Tag Archive: lonely planet


Hue

Got on a bus from Hoi An for 4 (turned 3) hours to Hue stopping at a lookout point called Thua Thien Hue but didn’t get enough time to go to the top (so I didn’t see the point in stopping at all). Yes, nice views, but if there is a hike why not give us time to do it? The sells were very pushy and touched me twice L we also saw a truck full of dogs three times which smelt terrible. The last time we saw them they were getting sprayed down.

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Upon arriving in Hue, we went to lunch at Ushi where I got vegetable soup that ended up being just morning glory in water…only 15,000 though. Walked to central market (went over Truong Tien Bridge which is an ugly color and has construction) which was a lot like Goje market in Busan with souvenirs because it had vegetables and cooking things and housework items. We then walked through a park next to Perfume river and I told a guy I was Korean just for him to go away. On to the Imperial Citadel (palace) which cost 105,000 (which is much more than 55,000 as advertised in lonely planet). It’s pretty much the only thing to see in the city.

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It was mostly construction and trash which makes me question Vietnamese people–why not take care of your history? This was not the first thing we had seen like this. We’re not even sure what we saw because there were no signs. Their map and the lonely planet map didn’t add up either.

The pagoda/rest area-gondola was really nice as were the bushes made like turtles which were both inside the Purple Forbidden City. There was a nice dragon statue just beyond the main gate too, but we could not get over the trash. Closed at 5:30 and one in our group was very concerned we would not get out. Just then, matt found the temples and Hien Lam Pavilion which all looked beautiful. We then walked back to the Ngo Mon gate to find it was closed…so we went around to the next gate (Hien Hhom) to leave. I tried to go in that one at first but it is only an exit. The palace is a lot smaller than it seems. Back to the hotel for 6:30 for dinner at 7:30.

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Dinner at Le’s was good food with good drinks (but really standard drink deals) but the staff were too ‘helpful’. I don’t need someone behind me the whole time or chatting to me about my water bottle and such. They gave us jenga after dinner and asked if we were too tired because we didn’t want to play. Weird. 39,000 for fried rice with vegetables but really good. They were very on top of clearing plates too. Walked to Brown Eyes for free shots after but I went home because I was tired.

In the morning, some of us decided to go to Thin Mu. It was supposed to be 3km from a bridge that was 1 km away but it turned out to be 6.4km total so someone messed up on the map.

The walk was interesting because there was no sidewalk and lots of rundown temples and trash. Another sign of the Vietnamese not taking care of their country and history. Eventually found the pagoda at 11:40 meaning we had to go straight back so 4 of the group could check out and we all could eat. Got some good pics and saw the car a monk rode in before he burned himself because of abuses the government took on monks.

Haggled from 40,000 each to 22,000 each for a boat and then she dropped us at a different spot than she said she would (1 bridge early) because of police (?)

Back to the hotel to find a good restaurant and it turned out DMZ was supposed to be good, based on Trip Advisor. Service had no idea what was going on and food was okay. #5 on trip advisor? Not anymore…Our server could hardly take our orders but she understood when I said their ranking was about to go down. Most got pizza or pasta to bulk up for a 14 hour train ride.

Bagan: the less explored

Met Sophie and Magda on the bus from Mandalay (Germany and Poland) who were also solo and we decided to stay at Shwe Na Di Guest house for 2 nights for 40 total (13.33 each). It had AC and fan and breakfast and no bathroom.

Went outside while Sophie had tea and rented a bike with Magda for 2000 kayat for 2 days and set off! Well first we tried to get a better map (than the one in Lonely Planet) but ‘BEST Information’ had no one inside. We took Nyaung U Kyaukpadaung Rd towards the airport turning west and going north toward Bagan Viewing Tower but that is private and cost 15000 kayat to go up. No thanks.

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We then then backtracked to nearly the main road, turned the other way and went to a small temple, met a nice monk at a small monastery who spoke really good English and said we were going the wrong way. Oh well. Went somewhere different!

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We then walked to a bigger monastery with caves that people had made for the monks which were a bit creepy dark inside. There I bought 10 postcards for 2000 kayat. After we saw Leimyethna Pahto, Payathonza (which the monk said was really 3), Tayok Pye Paya, Thambula Pahto, Kyat Kan Kyaong, and Nandamnnya Pahto and many more which I’m sure lonely planet cannot fit in the book (again, we were using Lonely Planet).

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For some we had to go through the monks fields (which the monk we spoke to said was fine) and dense spikey brush. My legs burnt a bit for days. I’m sure I saw some that many other foreigners haven’t because of this.

A man in an official looking blue shirt pointed us to one quite far away because the paintings on the walls inside were original. After getting there it was amazing, especially because the paint was original. Hardest one to get to I think. None of the Burmese tourists went that far.

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We met two nice girls, one spoke great English and guided as to her restaurant for water. I think we would have gone there anyway because we thought it was the right direction to get home and it was only 2 minutes away. 400 kayat for water there. She told us the white pagoda (last for the day) was the main one for her village for 6000 people. It was the wrong way, but they helped us get back.

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After water at her shop we headed back going past the watch tower again and seeing our mistake–don’t go down the gravel road to the hotels and tower, keep going straight from the main road.

Missed the hostel because of a delivery truck.

Shower was cold but that’s fine.

Went to dinner next door and it wasn’t great—neither was the beer but it was better than Cass (Korean beer). My prawn curry had unshelled prawn and the green beans were bland. Only 15000 kayat for 3 meals (each with multiple dishes) and 4 beers though.