So we spent about a day in the city of Hue! We actually flew from Hanoi to Hue since it would have taken too much time to drive and apparently there aren’t too many good sights to see along the way. I flew Vietnam Airlines and it wasn’t too bad – felt like any other airline and the flight was only about an hour or hour and a half. It was a nice change seeing the flight attendants wear the traditional aoi dai in dark blue silk. We safely landed and quickly got our luggage. The airport in Hue is very tiny by the way! One of the tiniest airports I’ve been to!
We stopped by for food and I was able to feast on a platter of banh beo. It looks a little bit different than when made in America but I assume that banh beo would be made differently in even the other regions. This dish is a glutinous steamed rice cake topped with fried shrimp, scallions, some mung bean, and topped with fish sauce. It’s considered a staple/typical dish in the former capital of Vietnam.
Coming here was one of the favorite parts of the trip. Just to see the former capital of Vietnam with so much history was really exquisite since I was not born in Vietnam. Learning about my country’s past and perspectives from native Vietnamese was really eye-opening. It was a cloudy overcast of a day but warm so it was nice to walk around and there was crowds of tourists but not overwhelmingly so.
I didn’t even know the last Emperor of Vietnam was a guy named Bao Dai and his tomb was planned and built while he was alive and was not even finished until after he died. Our tour guide was very nice, smart, and well-informed. He answered all my questions really well and even made it funny sometimes. Apparently, it is very hard to become a tour guide here. You have to get a degree in tourism as well as extensive training and tests on the history of Vietnam. Of course, you must know English as well. Any other language such as French or Chinese is also well received.
I was busy snapping away on my camera in the midst of the crowds until they parted and I saw a huge “NO CAMERAS” sign. Whoops. I proceeded to sneak a one more photo before scurrying away. I hope they try to keep this place in good condition and restore it if necessary!
For dinner, we actually dressed up in Traditional costumes from Hue – “royalty” gear and had performers sing and play traditional instruments from back in the old days. Traditional Vietnamese music is….very different. Loud…wobbly. I can’t really understand it but maybe because the accent is very very different from south Vietnam. My “accent” when I speak is known as ‘nam’ or southern Vietnamese. Northern Vietnam/Hanoi’s accent is know as “bac” and central Vietnam (where we are in Hue)….nobody understands. lol.