We get up at 6:00am The ship is still sailing, but we want to experience the arrival in the port of Chan May. Around 7:00 am we see land: the first hills appear in the morning haze. Chan May is an industrial port and completely unattractive. Over 30 buses, vans and limousines await passengers at the pier.
Celebrity Millennium in Chan May harbor
Shore excursion to the old imperial city of Huế
From Germany we booked a private tour to the imperial city of Huế. You can find all the details under Chan May / Hue and under Hue Point of Interest & Sights. We'll get off board safely. We already have the visa for Vietnam. However, we have to go through immigration individually. We must not forget that Vietnam is a communist state that checks travelers in detail. The employees of the tour operator Eco Nature Travel are waiting at the pier: our guide Nji and our driver Glsong, plus a Chevrolet blazer.
At the Perfume River and in the Citadel
Off to Huế. At the Perfume River we board a dragon boat and drive upstream to the Thien Mu Pagoda.
We visit the pagoda, the temple, the monks' quarters and the picturesque garden. The driver and car pick us up at a side gate and take us to the citadel, the historic residence of the kings of the Nguyen dynasty. Many of the buildings were destroyed in the Vietnam War, but the complex is still impressive. We visit the gatehouse, the courtyard with the stone elephants, horses, unicorns and mandarins, then the reception building, the king's reading room and so on.
An extraordinary grave complex
We have lunch in a garden restaurant not far from the citadel. We get a menu of Vietnamese food that is extremely tasty and also imaginatively presented. We'll drink a local beer with it.
Then we visit the Ming Mang tomb. It is a bit outside of Huế, we drive about 25 minutes with the limousine. The facility is exceptional. It is built like a palace, only smaller: gatehouse, reception building, work room, reading and so on. Behind the entrance there is the floor plan as a model. It is easy to see that the tomb is built like a body.
Ming Mang tomb - bridge leading to the imperial tomb
Vietnam's picturesque landscape
In the afternoon we go back to the ship. The route through rice fields and along a lagoon is beautiful, green hills in the background, plus water buffalo and graves in the fields. And as a contrast, miserable living conditions in the villages, overloaded mopeds and life that takes place on the street: typical insights into a country in transition.
We saw a lot on that one day. We can recommend the provider of our tour: a competent tour guide, an experienced driver and a safe vehicle. We are happy to award five stars for this tour.
It's gotten late. We eat on the terrace of the buffet restaurant. A little later the Celebrity Millennium leaves the port of Chan May, and we experience a romantic sunset.
Sunset before Chan May