Friday, October 21, 2016

part 3: hội an and mỹ sơn

okay guys, i have it on good authority that vietnam will be a four part series, so just hold tight a little longer -- pictures of the adorable children will be back soon. 

for now: hội an and mỹ sơn.

the day we ventured away from the beach and spent touring around the area was, in fact, the hottest day of my life. at first we kind of thought we were just pacific northwesterners with no tolerance for heat, but when all the vietnamese people we ran into started complaining that it was really -- and unusually -- hot, we knew we weren't crazy.

hotness aside, we saw some way cool stuff.

first, mỹ sơn (pronounced more like "me son"). so the dominant external cultural influences in most of vietnam are chinese and buddhist. however, from the second to the nineteenth centuries, there were a collection of cham kingdoms that extended from south to central vietnam. in mỹ sơn, these people built a complex of temples dedicated to the worship, most prominently, of the hindu god shiva. eight groups of seventy-one standing monuments exist. it's really an amazing sight to behold in the middle of the jungle.

we were a little alarmed that we could get so close to the structures. 

then on to hoi an. bryan really wanted to get an amazing three piece suit made for him by the famous tailors in hoi an (and just like the guys did on top gear), but unfortunately, we didn't have enough time. 

this is the only covered bridge in the world with an attached budhist temple. back in it's heyday, hoi an was an important trading hub. this bridge separated the japanese section of town from the rest. first constructed in the 1590s. 

inside the bridge and budhist temple. (emily's face glistening with heat.)

choco pie was on every alter we saw dedicated to ancestor worship. 
we brought home boxes of the famous treat for our kids (who loved every bite).

the notes in the cages are the names of ancestors. 
you can pay to have them bask in the haze of the temple incense.

lunch: a white rose (bánh bao bánh vạc - bông hồng trắng) 

anh huy was our driver from the airport to the hotel our first night in da nang. when bryan discovered that he didn't speak english, he promptly hired him to drive us around my son and hoi an.

back on the peninsula, with parts of da nang in the background.

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