Goodbye Sunshine
in Hue, Vietnam on 14th March, 2012

The sunshine here looks to have been hidden away behind a sky of overcast clouds. The temperature dropped after I crossed the tropics line going north from Nha Trang to Da Nang. It's nice to be able to wear my normal clothes again and not need to wear sunscreen every day.

In Saigon I saw a lot of Americans, Nha Trang had mostly Russian tourists and the French were in the strongest numbers here in Hue.

When I got to my hotel, I dropped my bags off and headed for the Citadel. It was around 5pm when I got to the front gate. They sky was overcast and there was a very interesting mood to the place.

They didn't charge me to go in. Normally during the day it's about £1.80 for a ticket but they must stop charging close to closing. The whole area reminded me of the first Doom game on the PC back in the 1990's.

Next to the Citadel was a car park with American military hardware captured in 1975. There were fighter jets, tanks and helicopters. I was surprised how sloppy the welding was on them. It look like the kit had been constructed in a junk yard by amateurs with very little engineering experience. Seeing an American military helicopter surrounded by palm trees with a communist flag waving in the background is a memory I won't soon forget.

I booked a city tour for the next day. I got to see a lot of tombs, villages and I had a boat ride at the end of the day. I also got a chance to meet some fellow tourists from Germany, Holland, France and the US.

The tour guide was a bit hit-and-miss. At one point he was talking about all the change that happened in Vietnam since 1986. When I asked him what event in 1986 lead to this he replied with "Change". Seems reasonable, change for change sake.

I spent that evening drinking and walking around with Ilja from Holland, Sophie and Felix from Germany whom I'd met during the day tour.

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