to the Tu Duc Tombs which were very impressive: beautiful gardens and buildings. We chose the hottest day go so getting home and jumping in the pool was a perfect way to end our day! x