A long day ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Hue, Vietnam
... which started with a relaxed breakfast, no rush to get going. 
First off, we went to a factory/shop where they make/sell statues . A huge variety of stock, from major statues in marble to little pieces of jewellery. $7500 for a life size statue, including shipping. However my cynical mind couldn't get round the fact that there was one guy chipping away at a block of marble and one woman rubbing Buddha's tummy with wet & dry sand paper. There are 2 possible conclusions - either they have sold nothing at all since these 2 started work 20 years ago building up stock, or the rest of the labour force are still recovering from the Tet holiday and should be sacked.
From there we went to Danang where we went to the beach where the US troops went for R&R during the war, and renamed the beach China Beach. Not a bad beach, and it must have seemed like heaven to the poor guys. There is still the remains of the US base in evidence.
Then to the Cham museum to see some of the artifacts which were salvaged from the My Son ruins we visited yesterday. A very interesting museum, and we don't often like museums.
From there we set off to Hue, using the road through the Hai Van Pass, instead of the much shorter new tunnel . The scenery was great, and we're glad that they had widened the road, apparently they used to have many killed on that road every year when it was a narrower road. As it was, the motor bikes were everywhere, especially in the middle of the road, doing half the normal speed, forcing the bus to drive well on the wrong side to get past.
And so on to Hue, and a visit to the Imperial Citadel, with the Forbidden City. It's not that old, but still impressive. The VC holed up in the Forbidden City when they tried to gain ground in the Tet offensive, so the US troops had to flush them out. Of course, those parts that are no longer there (as a result of the French war)  increased as a result of the US fighting, and there is still evidence of many bullet holes in walls and things.
This central part of the country was where a lot of the fighting went on. 
On the way out our guide was telling us about the shortfalls in the education system when a woman who is an English teacher took a contrary view and told us how good the education system is. There is obviously quite a difference between the attitudes of the Southern and Northern groups even now. Who is to be believed? Difficult. But as the guide's English is better than the English teacher's, one wonders what sort of English lessons they get. 
Eventually we had to leave as they were closing. Booked into the hotel, very nice. Went out for a light dinner, just the 2 of us, as we don't really need quite as much to eat as we've been getting.
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Hi Jesmary and Roger. I am enjoying reading all about your experiences.
Sure you are having a great time. Emperor'sTheatre Room looked impressive.
Enjoy the rest of your trip.


Wow, you are seeing a lot! We actually bought a marble carving when we were there, probably from the same place. So inexpensive, but heavy to cart home! Have fun!