Tag Archives: Dragons

Hoi An, Danang and Hue too hot

Hue Imperial Citadel promenade
Hot muthas

Despite its wealth of historical monuments and glorious vistas, central Vietnam in May is an act of self-flagellating masochism.

But let me begin this account from the beginning, with everyone’s favourite travelling trope – a crazy bus story.

We took a sleeper bus from Dalat round the mountains down to Danang, with the rain pounding the windows and the night sky lit by lightning, like an epileptic’s nightmare.

During the night, the bus came to a halt on a twisting mountain road. Up ahead, vehicle floods lit a rabble of people inspecting some obstacle in the way. I needed to stretch my legs so I got out to have a nose at what was going on.

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The delights of Dalat

Dalat topiary
We were bushed

Have you ever been so hot, you could see your skin sizzle in the sun, popping like hot oil in a pan? Could you genuinely hear the marrow boiling in your bones? Has your face ever melted off, dripping from your skull like a Nazi opening the Arc of the Covenant?

Because if you have, you’ve gone quite mad.

However, it feels like those things might be possible in Vietnam during the month of May. Forty degrees centigrade is no environment for a human, and yet, there they are, the denizens of Saigon, wearing hoodies in the heat, and gloves in the sun.

Thankfully, Vietnam has its own Cameron Highlands-style hill station, namely a town called Dalat. Its altitude makes it a blessedly temperate place to visit, and a welcome break for our delirious pores.

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