Since we were in business class we boarded at the front of the plane. Come to find out there were only two other people in business class on this flight. Only 4 of the 16 seats were occupied and they assigned us all to row 3.
The flight from Saigon to Hue is just over an hour long and maybe around 1.5 hours but no more. It's really a pretty view all the way up the coast.
They served a little cold plate snack on the short flight up the coast. I also ordered a beer because I remember having Vietnamese beer before and actually liked it.
When we landed in Hue we were the only plane at the airport. The plane parked about no more than 200 feet from the terminal building yet we deplaned and boarded a bus to the terminal, which was absolutely ridiculous. What also added to the ridiculousness was that the 4 of us in business class had our own bus to ourselves. In a sense it was nice, but by the time the bags made it to the terminal all the other passengers were there crowding the baggage claim area.
This picture was shot just inside the terminal building and it is clear just how close and how unnecessary it was to be bused to the terminal.
We had our hotel, La Residence Hue, arrange our airport transfer and when we exited the arrivals area our driver was waiting for us. The hotel is less than 30 minutes from the hotel and it was early evening when we arrived. The front desk agent invited to sit in the lobby to complete the check-in. We were given cold towels and a welcome drink. Because I'm a Platinum member with Accor, I also received a gift in the form of a stationary set. La Résidence is an M Gallery hotel and part of Accor. This hotel is the old governor's mansion from colonial times and it is really charming. There are three main buildings and our room was in a separate building from the lobby and restaurants. We were given a deluxe river view room on the top floor with a large balcony. The view from there was amazing. In the picture below the ancient citadel can be seen across the river with the large flag pole.
The next day we took a day tour of Hue and we had a tour guide and driver the whole day. We first went to three different emperor's tombs. There are way more than three but we only had time for those. Each had its own character and the first one was the tomb of Tu Duc. It is the most dilapidated of the trio we saw and was built in the 1860s.
The second tomb we saw was that of Minh Mang. It was built early than the previous one we saw in the 1840s. This one is in better condition and is really pretty.
The third tomb we saw was that of the last emperor, Khai Dinh. It is really nice and was the most crowded of the ones we saw. It was built in the 1930s.
After that tomb we drove to the citadel where we had lunch inside the walls of the ancient city at a really nice restaurant with upscale Vietnamese food. After lunch we toured the citadel area and the forbidden city within the walls.
After the citadel, we drove up the river to the Thien Mu pagoda where there is also a monastery behind it. The view of the river from the pagoda is very beautiful. All of the parts of the city we saw were pretty and serene.
Once we finished walking around the pagoda we boarded a river dragon boat. It was a perfect was to end the day enjoying the cool air of the river on a boat all to ourselves. We saw children playing in the water along with some water buffalo.