Before I talk about the most memorable experience I’ve had in Hue, let me first remind myself of the places we’ve visited before arriving in the Ancient Capital of Vietnam.
After our site inspections in Hoi An, we drove towards Fusion Maia Danang which was our home for that night. It’s an all-villa, all-inclusive spa beachfront property which I have personally picked because I’d certainly want to have a massage at some point during this trip. 🙂
My private pool in the villa. 🙂
After a night in Danang, we passed by Lang Co for site inspections of the two resorts in the area – Angsana Lang Co and Banyan Tree where we also had our lunch.
Angsana Lang Co
Banyan Tree Lang Co
We then drove towards our main destination for the day, Hue and checked-in to La Residence Hue which I do believe is the best hotel in the city. We had a Vietnamese feast for dinner at the famous Le Parfum Restaurant in La Residence.
The next day we had a morning city tour visiting some the major points and interests in Hue – starting off with a cruise along the Perfume River. The name originated from the scent of flowers which comes from an orchard along the river. The floral scent is stronger during the autumnal months I learned, we definitely didn’t smell it while there. :p
We then visited the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda built on a hill overlooking the Perfume River. We had a quick Buddhism lesson from our guide here as he explained the important aspects and teachings of Buddhism. It is also here where we witnessed the morning chants of Buddhist monks which I found interesting. We went to visit the Imperial Citadel afterwards, a walled palace within the citadel of the city. Our guide told us some interesting facts about Vietnam’s history which is always good to learn to bring a place to life.
The highlight of our visit to Hue happened that night, we had dinner with Vietnam’s own gastronomy artisan – Madame Nhu Huy. Being the ancient capital of Vietnam, the 150-year reign of Nguyen kings attracted the nation’s top craftsmen, artists and scholars into Hue. This includes the culinary experts which goes to show why Hue cuisine is highly regarded as Vietnam’s priced possession in the culinary world.
Hue dishes are known to not only satisfy your palate but also your eyes with all of the dishes intricately designed and adorned. A simple dish becomes fit for royalty by presenting it in the form of a phoenix or a pagoda or any other shapes and forms that the chef can think of. Hue dish requires a great deal of preparation as some ingredients may require several cooking techniques, not to mention that each dish must meet the correct balance of yin and yang and Madame Nhu Huy is an expert in this highly traditional Hue cuisine which I’d say is an art form in itself.
Apart from the delectable dishes, it was the warmth and hospitality of Madame Nhu Huy which captivated us. She’s a great story-teller and you just instantly connect with her on a very personal level as she tells you about her life as a teacher, as a writer, as a cook and as a wife. You are instantly enamored by her wit as she expresses herself with so much emotions. It is like coming home to your favorite grandmother as you’re embraced by her warmth and love for you. I will forever be grateful for being able to meet Vietnam’s own Master Chef.
We left her house with such a huge love for her and Hue cuisine, I can’t recommend a visit to her highly enough if you’re in Hue. Madamme Nhu Huy offers cooking class, street food tour and dinners. If you wish to meet this lovely lady while in Hue, here are her contact details:
Ms Hoang Thi Nhu Huy
On a different note, a lot of people have been asking me what camera I use for photos and videos and you’ll all be surprised that it’s just a camera phone. I am using Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro which is amazing! Camera’s wonderful, the memory’s huge and the battery lasts the whole day even if it’s being used constantly. Here’s a link where you can buy this phone from: Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Single-SIM) 128GB BLA-L09 SIM-Free 4G Smartphone (Titanium Grey). Just to remind you, if you do buy it from this link I’ll get a small commission from it at no extra charge to you. Thank you in advance if you do decide to buy it from my link. 🙂
Here’s a short video of what we’ve been upto in Hue, Hanoi and the highlight of our trip which is Halong Bay:
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