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As soon as we stepped off the carriage onto the platform a bellboy from the JM Marvellous Hotel was waiting for us. We’re home! Back to our favourite hotel, where despite the very early hour we had the small rooms of the spa area and a shower available for our temporary use. We showered and changed then went upstairs for a good breakfast. Back at reception the wonderful Lan had started work. She said she wanted to ask us a favour before we left, and after we killed some more time walking around the block, she sat us down and asked, with many apologies, if we could write our Trip Advisor reviews in time for her end-of-month staff review. Is that all?! All three of us were, I kid you not, in tears saying farewells, and she said that they had thousands of guests, but that ‘only a few were kept in their hearts’. It was a very emotional farewell, and the end of a really remarkable experience in Hanoi.

Needless to say, that evening in Hue, we wrote the most glowing reviews imaginable!

A taxi to the airport, the usual procedures and waiting around, and a packed plane to Hue full of sniffing, coughing, and snorting people. A friendly driver picked us up from the airport in overcast Hue, and we were driven to the town centre and our comfortable little hotel, the Orchid. Again, a friendly welcome, great staff and a welcome drink and fruit plate.

We went to a nearby place called Madame Thu and had some delicious local dishes, then went for a little walk around the nearby streets and down to the river. After a rest at the hotel we headed out again; first to a rooftop bar overlooking the Perfume River—which unfortunately coupled loud, bad techno music with the worst cocktails imaginable—then dinner at a great restaurant called Golden Rice. So much good food!

Unfortunately my nose began to run like a tap for some reason, which was a shame as the streets around our hotel were closed to traffic and there was a great night-time vibe as people wandered around, sat outside the local bars, and enjoyed the balmy evening. We walked for a bit but I seemed to have caught a full-on head cold, so we called it a night and I took some Codral and went to bed, very much hoping it wouldn’t be worse in the morning.

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