Saturday, September 17, 2005

Traditional Music In Hue

Hue is much more tourist oriented than Hanoi or Saigon. Several restaurants in the downtown area cater almost exclusively to tour groups. They have multi-entree fixed menus and feature musicians in native costume playing traditional music.

The musicians are quite good and play about a thirty minute set at a time. The restaurant was, like many in Vietnam, un-airconditioned and even after sunset quite hot despite large fans set up near every table. My family was about the only group there without a tour guide to help them with the menu.

The table next to us was a group of Australians on a guided tour. We would keep running into them at all the local attractions the following day.

Cyclos are tricycles for hire.
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
The restaurant was less than half a mile from our hotel, but the heat tempted us into taking a group of cyclos parked in front of the hotel. Cyclos are the traditional Vietnamese form of transportation that consist of a seat attached to a tricycle that has two wheels in front and a driver in the back.

Scooters have all but eliminated cyclos in the bigger cities, but both tourist cyclos and everyday cyclos were still in use in Hue. The three of us cost some ridiculuously low price, probably about USD$2 total, to be ridden the five minutes down to the restaurant. Once there, the drivers agreed to wait until we were done with dinner and then drove us back for the same fare.

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