Whereas the news speaks of deprecating bus systems, many such vehicles are actually enjoying a revival, and this time they’re no longer hitting the road, but instead crashing the waves of the ocean. Don’t believe me? Come to the Bus Cafe in Thach An beach, Huế (Hue) and have a look!
The Bus Cafe is located on the shores of Thuận An beach, which is only a thirty-minute motorbike ride from the central Huế, and faster by car. Like most others, the cafe has a quite large menu to offer, but it is not the quality of the drinks that sets this place apart, it is actually the unique space in which they are served.
The name ‘Bus Cafe’ derives from the fact that buses play a key role in the cafe’s aesthetics: everything from the ordering counter to tables and chairs is made from parts of a bus! The vehicles there were once disused and (maybe) a little disgusted, but now, after some extensive refurbishment, they not only managed to outlast their usefulness as a means of transport, but also prove a hit with younger customers. In fact, such is the atmosphere which the ornamental buses and the cafe as a whole have managed to generate that many people actually choose to camp there just to extend their experience, and before you know it, a tent-renting service has been born, so now everyone can spend the night in this rather peculiar surrounding.
What’s more, the cafe claims to have the best views of all cafes in Huế, and while that may sound a little presumptuous, it is really not. Why? Simple: it is placed directly the n hot sand and not very far from the water, so you can enjoy drinking and at the same time take in the expansive view of the sea (or even swim in). After all, who doesn’t want to sip some coffee on a comfortable bus seat while leaning against its bonnet and marvelling at the colors of dawn right by the seaside.
Many tourists I met before often think of Huế as a solemn and old place, mainly because of the impression they get from seeing the great Imperial City. The truth is, however, that Huế is changing everyday, and with new ingenuous minds emerging from the young generation comes innovative ideas that put a new image on this ancient city. The Bus Cafe is more or less representative of this trend, so on your next trip to Huế, stop by, have a drink, and see how the city is renewing.
To see more photos, check the open album below or go to Flickr:
Photo Album Flickr
(Please use the left/right arrows to navigate in the files of the open album)
Words by Duy Nguyen
Photos by Dang Hoang (View more photos taken by Dang Hoang here)