Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 8 HUE

The Royal Family after having enjoyed a wonderful dinner together the previous night gathered together aboard a boat for a ride down the Perfume River to pay their respects to Thien Mu Pagoda before entering the grounds of their royal kingdom of the Citadel. Just kidding, we reverted back to being awestruck tourists learning more about Viet Nam’s royal history and main faith tradition of Buddhism. There is a major construction effort to return the royal grounds to their former splendor. We then enjoyed cyclo rides around the citadel outer perimeter. Many of our drivers had to work very hard in the hot sun. A comment was made that we would not have had the nerve to weave though such traffic the first days of our trip, but it doesn’t seems to phase us now.

We then loaded the bus for the ride to Hoi An. We climbed some mountain ranges and continued to be amazed by the skill of our bus driver. Well sort of. None of us wishes to gain a driving license here. We stopped along the way at an Orphanage to eat lunch with the children and take a tour of the facilities. Here they showed us the two clothing cabinets we provided the funds to buy. The children were so beautiful. One young man now owns Howard’s hat and I am sure his heart as well. We were even entertained by some impromptu break dancing. After driving through another mountain pass by tunnel we arrived at Da Nang, a large sea side city. We could still see remnants of a devastating cyclone and the old American Air base. Then to the resort at Hoi An. We ate dinner at a local place in the old city and on the way back enjoy a Buddhist parade for Versek. Sleep is a marvelous thing. Catherine


Julie said...

It sounds like you guys are having a great trip. I have to admit that when I heard that you we going to Vietnam I wondered why but I have really enjoyed reading your blog (which Aunt Barbara forwarded to me). I especially thought your comments about crossing the street were interesting. In Russia if you walk across a road cars will actually go out of their way to hit you - they have the right of way. Anyway it is always interesting to hear about new cultures!
-Cousin Julie

Dark_Knight said...

Your pictures are amazing! I bet there are many more to come because I know how much Kime likes to take pictures. You all look like you are having an amazing time. I can't wait to hear more stories.