Monday, February 18, 2008

Hai Van Pass & Hue - Feb 13

To get to Hue from Danang, we took a private car as suggested by one of the travel books (Le Routard) to go through the Hai Van Pass (translated in French as "Col des Nuages"). It’s an amazingly scenic drive of mountains and ocean. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’re literally in the clouds. This delinated a climactic border between the north and the south. Unfortunately, this meant that it was the start of cold and damp weather for us.

Views on our drive. You can see in the first picture, we're literally in the clouds.

We chose a hotel that was within the Citadel and within walking distance of the imperial palace. Hue is also known for having royal tombs of past emperors. However, we only went to visit the Imperial Palace.

Within the Imperial Palace in Hue.

We stopped by Lac Thien restaurant for lunch as suggested by The Lonely Planet, just to find out there were 3 restaurants next to each other: Lac Thien, Lac Thanh and Lac Thuan. It's common we found out that due to the success of one restaurant (i.e. being mentioned in a travel book like The Lonely Planet), copycats will spring out. I guess they don't have trademark laws like we do. Not sure which one was the original and which the copycats. We found this was common for popular restaurants and travel agencies.

Banh khoai, at Lac Thien restaurant, is the Hue version of banh xeo, a crepe like concoction filled with bean sprouts, meat and shrimp, but with a fluffier dough.

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