Hue is a small city that has a few things to do, most notably the faded grandeur of the Imperial City. A UNESCO world heritage site, this was badly damaged in the Vietnam/ America war and there are whole sections that have been obliterated. Luckily, what remains is cared for and you could easily spend a day exploring this huge complex.
We took a flight from Hanoi to Hue to save time. We took the (very hot) full day to explore the area. I quite liked Hue the city too, a few lovely restaurants and easily wander-able.
Scooters from Hue to Danang and Hoi An
We hired scooters from Hue and we were on our way! We took the slightly more scenic coastal route, and stuck to the far right and stayed out of the way of everyone else. I’m not a skilled rider and I did not die, so I can recommend this even for brave novices! It only takes a few hours, you could do this in a day, but we broke it up by staying at places along the way and exploring a little.
When we reached Danang, we were hungry. We spotted a place that looked like the Bia Hoi’s we so loved in Hanoi. We were wrong, but this was one of the best mistakes ever! We were ushered to a long trestle table where you just plonked yourself down next to whoever. Then, we were shown the ‘menu’- these tanks full of live seafood. You chose what you thought looked delicious- in our case, giant prawns- and how you wanted them cooked (BBQ’d in garlic). Then there was a choice of two or three sides, one of which was fried rice. We sat, and shortly thereafter the food arrived. The rice was flecked with fresh prawn, crab and squid and served with the buttery garlicky prawns. You ripped your prawns apart and threw the shells on the ground. Once we had finished, the waiters come along with giant brooms and sweep underneath you.
Somehow, all this was managed for a tiny sum, and with no common language at all. To this day, it remains one of my favourite meals of all time.