We arrived in Hue on the morning of the 6th December, and got a moto-taxi to check-in to Hue Backpackers Hostel, which is owned by the same people who own Hanoi Backpackers, and its a very similar place. We arranged a city tour with our motorbike drivers, Vinh and Tuong for $15 for the day.
We got some food at a legit street restaurant, and then went to the Royal Tombs of Tu Duc.
Next stop was Thien Mu Pagoda, which overlooks the river. This river was the site of heavy fighting during the Vietnam War, with the communist north fighting the democratic south, and you can still do tours to the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone) (we didn’t do it).
Eating Snakes in Hue
Vinh and Tuong finally convinced Jack and I to go to a snake restaurant, apparently well renowned in Vietnam and popular with the Vietnamese elite.
We were in for snake blood and rice wine, snake bile and rice wine, and 7 courses of snake:
- Snakeskin dip
- Stomach stir-fry
- Flesh and lemon grass stir-fry
- Snake spring rolls
- Snake soup
But the highlight, was Jack eating the still beating snake heart, watch the action here, but be warned it is a bit graphic:
Over lunch Vinh told us a bit about himself. He was 30, and had a wife who was 18 years old. He smoked a lot of weed, didn’t work for three years and just lived off rats, which he shot at night. He siad he learned english, which was quite competent, simply by taking tourists around the city, and he claimed that he got lucky with a lot of girls who came backpacking through the area.
All in all, the snake cost Jack and I about $25-$30 each. It was time for us to go to the citadel, and Vinh and Tuong assured us they weren’t too drunk to drive, we didn’t have much of a choice, because we had no idea where we were. We were too late getting to the citadel, so went back to the hostel.
We met up with Alex from the UK, and Imogen (from Melbourne), both of whom we met on the Ha Long Bay tour, and had a few beers.
For Jack and I, we had spent a lot of the trip pointing out lookalikes, people who looked like people we knew from back home. at one point, Jack said to me, “Hey, do you reckon that looks like Will?”, to which I replied “Yeah that does look like him…….hang on, that is him, and that’s Eddy right next to him!”
I didn’t know Will too well, but Eddy was a mate of mine from Uni, we both studied Construction Management, and have played footy against each other for years. Neither of us knew the other was in Vietnam, and we were both only spending one night in Hue, and going in opposite directions. Small fucking world.
After a chat with Eddy and the boys, Jack, Alex, a Swiss guy and I went to a nightclub called Brown Eyes, Eddy and Will were going to meet us there later. It was mostly full of locals, so we did our own thing, and played pool with some of the Vietnamese people (we lost, easily). As a joke, I wrote down a song request and passed it to the DJ. After a while we decided to call it a night, but the DJ called out to us, and said he’d play the song to make us stay.
When Hilltop Hoods – The Nosebleed Section came on, the Vietnamese people cleared the dancefloor, and we went nuts! Indulge yourself.