Hoi An was a great town to catch my breath in. This small town got it's start as a small trading port, but is now much
more famous for its cheap tailored clothes. This is certainly one of the most relaxing towns in Vietnam, despite it's touristy
nature. People are friendly (and not too aggressive), the food is great, and the beach is close by.
During my stay, I had a chance to make a side trip to My Son, a 13th-15th century Champa worship site. More recently,
it was used in the American War (as I got used to calling it over there), as a VC hideout. As a result, American bombing
has destroyed much of what was left, especially around Group A of the site. Still, it is a worthwhile trip. A relaxing boat ride back
to Hoi An (as opposed to the very uncomfortable bus ride there) gave me the opportunity to better understand the local fishing
and woodworking customs.
After My Son, I cycled north toward Danang. On the way I stopped on China Beach (somewhat south of where most of the landings
took place during the war). I then made my way to Marble Mountain, a series of Buddhist pagodas and caves. It was quite spectacular (and,
as it turns out, the source for the image behind the navigation on the left). It was one of the most worthwhile, and unexpected, stops
on my trip. Thanks to the marble carving family for convincing me to stop.
After a brief stop in Danang (there is little of interest there, except for a Cham museum that I didn't have a chance to visit), I continued
north over the Hai Van Pass.
[If you cannot see the navigation on the left, please click here.]