Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cham Museum, Hai Van Pass, and Hue

Danang, just north of the Marble Mountains, hugs the shores of the Han River and is a city quickly being transformed into a major tourist destination in no small part due to its stunning beaches. One popular attractions is the Cham Museum, originally founded by the French in 1919. On display are a variety of artifacts from the Kingdom of Champa, which was the dominant force in this region of Vietnam for over 1,000 years. The influence of Indian culture is apparent.

The city celebrates the bridges that span the river and are illuminated at night. Most noteworthy is the Dragon Bridge:

Hai Van Pass offers spectacular views of the East Sea and Truong Son Mountain Range, after a winding drive that includes several hair-pin turns. An army lookout at the peak shows plenty of scarring from shelling during the Vietnam conflict. 


                           Lang Co Beach is a beautiful stop on the drive between Danang to Hue:


On the shores of the Perfume River, Hue is an amazing complex. From within these walls, thirteen emperors ruled between 1802 and 1945. Although badly damaged during several conflicts, particularly the Vietnam War, restoration is in process and it is not difficult to imagine its former grandeur. The amazing complex spreads along three miles of waterfront. 


                       Restored Hall in the Forbidden Purple City. Several such hallways connected the      Imperial Family's palaces.

A short boat ride along the Perfume River takes one to the Thien Mu Pagoda, constructed in 1601, and the Tombs of the Emperors. I visited the impressive tombs of Khai Dihn and Tu Duc, although there are others in the area. 

Thien Mu Pagoda

A visit to Hue was one of the highlights of the trip. The sheer immensity of the Citadel complex was a surprise, and the number of noteworthy attractions in the area is a reward for any tourist. A don't miss visit!! 


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