How to get from Hoi An to Hue?
We had booked a bus from Sinh Tourist Office from Hoi An to Hue, which seemed cheaper than booking online and any where else we looked.
The cost was only 100k each and the bus was comfortable, it was our first experience of a sleeper bus! However it was daytime.
Where to stay in Hue?
Hong Thien 1 Hotel
We had two nights here and paid £12 per night. On arrival we got asked to cancel our booking.com order in trade for a deluxe room upgrade, which was a bonus, although a little untoward.
The hotel room was spacious with it’s own balcony. The bathroom was large and had it’s own bath, something we haven’t seen for 75 days, and we didn’t even get to use it (what’s wrong with us)!
It also had a lovely pool area and free cooked breakfast, which was included. Unfortunately on our second breakfast, we (or shall I say more me!) were joined by Claire the cockroach. And Claire was pretty speedy, as she climbed up the table next to us in a matter of seconds looking for her next victim! Let’s just say, I didn’t make it on to fruit.
What to do in Hue?
Hue’s Abandoned Water Park, Huey Thien Lake
On arrival at the hotel, the weather was still wet (we didn’t have the best luck with weather in Vietnam) but there seemed to be a dry spell, which was our window to go explore.
And top of the Hue explore list was the Abandoned Waterpark on Huey Thien Lake, in which was always going to be a highlight for me on the trip. Not so much for Kelly unfortunately.
Getting to the Abandoned Water Park from Hue City
For less than £3 we had planned to hire one of the hotel’s scooters for the day. As soon as we put the helmets on it started raining again, and then I realised I have never actually driven a scooter before, nor do I have an International License. That topped with the busy streets of Hue, having to navigate, as well as carry Kelly behind me was just not going to work.
Plan B, bicycles! Yay, you should have seen the look on Kel’s face. She was aware that the waterpark was a good 5 miles away and by this point it was pouring down!
That be said, Kel knew how much I really wanted to see this place, and we stuck together on this one.
An hour later, a pitstop at a locals hole in the ground (for me) and looking like two drowned rats in our coloured bin bags we had arrived.
Entrance into the Abandoned Waterpark
After doing my research (for a few hours) a couple of nights before I had found out that getting into the park had proven difficult for some, with many getting stopped at entrances and caught by the guard inside.
We took the entrance near the car park (most north) and had no problems what so ever. In fact, on arrival we came across a tour group with guide, I didn’t know these existed!
We spent 2 hours inside the park and came across no more than 20 people within this time. We even exited out of the main entrance, having to pick our bicycles up over the barriers and still witnessed no guards.
Abandoned Waterpark Stadium
On entering at the north/car park entrance this was our first stop. After walking past the graffiti walls and awful stench, which was once the parks toilet, we weaved our way through an overgrown opening to access the inside of the stadium.
Inside the stadium were broken/missing seats and a derelict pool, which was once the location of the water show. It was very eerie!
Abandoned Waterpark Space Simulator
A few metres away was the abandoned space simulator, located in a small hut covered in graffiti.
It seemed odd that this was left behind, but I’m guessing the hut was built around it, making it difficult to remove.
Abandoned Waterpark Slides & Pools
Again, this area was completely graffitied and pretty flooded with polluted water, after the torrential rain Vietnam had been getting in previous days. This did however make for a cool reflection of the water slides.
I walked up the blue slide, and unfortunately there was only one way down as it was fairly slippery.
Abandoned Waterpark Dragon Aquarium
This is the standout part of the whole park and once contained aquariums with sea creatures, but of course this is no more!
The aquariums have been smashed to smithereens and the area is badly vandalised. This did add to the atmosphere of the place.
Aww, just look at Kels face in this one!…
We came across a tour group at the top of the dragons mouth that had done the tour on scooters and were part of one of the hostels that secretly advertise the tour. The view through the dragons mouth of the lake is pretty cool!
VW Beetle Conrete Monument
Another interesting find in the park which resembles a concrete VW Beetle which relates to the car used back in 1963 by the burning monk.
Overall I was in utter awe of this place. It was something so different and off the tourist trail. Sometimes it’s nice to have a break from temples!
It’s fascinating to see how something has become so dark and eerie, from what once brought so much joy and excitement to the Vietamese people.
Kelly didn’t quite share the same enthusiasm, but she did this one for me and it was still worthy of her phone memory with the few photos she took.
After cycling the day before, we spent our 2nd day on foot. Whilst wondering the streets we found Hue to have many lively restaurants and bars. There also seemed to be ‘actual paths’ and it had a more modern feel about it in comparison to Hanoi.
Entrance fee was 150k dong each, and for this there is so much to see! The place is full with palaces, gates, gardens, tombs, theatre, walls, statues/monuments and museums.
On top of this, there were also many military items including aircraft and weaponry.
The complex took us 2-3 hours to walk around and it was very interesting – being an important area of Vietamese history when the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 – 1945.
Where to eat in Hue?
Xuan Trang Restaurant
We treated ourselves to pizza and spring rolls from here (what a combination!). They were delicious and very affordable in comparison to restaurants nearby.
Madam Thu Restaurant
No.5 rated on Tripadvisor and it lived up to it’s word. We had beef noodles, pork noodles and a peanut egg fried rice from here and it was delicious. Not as cheap as your street food, but not expensive for restaurant quality local food.
I have to say Hue was worthy of a few days and we thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We probably could have spent extra time to see the tombs that are a little further out of the city. I was just satisfied I had seen that abandoned waterpark, bucket list tick!