Okay, okay, my Vietnam rant aside (see below), I am still having a great time. It’s not the laid-back, calm trip I’d experienced thus far, but I am glad I am here and seeing this country.
I took a few days to relax at the beach in Nha Trang, on the South China Sea. It was absolutely beautiful and a needed break. Yesterday I was in Hoi An, an old port city with Japanese, Chinese and French influences in architecture. It is one of the few towns spared during the Vietnam war. Now, it is a tourist hub for the beach and getting clothes and shoes made. It’s a bit Vietnam Epcot. You need to pull yourself out of the hubbub to appreciate the buildings and the town itself instead of the screen of tourist mayhem.
Today I am in Hue, the former capitol, where I visited the city Citadel and Forbidden Purple City. It was very interesting to see the Vietnamese architecture and old language, which to me seems to very Chinese. They use dragons and lots of red and black and gold. Most of the Citadel was destroyed during the Vietnam war, but what was left and what has been restored was very beautiful and I was able to see another side of Vietnamese culture, one with concubines and emperors.
Tonight I take the night bus to Hanoi, the current capital and mosey around there and Halong Bay for the week before I head to Singapore! I will be ready to head out when I do, but I am super excited to see Halong Bay, a place many say is the most beautiful place they have ever been.
Love from Vietnam!