Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Nine

Check out part 8 here! 

From Monday till Thursday we had some rest days in our guesthouse in Hoi An. The travel fatigue was hitting us and we needed some time off. When we arrived at the guesthouse, our room wasn’t ready. But because we looked so tired, they gave us an upgrade to the biggest room they have, as that room was ready to use. Now we’re staying in a luxury room with a big bathroom! We are so lucky! On top of that, we have breakfast à la carte with lots of options every morning included. There are definitely worse places to stay! And that for €12,50 

We feel like we get a lot of luxury in Vietnam in general. While in Indonesia it was normal to have small rooms with dirty sheets and bathrooms they wouldn’t allow in Europe, here we always have a tiled bathroom and fresh sheets. There are no moist spots or holes in the walls and no unwanted animals in the rooms. And we have had toilet paper and hot water in every accommodation so far. Maybe because we’ve only been to the bigger cities and not to the countryside yet? Let’s see!

We didn’t do a lot these days, we mainly stayed in the hotel, called with family and friends, blogged a bit and binged the new season of The Crown. We also did some souvenir shopping in the charming old town and tried out some eating spots. 

Hoi An Boat

One day we rented two bicycles to go to the beach and relax there. Our skins weren’t used to the sun anymore after a week in Seoul and some days inside. We used sun protection regularly but got sunburned anyway. Forever white it is for us. 

Friday at noon a shuttle bus picked us up at the guesthouse. It was time to leave Hoi An and travel further northwards. We got dropped off at the big bus station and had a sleeper bus for about three hours to Hué. I finished the book I got in Hoi An and Marnick was playing the new Pokémon game all the way. 

When we arrived in our new city, the first thing we saw was a Viettel store (Mobile Phone Provider) to buy a SIM card. Thus far, we didn’t really need data. But now that we’re going to travel further i´ts practical to have data any time, especially when taking a lot of buses. We bought a SIM card for VND 180.000 (around €7) for 2GB a day, 30 days long. We checked beforehand and we wanted to have Viettel as provider. This should be the best one if you’re travelling around the country. Not all providers have service in the north of Vietnam for example. It is also better to get them at these bigger shops, as they are legit and always test everything for you. After our purchase, we are within walking distance of our hotel, so we pick up our backpacks and check in at our hotel. This time we even have a bath! Talking about luxury here…

Saturday morning we got up early. There is a lot we want to do today, so we head to breakfast at eight. Afterwards, we take our rental scooter to visit what Hué is known for. Its royal mausoleums. These are located outside the centre. You can book a tour or rent a taxi for a day, that brings you to all the sites you want to go to. But that’s nothing for us, so we’re doing it ourselves. 

We’re starting off at the Mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc. This complex is surrounded by greenery and we walked around the site for about 1,5 hours. Next, we’re driving to the Mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh. This time it’s not a complex, but a tomb located on a hill. The interior is very beautiful. The walls are covered in mosaic, but it´s relieved. We haven’t seen anything like this before and it’s so fascinating! 

When scootering to the next location, it suddenly starts to rain. We take shelter in a local restaurant, and ten seconds later we’re having lunch with the locals. We got some rice and sides. Not good, not bad.


After the rain, we drive further to the Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang. It’s another complex and there are gardens laid out. Afterwards, we make a little pitstop at Thien Mu Pagoda. This Buddhist temple is free to enter but not so spectacular.

The last stop of the day is the imperial city. This great complex is located in the city centre. We walk around for another 1,5 hours here. If this would have been our first stop, we would have spent 3 hours in this huge site filled with different temples, palaces etc. But we’re already tired of all the cultural sights of today, and we’re hungry. We end our day with bahn mi and get to the hotel early. We already have to pack our bags for tomorrow.

Another early wake-up call on Sunday morning. Today we’re driving the Hai Van pass. This pass is about a two-hour drive from our hotel. Quite far, as the pass itself is only 21 kilometres. It’s a foggy day, so we don’t see all the views on the mountain pass. The views we do see are gorgeous. It’s not for nothing this mountain pass has become popular after the Top Gear crew cruised around here. 

We drive the pass twice because it’s not a loop. On our way back to the hotel an unfortunate surprise was waiting for us, it began raining cats and dogs. We take the quickest route back, which turns out to be a highway-like road, filled with cars, trucks and scooters. 

After two horrible hours of driving in the pouring rain, we arrive near our hotel and decide to eat something. We then drive to our hotel back but suddenly our tire is flat! After explaining the situation to the hotel owner, he shrugs and doesn´t make a fuss about it. Shortly afterwards our shuttle bus arrives and we are dropped at our sleeper bus towards Ninh Binh!

See you next blog!