Tag Archives: hue

Swans v. Dragons

8 Mar

Z in Swan Boat on Perfume River, Hue, Vietnam

Puts Ordinary Pedalos to Shame

Travel with children is a wonderful thing. The sheer, unalloyed joy they take in the smallest, and most unexpected things, the chance to watch them learn and grow, the genuine pleasures of their company and conversation, and the chance to do (and enjoy doing) the sort of things you haven’t done since you were a child yourself, and wouldn’t do without a child as guide.

Such as ride a swan boat. Basically pedalos shaped like swans, these are creations of the utmost genius. Favourites with Vietnamese tourists, teenagers and families, they’re a must for any small child. Continue reading

Our Friend Pho

8 Mar

Red kindergarten table and chairs on pavement, Vietnam

Clearly a Good Place to Eat

Vietnamese is now officially Z’s favourite cuisine — second only to Italian, ahead of Thai and English — and, as noodle soup obsessives, we will really miss our (almost) daily pho.

Pho is one of those dishes, like the classic English fry-up, that only seems to work when served in a grubby, streetside place lined with red plastic kindergarten chairs and populated by troughing locals.

Pho comes in three main varieties. Pork (heo), well-done beef (bo) and rare beef (bo tai), though they will make it with anything in the tourist joints. Most places do one type of meat per day, full stop. Continue reading

Hue, with a Y

7 Mar

Lotus Bud, Thien Mu Pagoda, VietnamSo the Perfume River of Hue, Vietnam, technically, and sadly relevantly, pronounced huey, is just that little bit less perfumed today.

Timed, flawlessly, just as our dragon boat begun one of those alarmingly clangy parking manoeuvres which make you realise why they have tires on the side (and wish they had a few more), Z embarked on a, well, huey, that made Linda Blair in The Exorcist seem quite the dilettante. Continue reading

Mum, Mum, Your Hair is Turning Green!

6 Mar

Z jumping into a poolWhen does a child count as a swimmer?

I guess the baseline test is chuck them in and see if they sink or not. This is how swimming was “taught” a generation ago, with a teacher on hand to haul the sinkers off the bottom with a long pole.

Z’s passed this for some time, albeit long after he achieved his first swimming certificate. Ten metres!!! Go figure. Continue reading

On Laundry

6 Mar

Poster for Ladies Night Outside DMZ Bar, Hue, Vietnam

But what are the interesting gifts in the ice bucket?

So this rather hot Kiwi chap in his 30s hit on me in the hotel last night.

Obviously, I completely failed to register it until I dropped “my son” into conversation (he was in one corner, reading a book, I was in another, using my MacBook) and he went into the sort of shock that single, childless men one’s sort of age go into when one drops the parent stuff into conversation.

Like, DOH!

Because, with the exception of beach boys on Thai islands, travelling with a child 24/7 does (correctly, I think) signal unavailability. Incidentally, if anyone has a polite way of escaping from being spoonfed tidbits in a restaurant by a dreadlocked seducer, I would love to hear it, because, even without the tension coming off last night’s conquest, it felt really very icky indeed. Continue reading