|Mr and Mrs Doan in front of the high school Mrs Doan attended in the 1950s|
|Hue boat tour ... not quite as luxurious as Ha Long Bay, but still a dragon boat|
|Inside the boat. The boat captain lived with his family is a tiny space at the back of the boat.|
|A beautiful, quiet day on the river ... another hot and humid day|
|water buffalo on the side of the river|
|After the short boat ride, we visited this beautiful pagoda and monastery|
|Lovelier family. :-)|
|No clue what kind of flower this is, but it was pretty|
|Back portion of gardens with river beyond the trees|
|Boys with a monk|
The best part of Hue was exploring the Imperial City and learning about the Nguyen Dynasty. If memory is correct, it was the last kingdom in control in Vietnam. Unfortunately much of this beautiful city was destroyed in the war and only recently has it been declared a UNESCO site allowing foreign investment to restore and recreate this amazing city.
|This large courtyard was where the military would like up to hear announcements and decrees from the king. That huge hall behind us in the picture would only house the king and his top 2 or 3 officials. No one else was allowed inside.|
Much of the city is in ruins with only the foundations remaining, but they showed a great little video showing what it used to look like and how they plan to rebuild it. It is a project that will take decades to complete, but the portions they have finished are spectacular!!!
|This is one of the covered walkways connecting various portions of the city. Gorgeous!|
|Behind us is the rebuilt library|
|Loved the details and the dragons in the corners|
|Inside the rebuilt theater|
|One of the many gates to enter the city|
|This was part of the king's burial gardens ... where entertainers would come and perform for the king|
|Inside the performance area where people performed for the king|
|Before entering his final resting place are these statues|
|Entering his burial site|
After a long day of walking we went back to our amazing hotel and enjoyed the pool!
The following day we were off to Hoi An ... the drive along the coast from Hue to Hoi An was stunning. This is the portion of Vietnam that used to be known as the South China Sea and the beaches and lush green mountains are beautiful.
|Stopped at the beach to stretch our legs along the drive|
|Great view of this little town along the way|
|another pretty spot to stretch our legs|
We also made a quick stop at Marble Mountain. This was once a huge marble quarry until it became a UNESCO site and mining is no longer allowed. Today the marble is imported from other parts of Vietnam (or around the world) because the skill set to make things out of marble is still what keeps the people who live here in business. There were plenty of shops to purchase items made of marble. The artistry was fabulous!!!
|pagoda on marble mountain|
|view from our table|
|boys didn't care how long it took for food or how long the drives were, as long as their ipads were fully charged.|
|being silly in the restaurant garden|
|one of the street vendors let me hold her fruit. These things are heavier than they look!!!|
So Hoi An is a tourist town. Lots of shopping and restaurants. Very quaint and we loved it!!! It is also known for silk and made to order clothing. You can design your own clothes or pick from magazines, then select your fabric and have your measurements taken so the ladies can make you tailor made clothes and deliver to your hotel the following morning.
Our first stop was another embroidery shop. Can you see the photograph she is using for inspiration? The artistry in the embroidery was impressive!
Then we learned about making silk ...
|This is a try of 4 day old silk worms|
|This is a tray of ~17 day old silk worms|
|The silk worms spin cocoons around 27 days.|
|After the silk thread is dyed, it is used in a loom like this to create silk fabric.|
|We bought the boys traditional Vietnamese outfits to wear on International Day at school next year|
|They thought the outfits were hilarious and wanted to wear them all the time!|
|Typical of Hue streets|
|Ancient Japanese bridge in Hue|
|Bridge in main district of Hue ... both sides of river have tons of shopping and restaurants|
|Another typical Hue streeet|
|temple in hue|
|typical market in Vietnam ...|
|making shredded coconut|
|Hue river at night|
|Bridge all lit up at night|
|Lowering my candle|
|City comes to life at night!!|
|Kids enjoyed the hotel pool and lawn more than the beach, but it was rather overcast and almost cool the day we free for the beach.|
|Beautiful hotel beach|
|fishing boats lined the beach|
|always the crazy one|
|playing "tiger, hunter, lady" in the pool|
What a relaxing day spent at the beach resort. Next stop ... Saigon!