After Hanoi and northern Vietnam, our Pacific Discovery group headed
south to warmer waters in Hue and Hoi An. After a long bumpy
overnight train ride from Hanoi, we finally ended up in beautiful Hue.
A welcome change from the grit of Hanoi's streets, Hue's clear open
sky, beautiful riverside parks (complete with ancient and modern
sculptures), and less congested streets helped lighten everybody's
mood and help us relax. After a nice jog along the river and a little
sight-seeing, I returned to the hotel for the afternoon 'mystery
activity'. It was a motorcycle tour of the city! 14 Americans riding
around on motorscooters woohoo. And we were off.

We toured around two Buddhist temples, a monastery, an incense making
area, French gun-turrets and a royal palace now tomb. Truly too many
places to show pictures of here, though I chose to post up the picture
of the sticks incense are made from to the left, and a picture of a
Buddhist pagoda is shown at the top of this entry. Pagoda's are built
at some but not all Buddhist temples and are always seven stories
high. The French turrets were quite interesting because they were a
very new attraction, it had only been two years ago that they finished
clearing the landmines from the site. The turrets were used on ships
of the Vietnamese traveling up the river back in the 50's and 60's.
One theme was common among the separate sites; the endless rice
paddies that stretched in between every one of them. Vietnam is one
of the largest rice-producing nations and it shows. After Hue, we
would travel another 3 hours across endless stretches of rice fields
to the beach and resort town of Hoi An.

Jack Crestani

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Author Jack Crestani Posted

Program Southeast Asia Departure Spring 2009