Vietnam. Hoi An to Hue.

Our very efficient and friendly AirBnb host at our next destination (Hue) booked a private car to pick us up in Hoi An and take us to Hue. We specifically wanted to go the long way round via the Hai Van Pass and we also wanted the option of stopping to take photos, so a private driver was the best option for us. There’s a shorter route via a tunnel, but I’d first seen the 21 km long mountain pass on an episode of Top Gear and the scenery looked stunning.  Our driver knew exactly where to stop without us asking, and the photo above shows one of the views.

Some time before we arrived in Hue, our driver took us off the main road for a lunch stop where we ate a very cheap meal of delicious spring rolls. We were beginning to hear about ‘social distancing’ and it was apparent that people were choosing tables as far away from anyone else as possible. Just before we stopped though I noticed a couple of dead trees in the lagoon and walked back to photograph them as I thought the scene was beautiful and ethereal.

Nearby were these floating ‘rafts’ for want of a better word.  I’m unsure of their purpose.

I also loved these quirky little buildings.  I don’t know if they are three individual houses or part of a nearby office building, but think they look great.

We arrived in Hue and our next AirBnb.  We had the whole house to ourselves and to say it was big is an understatement! Situated on a road that runs alongside a river it was in a great position between the old Imperial City and the main part of town. Whilst there we started reading a lot more about the Covid-19 virus in the news and how there was a new outbreak in Vietnam. A Vietnamese women had flown in via Heathrow on the same day as us, (luckily on another flight) and she was already ill with the virus. She then passed it to her driver and maid, and several passengers on her flight.  The authorities were tracking people down who had been on her flight and hauling them off for isolation for 2 weeks.  We considered ourselves extremely lucky that we weren’t on her flight.

Judith is definitely a ‘foodie’ and she found a couple of gems to go to for our dinners in Hue.  They were both small hotels with pretty swimming pools, extensive menus, inexpensive, and we ate outside at both of them. Being able to eat outside is something I’ve always loved, and when it’s winter in the UK it’s even better!  At the second restaurant we were stopped at the gate and had our temperatures checked and given hand sanitiser before we were allowed in.

Walking to the second restaurant we went over a level crossing just before the barriers closed for an oncoming train.  We stopped to watch the build up of motorbikes and scooters, and it was just crazy.  Quite a few couldn’t wait at the back, so drove forwards on the wrong side of the road, which meant they were facing oncoming traffic.  The second the barriers opened wide enough for them to move they went through, weaving in and out of everything coming the other way.  Below is a short video of the chaos, but incredibly there were no accidents.  It’s obviously something that happens numerous times each day but I do wonder how many people crash into each other.

[vimeo 405046107 w=640 h=360]


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