The highlights of Central Vietnam are definitely pittoresque Hoi An and imperial Hue. As I hadn't been there for a while, it was time to go back and discover it again. When I lived in Vietnam I went many times to Hoi An, in my opinion the nicest small town in the country with a very specific atmosphere. Built along a small river, on the East Vietnam Sea (or South Chinese Sea), Hoi An was a trading port for spices since the 15th century and later ceramics. The Chinese arrived, as well as Portuguese, Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled here. Now you can still find the yellow Chinese stophouses and the famous Japanese bridge. Hoi An has become very touristic over the years, but has still kept it's unique charm. With the growing amount of tourists, new hotels have opened, which is for me a reason to go back and find the best ones in town for you.
Also the beach has changed, due to several severe typhons in the last few years. Some hotels adjusted to it in a beautiful way, other ones can better be skipped. We have inspected the sites and again, we have chosen the right ones for you.
Time for a challenge: our ride by bike from Hoi An to Hue. The Hai Van Pass is a magnificent mountain range, with a 10km steep climbing road. For me too tough, half way I changed to the support vehicle :-). But on the way down it's an easy 10km! We continue on flat road, pass beautiful lagoons where we see mussel farms, paddy fields, duck farms and buffalo's cooling down in mud pools. We pass small villages and we don't see any tourist during the entire trip. At the end of the afternoon we arrive at our comfortable hotel, ready for a plunge in the pool and a delicious Vietnamese meal!
Another new tour to test: Hue by Vespa. Again a unique opportunity to escape the crowds and see the true country side. Of course the old Citadel is a 'must-see'. From here the Emperors of Vietnam ruled for about 150 years, but unfortunately it was bombed during the American War - as it is called in Vietnam. Next stop is a workshop where craftsmen make big drum bells for temples and huge Buddha statues. We will make a stop at a place where incense is manually produced. Thereafter another highlight: the Gia Long Royal Tomb, the tomb of the first Emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty. In contrast to other tombs, there is no one, the guard even has to open a door for us to get access to the tomb! After a beautiful view on the Perfume River from a hill top, we go back to Hue, where we finish an amazing tour.
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