Hoi An and China Beach May 25 to 28, 2002

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.]

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Hoi An Streets...     Ducks...   ...hanging from a bicycle  
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Views of the River   South China Sea!   Overcast beach   Offshore fishing islands  
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Fishing boat   Pond in Hoi An   Why did the duck cross the road?   Rice fields  
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Tomb of a founding 17th c. trader   A Buddah celebration   Big, glowing fish   One of many lamps  
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River life   How to catch fish   My Son (pronounced Mee Sohn)   A Cham Tower (in Group B)  
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Around groups B & C...       Lost a head  
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Sculpture museum...     Dominant mountain   Flowers  
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What is left of Group A...   ...after the American bombing.   Butterfly   Group G  
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Another mountain view   I have no idea   Another butterfly   Fishes  
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Babbling brook   Returning to Hoi An   Fishing   More fishing  
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Fishing nets   The docks   Uyen and family at...   ...the Banana Split Cafe (yum!)  
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Get dinner here   Woven boat   China Beach   Marble Mountain Pagoda  
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In and around Marble Mountain...        
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The pagodas up close   Ocean views   Dragon   More views  
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Even higher   Wow.   Incense-laden air   The main cave  
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More natural light   There was even music   Marble carving   I actually bought something.