Da Nang 2019 Day 4 – Day trip to Hue

630am and I was already up and trying to get ready early for the long trip to Hue with a return to Da Nang for the night instead of Hoi An.

All packed and ready to go by 730am though K had some trouble waking up. At the breakfast, the entire place was crowded, not like the previous day! Looked like everyone was an early riser even on a holiday! We had our fill and mommy settled the bill for dinner the night before and then we were checked out.


We met up with the female guide “Happy” and she immediately loaded us up in a Mitsubishi Xpander after introduction to the driver Tin and we were on our way to the first destination, about an hour and a half drive away.

First, we arrived at the top of a mountain Hai Van pass where there were some ruins left. This was supposedly at the border of Da Nang and Hue from which we could see both the cities. Took photos with the ruins there and of the surrounding scenery before leaving the crowded place as many huge tour buses stop there for a break and tourists stop for a photo.

Hai Van Pass is very popular
Old map of the area
One of the ruins there
Panoramic view of the surrounding, on the left Da Nang, right Hue.

Then it was another 20mins downhill to Lap An lagoon, with a short stop at Lang Co bay for photo taking. The lagoon was a large area of calm water with the backdrop of mountains; the place looked pretty nice. There was a certain seafood smell that K didn’t like but it was because the area was also used as place for oyster farming. The farmers used tyres for oysters to attach themselves which was interesting. We didn’t have any though even though it was cheap since we didn’t stop long and were on our way to old town Hue.

Lang Co bay view
Panoramic view of the calm lagoon
Props for the IG moments
A swing must be there of course!
Tire used for growing abalone

An hour and a half of drive plus lotsa made up games I came up with on the fly to keep K entertained, we finally arrived at the one the tomb for worst emperor of Vietnam (at least that’s what the guide said), Khai Dinh, but the tomb itself was the most elaborately designed. The Royal Tomb of Khai Dinh, or Ứng Mausoleum, wasn’t the biggest and it was a quick walk around the beautiful tomb while listening to the historical stories before we boarded the car for the next destination.

The views while on the way to the next destination
Audio guides available at the tomb
Long flight of stairs up
Panoramic view of the tomb
Intricate carvings
Dragons lined the sides of stairs
Main alter which was designed with multiple colours
The inner chamber where the tomb was supposed to be (but wasn’t there)
Table that was used by the emperor
An imperial stamp used by the emperor
Nice view of the surrounding
Statue of a buddha on the hill can be seen

Just a short 10mins drive and we arrived at the Tomb of Minh Mang which the guide advised as one of the best emperors of Vietnam. The tomb was huge and much bigger than the previous one, though not as intricately designed. The arrangements with lakes and buildings made it looked like shape of a human, according to the guide. We walked along and fed some fish for 5k dong and K was happy. On our walk back, there was a slight drizzle but we managed to avoid getting drenched.

Tomb in a park
Gate of the huge compound
Stele house
Ponds at the sides of the walkway
Dai Hong gate closed to the outside
Hien Duc gate to the next section
Door way to the Pavilon
The same doorway
Minh Lau Pavilon
Feeding the fishes was fun
Another doorway to the tomb
Stairway up to the resting place
Panoramic view of the compound

The car brought us to the lunch location at Life Bar restaurant near to old Hue Citadel and we were given the set lunch. I was busy replying email and trying to sort out some internet banking with their free wifi, the food was only ok though the portions were quite big. After lunch and using the restrooms, we proceeded with the last 2 locations of our tour.

Life bar restaurant
Noodle soup
Hue Pancake
Mixed Vegetables
Grilled chicken
Advocado shake
Fruits platter

First it was the Hue Citadel, which reminded me of the Forbidden City in Beijing. However it wasn’t as huge as that and a lot of the buildings were already destroyed. We did spend quite a good deal of time there looking at some of the old photos of those emperors and listening to the historical stories narrated by the guide. There was a nice garden near the end and it was quite nice to walk through. We exited the gate which was built with the same design like Khai Dinh tomb and boarded our car to the final destination.

Cannon display
Gate at the wall around the Hue Citadel
Ky Dai flagpole
Meridian Gate into the citadel
Panoramic view of the compound
Entrance to another section of the huge citadel
Long corridor with photos and information on the walls
Recently renovated building
Thai Binh Pavillon, constructed by Khai Dinh Emperor
The pillars with the same design materials as his tomb.
Inside the Pavillon
Thieu Phuong Gardens
Old walls near the gardens but still colourful
Panoramic view of Co Ha Gardens
Leaving the citadel
Colourful Hien Nhon gate

The Thien Mu pagoda was the last stop for our tour in Hue. It was actually a monastery for most part of this location but there were still things to see as like the story about the monk who burnt himself up in protest and there was the car on display that he used to drive himself to the protest location. We were also told of the monks schedule which included waking up really early at 330 and only getting to bed at 930, talk about tough life.

Thien Mu Pagoda
Stele on giant turtle
Gate towards the monastery
Gardens within the compound
The car that was driven by the monk who set himself on fire
Bonsai plants at the compound
Left through a very old gate

Then the tour ended as we dropped off the tour guide who stayed in Hue and the driver drove 2hours plus back to Da Nang for us to check in at Sala Da Nang beach hotel.

View of the railroad running through Hue

We were given quite a beautiful room with a balcony but it was again on the 4th floor. There wasn’t much of a view and they were fully booked. I was disappointed but nothing much can be done.

Xmas tree in the reception
Welcome drink with towel
Huge jacuzzi tub
Beautifully designed and spacious bedroom
Night view from balcony

There was a minimart available as I got myself mineral water and a beer and the rest of the night was spent in front of the TV including room service dinner, bath time and then it was lights off.

Dinner of beef noodles, fried rice and fries