Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Monsoons Are Late This Year!

It has been wet! wetter! wettest! the past few days but the illuminated bridge at Hue was quite lovely in the rain last night. Even the Royal Tombs have a certain glamour in the mist and the fog. We toured the Tomb of Tu Duc - the longest ruling Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty (1848-1883.) Sadly much of the tomb complex is in disrepair and needs conservation before all trace disappears - the Vietnamese are doing what they can but desperately need outside assistance.

The ride down from Hui to Hoi An included dramatic climbs up the Van pass at the top of which there is an incredible view of Da Nang and China Beach of TV fame. A visit to the Cham Museum (sorry I couldn't find a website for the museum but it is one of the finest collections of Cham artifacts in the world) and the Marble Mountains rounded off another day in Vietnam.

Now we are settling into the Palm Garden Resort - a lovely Zen influenced room in the Jasmine quarter. A view of a rather wild and erratic China Sea, a walk-in shower the size of my bathroom at home and free Internet make for another day of roughing it in Vietnam.

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