Central Vietnam, March 2018

A woman adjusts her wares in Hoi An

Vietnam lives up to its reputation for sweet people, delicious food and beautiful scenery. Granted there are some places with bus loads of tourists but the culture hasn’t been corrupted by the influx and the locals are still curious and friendly towards foreigners.

Dragon boats on The Perfume River in Hue

Hue is a city of less than 300,000 souls situated on the Perfume River. We visited the Imperial City which is being restored after all the damage that was done in the Vietnam war. You can still see bullet holes in the walls.

Imperial City, Hue

On the outskirts of Hue there are several historical sites to visit. We spent a day visiting gorgeous tombs of emperors.

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue

We rented a motorbike for a one way 100 mile trip from Hue to Hoi An with an overnight stop in Da Nang. The company we used (Cong Jeep Adventures) had our backpacks shipped to our hotel in Hoi An so we only needed a tiny overnight bag. We drove over the Hai Van Pass with its twisting roads through tropical jungle and breathtaking views of the coastline far below.

View from the Hai Van Pass

Once we reached Da Nang on the other side we had our first glimpse of Vietnamese fishing boats.

Fishing vessels in Da Nang

We wondered how the round fishing boats could be paddled in a straight line without going in circles :).

Fish traps and round boats in Da Nang

While in Da Nang it’s worth the climb of 300 stone stairs to see The Marble Mountains. There are several caves and pagodas to gawk at. Go early in the morning to beat the crowds and avoid the heat.

Giant Buddha in the grotto

The ancient town of Hoi An is an Unesco World Heritage site. At night the streets are closed to motorized traffic and lanterns light up the night with a magical glow. The river seems to glitter with stars from the floating prayer candles you can buy for a dollar.

A charming prayer candle vendor

Lovely ladies in Hoi An

Back on a motorbike we drove an hour outside of Hoi An to explore the My Son ruins. This temple complex was built by Indian kings between the 4th and 14th century AD. Hindu temples and palace walls are standing next to giant pits where bombs fell during the Vietnam war.

Hindu temple at My Son

After spending a day at the beach decompressing we boarded an overnight train for the 14 hour trip up north to Ninh Binh for some caves and karsts. Good night Hoi An!

Lantern making in Hoi An

2 thoughts

  1. Barbara

    March 30, 2018

    Beautiful photos. We will enjoy your pictures as we decided to pass on Hoi An because it will be monsoon when we are there. Mom

    Reply

    1. Thank you! You will certainly enjoy your visit to the other areas of Vietnam. Maybe you can see Hoi An another time 🙂

      Reply

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