One of the challenges we had during our second week was to get an Indian visa. I choose to apply for an India visa in Hanoi after reading several reviews on how easy it was to get a visa here as long as you do the paperwork correctly. It was easy, however, we unintentionally chose the week to apply where Vietnam had a 8 day holiday break! Hence we had to wait a week for our visa where it normally would take three days. On the bright side we both loved Hanoi as a city and had a ball exploring the city and eating out every night.
We spent the week in Hanoi visiting several sites including the Temple of Literature, two water puppet shows, Ho Chi Minh Museum and eating at a lot of restaurants. The highlight of the week was doing a great day tour with Hanoi Kids, highly recommended if you are ever in Hanoi. Once we had our Indian visa we booked a sleeper train to Hue which was easy and cost US$90. We had a lovely apartment, four bunks, air conditioning and the train trip took around 14 hours. We even got an upgrade at our hotel in Hue and an early check in.
We spent four days in Hue. It is a great city to explore with its ancient Citadel and the tombs from past Kings. During the three days we were there we did an all day tour visiting the tombs of past kings, the Citadel which was partially destroyed by the French and Vietnam wars as well as a boat cruise down the Perfume river and visited a pagoda and Buddhist temple. The hotel we were staying at also did a king and queen feast so we got to dress up and have a wonderful meal. All in all it was a great week seeing some great sights in Hanoi and finding out more about the history of Vietnam in Hue.
Our next week is in Hoi An.
Cost of the week in Vietnam
This week we were four nights in Hanoi, one night on a train and two nights in Hue.
Silk Queen Hotel accommodation was US$220 for the four nights
Train night trip to Hue was US$90. You can book directly at the station for just US$70. We decided to go through out hotel and pay the commission.
Cherish Hue Hotel (formerly the Camellia Hotel) was US$95 for two nights.
Transport aside from train, attractions, food and drink was 6 million dong or US$280.
It worked out to US$685 or US$98 per day.