Hue was Vietnam’s old ancient capital. Emperor Gia Long was successful in uniting all of modern-day Vietnam in 1802. Hue became the country’s capital. It’s a lovely town with plenty of tourist attractions. On my journey north, I stopped in Hue for the night. I was later stranded here for a few days.
It’s an interesting spot to visit, although it’s a touch too touristic for my tastes. Most tourists, I believe, would have a terrific time here. Hue, on the other hand, is not the place to go if you’re searching for something a little more off the beaten road.
The journey from Danang to Hue is without a doubt the best scooter ride on the earth. The Hai Van Pass is regarded as one of the top rides in the world. Almost every traveler who visits Vietnam wants to ride the Hai Van pass after a British TV show made a big deal about it.
It’s here if you want to see the episode of Top Gear that made the Hai Van Pass famous:
Between minutes 3 and 7, the Hai Van Pass section begins.
Because my images didn’t work out well, I’m posting the BBC’s excellent film. Because I didn’t take many images during the trip, I believe I was more focused on getting video than photos.
Maybe I was just too engrossed in the ride to want to stop for pictures.
One of the best things about the Hai Van Pass is that it has a tunnel that runs through the mountain, thus practically all cars utilize it and the route is usually empty. Big trucks and tourist vans are the only non-scooter vehicles on the road.
Another advantage of this ride is that it takes only a little time to go to Hue. Because the distance between Danang and Hue is only approximately 100 kilometers, you may take your time on the pass and avoid arriving in Hue after dark.
I’m not sure how long it takes to go to the pass’s peak. I took a couple breaks and estimated that it took approximately an hour, which felt excessively short. A part of me wanted to turn around and do it all over again.
This village and bridge are on the other side of the mountain. The town is especially beautiful.
I rejoined the rest of the traffic after a few more kilometers. Because of the construction, it was a pain to ride. It’s probably fantastic now, but when I was riding here, the shoulder was closed, and trucks and cars passed me quite near. I dislike riding next to traffic because it makes me nervous.
I believe it was on this stretch of road that I noticed a tourist on a bus in the vehicle next to me. He appeared to be in a bad mood. I’d just driven down one of the world’s most beautiful routes, and this guy was stranded on a bus. I was grateful for my reliable little scooter and the freedom to travel and stop whenever I pleased.
On the route to Hue, this is simply some random farmland.
I arrived in Hue shortly after midday and began looking for a hotel room. I went for a walk after checking in because I didn’t have anything planned.
Wandering aimlessly around a city isn’t the best approach to learn about it. I saw a few interesting things, but I missed practically everything else. The better approach to go about things is to have a strategy and a list of sites you wish to see.
I simply went for a short ride and then returned to my hotel to store my bike and have a look around the area.
The hotel was excellent, and it had a beautiful view of the small street it was on.
During my first visit to Hue, I didn’t do anything. I went out and got some dinner and wandered around for a while, but that was it.
I was ecstatic to finally be in north Vietnam, and I was eager to embark on the “Ho Chi Minh Trail.” I placed that in quotations because, as it’s known locally, it’s actually a network of paths that were used throughout the American War. In the United States, the Ho Chi Minh Trail is primarily remembered as a single military route. It would be exciting for me to be able to say that I have rode the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
I really wanted to get away from the tourist traps and back into the countryside. It just appeared like the folks in those regions were friendlier and more welcoming. It also had a more daring feel about it.
When I went to Hue a month later, just finding a hotel room was an experience in and of itself. I returned to Vietnam during a major holiday, and there were no rooms available. I was certain that I would wind up sleeping on the street. But I’ll get to it when the time comes. Until then, I hope you’ll join me on my next article as I continue my trek north!