Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We arrived back in Ha Noi at 4:30am on May 8 and went straight to the hotel - paying an extra $17 to be able to get in the room was well worth it. We caught up on sleep the entire day and ordered room service. We were also preparing for our last night train the evening of May 9 to Hue.

But before we left Ha Noi, Paul finally got some much needed grooming - a hair cut and a trim for Capt'n.

Look how clean and non-scruffy Capt'n looks!

That evening we were off to the train station again.

Night train! 

Despite Paul's big smile, it was not comfortable

This train ride was even worse than the other two and was even longer clocking in at about a 13.5 hour ride. The train was going an average of 20 MPH with frequent, violent stops. And to top it off, we were treated with this music blasting through the speakers at 5:30am. It's what I like to wake up to, really.

But the sunrise was pretty

And the open fields

I like how the outside is totally overexposed

And now it's not but Paul seems upset

Hue train station

We finally arrived in Hue with the hopes that our hotel would let us check in early. Thankfully the room was available - we walked in and passed out. With some sleep we felt a little more normal so headed out to find some food.

On May 11 we took a day tour of the city which included visits to the tombs in the area, an incense and conical hat making village, a kung fu show, the Citadel, and the Thien Mu Pagoda. We ended the day with a dragon boat ride along the Perfume River.

First stop, Minh Mang Tomb.

Main entrance to the Minh Mang Tomb is sealed because only the King can use it (we entered from the side)  

Look at this guy

These guys are the protectors of the tomb (salutation statues)

I am a protector too

At the tomb

The center door is sealed off for the King

Getting further into the tomb grounds

Where the Mandarins gathered before entering 

Minh Pavilion

Bridge in Minh Mang Tomb

It started to pour so we were trapped until it stopped; we then got to walk in mud in our flip flops - fun!

The second tomb we visited was the Khai Dinh Tomb, a blend of Western and Eastern architecture. It was very elaborate with porcelain mosaics throughout the main building.

Stone statue protectors 

A different perspective

Khai Dinh Tomb

Inside the tomb

Very fancy

It took 11 years to build

Statue of Emperor Khai Dinh

Paul enjoying the view

Walking back down toward street level

We then headed for a short Kung Fu show.

Lion dancing to kick off the Kung Fu show

Weapons display

Preparing to break bricks with his head

Totally necessary

Almost there

Last deep breath


All broken


This guy pushed a sharp blade into his neck without getting hurt, no big deal

We headed to the incense and conical hat making village after the kung fu show.

Pretty incense colors

Rolling the incense paste onto the sticks

No, Paul, it is not for eating!

Conical hats... the making!

After lunch we went to the Citadel.

Walking to the Citadel

Narrow walkway

Inside the Citadel

About to enter the Forbidden City

Inside the Forbidden City

Forbidden City

This water droplet looks like mercury on the lotus leaf

Paul is too happy to be looking into this canon

Further inside the Forbidden City

I just keep seeing LORIA!

Pretty flowers

Paul is trying to grab some weapons

Lick lick, dragon

Indiana Krueger Round

And then we went to the Thien Mu Pagoda where Paul found some statues to abuse.

Statue #1

Pagoda in the background

Statue #2

In front of a pagoda

We found thumper (not the dangerous Singaporean game)

Paul takes in the nice view of the Perfume River

Getting on the Dragon Boat

Pretty cool lookin' but excruciatingly slow

View of the pagoda from the Dragon Boat

I couldn't resist taking pictures of this cute puppy on board the boat!


Along the Perfume River

View of the dragon from inside the boat

Happy puppy


Feel free to leave comments - would love to hear from you. But remember to leave your name!