My Gate-away from Korea – Day 1 in Hue, Vietnam

I took a slightly long holiday and came back from Vietnam recently! How did I ended up visiting Vietnam? Long story cut short, me and my TA went to attend a Vietnamese friend’s wedding.

If you are planning to sleepover at Danang airport, scratch that plan right away.

We planned to sleep at the airport on the night after touching down. To our surprise, there wasn’t a single chair in the arrival hall! The only chairs were on the outside of the hall. If you are planning to sleepover at Danang airport, scratch that plan.

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Vietnam Guide News

Weather was hot, humid and full of mosquitoes. We unwillingly dragged ourselves up to the departure floor and finally saw some! Happy and relieved, we took a walk nearby the airport and came back since the cleaners were cleaning. Guess what, we were locked out. Sh*t.

All we could do next was to wait until 6AM on the benches outside for a guy to pick us and send us to the bus heading for Hue.

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Thanks to our Vietnamese friend who reserved the seats for us, the so called “bus” was actually a 7 seater MPV, 9 USD per person and it was very comfortable. Nothing bugged me until the 2 guys in front of us started speaking, so loudly like they were the only ones in the bus.

Anyway I slept like a guinea pig throughout the 2 hours journey. Remember that I couldn’t sleep at the airport? I was already a half zombie.

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We arrived Hue city center at 8AM local time, and headed straight to our hotel. After checking in and taking a quick rest, we went out in hope to visit the Citadel. But it started raining cats and dogs. Urgh.

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It rained very heavily that we couldn’t walk further. Imagine walking under the heavy shower while crossing roads, with the humans driving their vehicles like they own the road. Sometimes we pondered if we should cross.

There were honks coming from everywhere, every second. Every honk gives you a slight heart attack because you think you were in their way. It was quite irritating at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it.

Oh, did I also mentioned that it’s horribly humid after the rain?

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Luckily, the shower subsided as quickly as it comes. We then head off to Dong Ba Market to hunt for some food. I was basically starving to the extend that I was imagining eating every food that I saw.

We passed by many stalls, every one was shouting towards us hoping we would buy something from them. Being a not-so-friendly traveler, we ignored and continue walking until we came to a food stall, and were pulled inside to be seated down.

Everything happened next was like a dream, part nightmare. Before we could even read the hand written menu hanging on the outside of the stall, a lady came to us with 2 cups of drinks, pouring the ice into the drink and mixing it up for us.

According to Wikipedia, that drink was “Che” – a Vietnamese sweet soup made with Adzuki beans, banana and other ingredients.

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Seems like a Vietnamese feast.

Chill, it’s just a couple of drinks. Right.

While we still have no clue on what’s on the menu, another lady was bringing us all kinds of different food. Alright, we are definitely being ripped off.

Here’s a list of food that was served to us:

  • Pho noodles X 2 (20,000 VND each)
  • Skewers X 10 (10,000 VND each)
  • Hue special rice cake with dried prawn stuffing X 2 (20,000 VND each)
  • Vietnamese spring rolls X 2 (20,000 VND)
  • and more

We were just accepting the food until we could not eat anymore. Speaking English doesn’t help at all, not even the word “no” or “stop”. The only thing that they understands was hand language. Universal language!

And our bill totaled to 300,000 VND, which was 15 USD. It wasn’t as expensive as we thought and to be honest, food was good. Come to think about it, thanks to her, we get to try all sorts of Vietnamese cuisine. However, that experience, who would ever like to be pulled into a stall and being served so many food without knowing the price?

I guess this is a new experience for us and a lesson to be learn: order your food before sitting down at anywhere you are not familiar with.

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Chomping down my Vietnamese spring roll. Elegance is not my style.
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Enjoying my cup of Che (Vietnamese sweet soup) in Dong Ba Market
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Dong Ba Market, Hue

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And so, we managed to escape that scary stall and headed back to the hotel to prepare for our friend’s wedding. Oh, and to my surprise, they have quite a number of free wifi throughout the cities, which I totally did not expect.

But still it would be safer to load Google Maps before leaving the hotel.

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