20th.February, Hoi An – Fahrt über Da Nang
We left Hue early to drive further South close to the coast past lagoons and over a low pass with views of beautiful sandy bays. Vietnam is very narrow here and the division of North and South Vietnam was close by. The largest place in the region is Da Nang where we visited a museum of Cham sculptures originally set up by the French (see next day). In the 1960’s the Americans landed on the beach at Da Nang and it became a recreation area for them when they were stationed in Vietnam. We stopped for some photos it being the closest we would get to the sea.
The ancient town of Hoi An is a bustling heritage site with a well preserved harbour city and commercial centre reflecting the various foreign influences. It was a main trading centre, but is now mainly a tourist attraction. We looked round the houses and streets in the afternoon including the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, an ornate Chinese-style temple founded in 1692 and upgraded by Fujian traders in 1759, the Cau Chua Pagoda 18th-century wooden bridge with elaborate carvings and the Phung Hung preserved historic home with original furnishings.
In the evening we walked along by the river. When it is dark the old buildings are illuminated with lots of paper lanterns as are the many small boats moored in front of them. It all creates a fairy-tale like atmosphere.