Dates: Feb 25-27, 2023
Soundtrack of the day: Ariana Grande, local Vietnamese artist DJs, house and dance music
Weather: Rainy and grey.
I am finally in Hue!
Over 10 years ago my friend Imogen and a few friends from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) visited. I never made it here because I was so tight on cash as a student but goodness I should have! Hue is not only a historical city but packed with so many cafes, bars and clubs... yes, it's true - the party scene is WA-YALD/WILD!
"ZO, go downstairs you have a ride to Hue." - friends
"What, when, I'm supposed to get a facial!" - Zo Loren
Arrived via wild car ride from Da Nang, where I was stuffed in the back seat, squeezed beside a Hue boy, working as a software engineer. He was and I were so pissed, the ride was so painful and we missed the train. 3 senior citizens sat in front of us and enjoyed the ride in their big seats haha. I wanted to jump out so badly. The driver kept swerving and beeping... never again! I was told it was a "bus" ride.
Upon arriving at the hostel, I went to a cool white and trendy cafe and did #lifeadmin. Thenmade new friends with a fellow American from my home state of Virginia! yes sir! He taught me about traveling in the Galapagos Islands, El Salvador and more. He had retired and after the military is on a global adventure.
We did a self tour of the walking area, packed with lights and food and then tried to find the night market, which is now defunct. We met a couple eating street food in the rain by a museum who tried to help us. Then watched some football - bless! I noticed a lot of peple eating the papaya salad and drinking beer!
I woke up at the Bon Ami hostel... and be prepared, it was wet because it was raining and humid. Always bring strong slippers here!
Luckily, I rented a bike and went wild looking for a gym... it was closed haha... I didn't realize it was Sunday haha. Usually gyms are closed between 11-14h haha. Also, I didn't get hit by a motorbike or car, even though they keep beeping at me.
Lunch @ Nook Cafe (which donates 10% of profits to charity)
Next up, lunch! The food was lush - omg. I got the fruit bowl with a passion fruit cut open and showcased in the middle and paired with a massive omelette.
Luckily, my friend from UVA (University of Virginia) offered this suggestion. It was delicious and the service incredible.
Imperial Palace and dressing up in Vietnamese Traditional wear (Ao Dai)
I rented a bicycle and was the only person I saw biking to the palace and parking in a parking lot of motorbikes and cars - haha. I explored the fort entry which was stunning and free!)
Then, met a cute boy who was free and willing to go to the Imperial Palace with me. The entrance is about 10 USD.
There he introduced me to this awesome Vietnamese food on the side of the road.
I saw so many visitors and locals dressed up in the famous Ao Dai (áo dài). He suggested I try one on, so I tried on two and I chose the below - haha. So worth the 250KVND.
For groceries, I went to the mega store - GO Mart... it was wild and the Vietnamese security guide was scolding me haha the ladies working were like dude "relax"!
Finally found a gym. Let's go! Was empty but packed with all these model personal trainers who were walking barefoot and with some shoes.
Dinner at Quan Hanh (Quán Hạnh)
I found this place cause of a nice lady at the gym and she recommended this place using Papago and Google Maps. She was so sweet and pretty... and helped me while she was getting rained on. Cam on sis!
Then when I arrived I ordered the set and started eating this soup... turns out it wasn't soup! The manager came over and started feeding me and wrapping my fresh veggie/meat roll for me. It was so tasty!
VLOG pending on (youtube.com/zoloren)
Go to Tavet - it was wild and the food tasted so good.
Then went to this club (not on google maps) called Queen or something.
It was wild and the girls and boys be dancing wild... loved it.
Had to drive one of the boys home in the rain. He's Vietnamese living in Atlanta and wasted... I drove his beautiful white and large scooter (don't be thinking that nasty! haha) . It was so beautiful and I drove him home while another new friend chaperoned. I was petrified I would crash the bike or someone hit me. I had a towel I bought at IKEA as my umbrella haha and water crashing on my face! He made it home safe! woot woot
Afterwards, while walking home, someone tried to hook up with me in public and pushed me into the middle of a dark street to make out. I was like girl, "cannot - we're in Vietnam! I don't want to black listed"! I ran away and into some historic place.
1:00 AM Made it to the hostel - knock out after washing my face in the public bathroom cause my roommate was hogging the bathroom (haha joke). He's American, and positive!
Made new friends with my Japanese vlogger roomie Sam-san (Link to his vlog) and talked with a Dutch traveler about going to Germany to party at the Berghain club - (if you know you knooo!)
Had brunch again at the Nook Bakery where Ha, the server, taught me how to speak Vietnamese. I learned how to see Beef Stew - Bo Kha? Thank you Ha!
Made it to Mot Cafe. There are so many students here and quiet people, I'm loving the peace! I ordered a ca phe sua sai gon!
Here I'm writing this blog and crying so hard watching the The 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. I'm crying watching Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and James Hong, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Chastain and more make such incredible speeches. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTSeRqP6gqE). I'm laughing so hard too! If you need a break from traveling def watch the SAG awards!
"The spotlight will one day find you" - Ke Huy Quan
What to do in Hue
What to do in Vietnam