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Day 35 to 42– January 4th to 11th: Hue

Some pretty ordinary weather marred the following eight days. It was as cold, dark, and rainy as an English winter. Our plan of staying for four days in Hue was just blown up, and I was beginning to have thoughts of just quitting and sending my bike back to Saigon. The thought of having to do more riding in the rain was a real downer for me, and I found my motivation dwindling with each passing rainy day.

Meanwhile, even the Cyclo drivers couldn’t take a trick!

The rain abated long enough one day to go for a walk around the Imperial Citadel complex. We didn’t bother to go in as we’d visited it the last time we were here, and the photos would appear as dark and dreary as the weather. Our main reason for the walk was to find the cafe at the rear of the complex that sold Salt Coffee. Cafe Muoi (salt) is situated at the end of a narrow lane and features a tree-covered courtyard. We headed for a seat inside as it was warmer, and the trees were still dripping with rain. It took a while to get our order as the cafe was full of young people hanging out, but we both agreed the wait was worth it. The coffee had a pleasant tang, with just a hint of salt, and was vastly different than traditional Vietnamese offerings. I think we both felt a small reward for getting out and discovering something new.

Salt Coffee from Ca Phe Muoi actually pretty good.
The girls at La Boulangerie Francaise, a charity organization.

On our way back, we checked out a restaurant that had been recommended to us. Le Jardin De La Carambole is a French restaurant with a fairly pricey menu but a good reputation. Our anniversary was a couple of days away, and we figured we’d have a splurge to lift our spirits.

A Pavillion in front of the Imperial Citadel.
Hue never stopped raining. It was so dark and miserable.
Good weather for trees!

On the evening of our anniversary, Le Jardin De La Carambole was pretty quiet, and we elected to sit next to the open fireplace as it was so cold outside. I had the rack of lamb (4 pieces), and Sharyn had the rib eye fillet. It was the first time in over a year that either of us had eaten steak, or lamb for that matter!

Our anniversary dinner at The Carambole, a classy French restaurant.

Our other evenings were split evenly between the Imperial Craft Beer taproom and the Cham Craft Beer bar. With both establishments suffering from a lack of tourists, we thought it only fair to share our patronage around. Shaun at Imperial and Binh at Cham both warmly welcomed us and made us feel like part of the family.

Bbq chicken wings and craft beers at The Imperial.

At the Imperial, we met other teachers too. They’d drift in after work looking for some conversation and to find out what was going on around the place. We found ourselves immediately included in the group, and, being experienced English teachers ourselves; we could always add to the story.

Read on to see the next episode in our Vietnam Cycle Tour: It’s All Go To Lang Co.