Hue used to be the capital of southern Vietnam back in 1744, but over the years has lost its importance in the running of the country. During the American war over 10,000 people died in Hue most of which were civilians. We took a lazy day away from the bike to walk around the Imperial enclosure, which is a sort of castle within the city walls. Originally made up of around 146 buildings only 30 or so exist, although they are rebuilding them slowly. They were destroyed partly by the French war,but largely by the US, who also dropped napalm on it. It was very calm, peaceful and because it’s so large its easy to get some time to yourself there. The buildings are in both Japanese and Chinese style and the entrance looks very similar to the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. It also has the biggest flag pole and flag in Vietnam, oddly.
What we had noticed is that all the stone floors in the Palace were slippery, and it’s not been recently raining, and it was also 30 deg outside and sunny. Now when we booked our hotel one of the comments was their room smelled of damp. Ours didn’t and was actually quite a nice room for 12 pounds a night. But all the floors in the hotel, mainly granite, were damp or slippery. Our bathroom did not dry out at all and we were on the 3rd floor. Our clothes were slightly damp in the morning as well. Our hotel wasn’t the only place either, bars we went into also had the same problem. Clearly the water table is very high, or the buildings are low, either way they clearly have some issues around the river.
We awoke early to the sound of the dementors again, our pet name for the cockerels. This one seemed to sound like it was in the bathroom.