Thursday, July 05, 2007


The best Bún Bò Huế is found where else, but in Huế. I have only eaten this noodle specialty at my aunts house, who was born and raised in Huế until she married. No restaurant in Little Saigon can make it as good … until I got to Việt Nam. We all took cyclos around the city and asked for the best place to have Bún Bò Huế. Immediately, all 4 drivers said the park was the best. They took us to what is a park during the day, and the best “outdoor makeshift restaurant” during the night. Open until dawn, this place serves steaming bowls of Bún Bò, all one style…spicy, hot, and wonderful. Everyone sits on stools so close to the ground, I felt I could have sat on the ground and been fine. We all had at least 2 bowls each, and still wanted more.

After dinner, the cyclos took us to the fabric shops with ready made áo dài and I bought one length of a beautiful blue. I was not tailored yet because I was bigger and wanted to have it tailored here in the states. It’s simple and perfect for me so I can’t wait to get it done for a special occasion.


The next day, we tried to have Bún Bò in a decent restaurant but it was not as good. Oh well. We had to head out of Huế so the park will have to wait until next trip.

We went to see the Citadel built by Emperor Gia Long. The palace sits inside the citadel, well protected by the moat around the citadel, as well as the massive fortress like wall that surrounds the island. Inside, the citadel is fabulous; the entrance resembles the Forbidden City in China. Further in is where the king resided and we got lots of pictures of the throne room. They even have a mock throne with full costumes for rent. I, of course, had to dress up as QUEEN and take pictures. It was a once in a lifetime chance to sit on the throne as well as a carriage so I had to do it!

On the way out, we stopped by dad’s medical school that he attended for 7 years. It was still the same but some things have moved. It was really cool to see it because we hear so much about it but now, we can completely see what they went through during those years. The school is quite impressive. It’s massive and has all the necessary amenities since it was taught mostly by German and French professors. Unfortunately, many of those people were sent back home or killed during the war. The school, however, continues to thrive on what it has learned and has grown to be one of the best medical schools in Việt Nam.

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