On to Hue, where there are really not very many shops, well, to tell you the truth, it was so hot there that all we did when we had a moment was sit at the pool. Still when you get off your bums there are loads of things to do in Hue.
The thing about Hue is that on all of the town maps it looks like it is really small when in reality it is quite large. Most of the nice hotels are outside of Hue central, so it takes awhile to get into town. We did not explore it as well as we should and I am sure there are loads of interesting/fun/fab secrets to be found.
One thing we did that I recommend to all: Hire a motor-biker (with driver) to drive you to the Emperor’s Tombs. All we did was ask our concierge to arrange it. It cost $20 for two people and it really made the trip. Our drivers took us down small paths and dirt roads where a car couldn’t fit. It was a blast.
Shopping in Hue:
HEALING THE WOUNDED HEART SHOP
23 Vo Thi Sau Street – 054.3833 694
It is an NGO shop which donates all the money raised to help disabled children. The recycled ware is really fab.
The food wasn’t the best but we did eat.
LAC THIEN RESTAURANT
6 Dinh Tein Hoang (Central Hue)
Even though Lonely Planet made this a tourist trap, we decided to have a gander. I would not recommend taking your Mom and Dad here as the kitchen looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since the war.
The walls have been “decorated” by graffiti and the menu is dated and a bit sticky. (Actually it was so sticky that we didn’t know the there was more to it and only ordered from the first page. We were lucky that the first page listed the Hue specialties on it!)
35 Vo Thi Sau – 054.3.831210 (Backpacker’s area – around the corner of the Healing the Wounded Heart shop)
On their business card is listed this website, it totally makes me laugh because it is so slick. The actually cafe is a grungy, backpacker and I never saw fine art and embroidery works. Love their motto: Politeness is style of our serving; Relaxing is what you’ll get!
19 Pham Ngu Lao – 054.3.810491 (Backpacker’s area – next to the Healing the Wounded Heart shop)
This was a bit of a tourist trap but if you stick to the Hue specialties, you won’t be disappointed.
HOTELS IN HUE:
LA RESIDENCE – 5 Le Loi – 054.3.837475
This was our favorite hotel in Vietnam. Art Deco and modern, gorgeous pool, right on the Perfume River. The breakfast was fantastic. Whatever you do, stay here.