Sunday 27/02/05 It drizzle. We rent scooters to visit the tombs of the Nguyen emperors in the vicinity of Hue. Fortunately, we have become familiar with the conduct Vietnamese walking the streets of Hanoi. We know the rules of the game In addition, they do not drive fast. The most surprising is to see people driving in opposite direction on the same roads to four lanes with a central earth. As for traffic lights, when they exist, they are just for decoration. We start with the tomb of Tu Duc, built between 1864 and 1865. Inspired like other Chinese tombs, it has a large courtyard with statues of horses, elephants and mandarins (representing the court of the Emperor in life), a pavilion housing a stele where the son of the Emperor wrote the eulogy of his father, a temple of the tablets of the soul, a pavilion of pleasure and a grave. These tombs are surrounded by ponds and pine forests. The Duc Tu has served as a secondary residence. He has made more flats than others. There is also the tomb of the empress and her adopted son. More than the beauty of monuments, places of poetry makes it an enchanting setting. I am literally seduced. Too bad that did not frangipani leaves or flowers. Then we'll see later, that of Khai Dinh (deceased in 1925). It is much more influenced by European architecture and a bit kitschy, but very harmonious. There are statues and stairs lined with dragons. The funeral hall was decorated with mosaics of faience. It is impossible to ask his way free. We want you as a guide but not you. Everywhere, vendors offer fruits and beverages. Those near the place where one station scooters regard as a must that we buy something. We have lunch of "pho" (noodle soup with rice). Can we leave the scooter and take a boat to cross the River. On the other side is the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang built between 1841 and 1843. Again, places are really poetic. The flats are very elegant, decorated with red and gold paint on the inside. Bridges allow the passage from one to another. A garden decorated with parterres of flowers once formed the Chinese character for longevity. You can visit several other tombs but the kids are tired. We return to Hue along the Perfume River. Children returning to the hotel and we start to see the Thien Mu Pagoda. It overlooks the River. A group of monks in saffron robes emerges when we arrive. This is the first time we see women in yellow, they were usually white. The first building is the tower of happiness. At its foot, a bell of 2200 kg and a huge turtle with a marble stele recounting the history of Buddhism in Hue are housed in small flats. In a gallery of carved wooden guards are quite comical. The sanctuary itself contains several statues. A monk striking a bronze urn with a wooden mallet. The sound resonates length dramatically. The faithful are highly collected. Communism is far from extinct religious fervor! We have some difficulty finding a distributor of money that works. Then we'll have a drink and find two Australians met in Ha Long Bay. We get the kids for dinner. They want to return to the same restaurant yesterday. Monday 28/02/05 That is 8 months since we left. Children often speak of what they will return. We're going to Hoi An bus 1:30 overdue and children accuse us of having woken up early for nothing. The journey to 4H, has no interest between the clouds and dust macule windows, we see nothing. Just prior to Danang, the road hugs the coast and then climbs in switchbacks for a pass. Buses will follow as processional caterpillars. The sea is murky. In Hoi An, we will be in a hotel booked by the owner of the Hue. Since we are in Vietnam, children are willing to sleep 3 in a double bed, the rooms are either too small or too wet for Johanna sleeps on the floor on his mattress. We will lunch. The kitchen is excellent: fish (unfortunately a lot of stops) citrus or spices, specialty-based noodles: the Lao Cau. We walk in the city. Hoi An deserves its reputation as a most beautiful city in Vietnam. Streets, pedestrian (what joy!) Are lined with old houses with a floor and roof tiles. These tiles are laid on the principle of Yin and Yang, a line with alternating concave convex. The old town is a large craft market: silk, wood carving, art galleries, embroidery. You can watch artisans work. We look particularly adolescents make mother of pearl inlays in wood furniture. An old covered bridge spans a small ceremony with rivière.Une musicians and priests must be conducted before a house. We do not understand the meaning. The city was a major port in the sixteenth century, which was the basis of its prosperity. Then the port was silting up and the city of Danang in the bay nearby has taken over. Many Chinese merchants have established communities. We visit an old house. The architecture combines the influences Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. The family lived for 200 years. Currently, it is inhabited by eight people from three generations. There is dark but the atmosphere is warm. The genius of happiness, longevity and prosperity watch over the inhabitants. We then visit a house occupied by a community temple dedicated to the patron goddess of seafarers. Large coils of burning incense to the ceiling. Monks, the frangipani flower dwarf roses and bougainvillea adorn the course as everywhere. We will drink fruit juice on the floor of a cafe overlooking the rooftops. It is really pleasant to walk in the streets. Students Ao dai in silk white, straight on their bikes with their long black hair are lovely. Vietnamese women are incredibly small. I wonder how they are to have twins! We stop at a tailor for me to order a package tailored silk. The girls have bought kits. Back to the hotel for a real bath. Dinner we return to the same restaurant that morning or we are very well received. A little girl is conscientiously his duties on a table without any help from anyone. Tuesday 01/03/05 We go to My Son Cham sanctuary occupied the IV in the fifteenth century. Central Vietnam was not inhabited by the Viets, but by the Chams, originating from India and Indonesia. Their art is close to Khmer art and My Son is a contemporary of Angkor and Borobudur. We're in a beautiful rice fields of bright green. Rice is already high here. The women lost to the waist. Buffaloes and cows graze on the slope. There are tobacco plantations. The leaves dry before the houses and we see very few ovens semblbles to ours. Not long ago, go to My Son was a small shipment. Now, agencies are organizing the visit to every corner of Hoi An and many tourists visit the site. A concrete bridge is being built to replace the current bridge of bamboo so that cars can go up to the entrance. Currently, the distance traveled on foot or by jeep. Temples, brick red and pink sandstone sculptures appear in the vegetation. Unfortunately, the most beautiful, perfectly preserved until then, was destroyed by American bombing and most of the statues are in the museum in Danang. But the imagination easily substitute parts missing. It goes in search of carved lintels half hidden by vegetation. The shrine is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. For the Chams, the king was the reincarnation on earth. I send the children to search for a particular reason. They also play with the sensitive mimosa leaves. A snake of four centimeters in diameter stands head between the bricks of a wall in ruins. It is beautiful, khaki, red and yellow. In our approach, it is hidden in the wall of inserstices. Say that we could sit there to relax! We leave by bus and reach the river to finish the journey by boat. Lunch nems and sticky rice to the delight of Vincent and Marianne. Bad luck, the police decided to conduct an audit of the two boats and their captains. We poireautons 1H. Everything is set, with exchange of banknotes. We pass fishing boats. Very large square nets are suspended above the water. We no longer have time to visit a village of potters, but will see woodcarvers. We can look at all the stages in the development of a sculptural furniture. A brick building is under construction. Scaffolds are bamboo and brick are mounted one by one, started by a man. Many women working on the site. Back to Hoi An, we see a concert of traditional music with, among others, a very particular to a rope. Then we look to silk lanterns, sculptures root of bamboo, pottery. Johanna, fascinated, unwilling to leave the old woman making pottery in turn. I will get my set. It suits me well but I prohibition to grow. We dînons then quickly return to the hotel waiting for the bus. We had to be there at 17:45 if it is in advance. We take it to 18.30 and then doing the rounds of the hotels in the city until it is full. They are an attempt to use instead of Johanna but we took a full fare ticket for her because I do not get on your knees at night.
See more on our adventures at