In order to go to Hue, we needed to return from Ha Long Bay back to Hanoi, and then take a train to Hue. Hue is a town located in Central Vietnam, and it took us 13 hours to get there. As we got to the station, it was dusk and nobody was around to help out. We finally found out in a nick of time that the train had already arrived, and to get there we had to cross five railways by foot. We ran across it with our backpacks and got on the train. The minute I saw the inside I was instantly reminded of the image of an Indian train. The train officer was almost of no help either – he ended up pulling my scarf to see where my hair is at (wtf?) and as I pulled away, he rudely muttered something in Vietnamese and left.
The size of the cabin was 2x4 meters, and in it were six beds, stacked three storeys high each side. The top one looked more like drawer to me. We sat on the bottom bunks and played cards for hours. All the while I had this thought in my head that this must what it feels like to serve in a prison cell for raping 30 women. If the government is looking to reduce sexual crime rates, they should put the boys in these train cabins overnight. That should do the trick.
Hue is small town, with much of its central attention put on the Perfume River, where the Citadel is also located. The Citadel is a Forbidden City, where the emperor lived with a whole separate facilities system from the rest of the world. We went on a little cruise along the Perfume River to watch the sunset, at which we found a little boy pooping by the river while his elder brother swam next to him. Five meters away, a woman was cleaning her kitchen utensils.
On a more optimistic note, Hue is a peaceful city with friendly people who were always eager to help you around, and this includes the men eating at a restaurant who helped us with the maps and directions. My guy friends also made custom jeans that cost them less than 20 dollars a pair. The food is also generally delicious, especially their bread and vegan choices.
Places to eat: There is a vegan restaurant call Lao Hen, which is famous among the monks who reside in the town. The food is so good you’ll hardly even realize you’re going vegan. The soups are flavorful and delicious, while the stir fries are spiced amazingly well too. Be sure to try their aubergine dish, as well as their bamboo shoot salad.
The thirteen-hour train ride. Not advised for the non-adveturous.
Inside the Forbidden City, Citadel. Pretty awesome to think that it was filled with eunuchs ones.
If every meal is like this, I'm pretty sure I can be a vegan. For about a week.