Friday, April 8, 2011

Viet Nam Sightseeing - 2

Hi, This is the second, and last, post on sightseeing in Viet Nam.

From Hanoi we flew to Hue. The next day we toured the city, beginning with the Citadel. This was the location of a major battle during the Tet Offensive which began in January of 1968. The battle here lasted 25 days. There was much destruction and very little of the site has been restored. However, fortunately, most of the site was spared so there is still much to see. The photos of the young women in Ao Dais in the People post were taken here.

Next on the city tour was a visit to a Pagoda.

The next day we traveled by bus to Hoi An. Shown below are a pair of typical houses we encountered along the way. Also, we saw some boats here that will be in the next post.

Hoi An is a city for tourists. Shopping here is extensive. It is the place the guide recommended for made to order clothing.

We visited an historic home,

and watched the making of lanterns.

Walking back to the bus after dinner allowed for some interesting photography.

The lagoon here had some interesting figures that were lit at night.

While in Hoi An we had an optional trip to Champa Kingdom ruins. This was a royal temple and was dedicated to Hindu Gods. Eventually the Champa turned to Bhudism and eventually Islam. The Champa people controlled Southern and Central Viet Nam from the 7th century to 1832. Descendants of these people, called Cham, still live in Viet Nam.

The next day we flew to Nha Trang. In the afternoon we visited with the family of a former South Vietnamese army officer. Our full day program in Nha Trang included beach time. As it was raining the guide developed a plan B.

We visited a local market where he purchased pieces of local fruit that we all had an opportunity to taste.

Of course other items beside food were for sale.

We then visited the Champa Towers, another group of ruins left by the Champa Kingdom. These too had a Hindu connection.

We travelled from Nha Trang to Dalat, a small city at over 5000 feet. There were a large number of upper class houses scattered throughout Dalat. While we did not get to see the inside of a house like this, compared to less opulent structures they are quite grand. We were told the cost of house like this located in Dalat would be about $300K.

We took a cable car ride,

and then visited another temple.

That afternoon I walked around town. The French dammed the local river to create a beautiful lake.

Back from the lake was a small market with a number of flower stalls.

Our final stop in Viet Nam was Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). One of the highlights was the optional trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels enabled the Viet Cong to strike South Vietnamese and US troops and then literally disappear into the jungle. Here they had an underground complex with command and control, hospitals, and kitchens. They disguised breathing holes as termite mounds.

It was impossible to stand in the tunnels. Two were even lower than the one shown here but I did not go through them.

Once Viet Cong had entered into the tunnels and pulled the cover over the hole the tunnel openings were very difficult to locate.

Making sandals from old tires was demonstrated.

Burial in Viet Nam frequently is close to the family. This tomb is in the middle of a rice paddy.

We took a boat ride on the Mekong River. This is a tributary canal. Most of these homes have some kind of business attached to them.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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