Welcome to Viet Nam


Vietnam flagPhoto essay:
Vietnam Bicycle Tour: Imperial Roots (Central)


Hue Lang Co (80km, 50mi) A generally flat ride along Highway 1 (two modest hills near the end.)

Points of interest: Royal tombs, Gulf of Cao Hai, fishing villages, coastal plains, beach.

  Pool table Pool table are common sites in cities and small towns alike.  Generally it is just men and boys around them.

The farmer is using a tripod with a scoop suspended below it to get water from the irrigation ditch to the field.

Scooping water for irrigation, Vietnam
  Dressing wild game When we stopped in a rural restaurant for a morning tea they were dressing deer that hunters had killed the night before.  The corresponding item on the menu (right) is "Toasted Deer".  No one in our group tried it. Menu
  Minh Mang Tomb About 10km south of Hue, up the Perfume River,  are the Minh Mang Tomb, dating from the late 19th century.  It is one of the most elegant of the imperial tombs around Hue.  The grounds were used by the Emperor and his family as a retreat while he ruled.  He would travel back and forth to Hue by boat. Minh Mang Tomb
  Minh Mang Tomb Even when the buildings were rather plain from the outside the interiors are often gorgeous and detailed, displaying the artistry of the craftsmen of the time. Minh Mang Tomb
  Statues of an elephant and horse, and warriors, in the honor court Statues of an elephant and horse, and warriors, in the honor court in the burial area of the Minh Mang Tomb.  The mandarins await orders.
  Minh Mang Tomb Walking around the shines, gardens and lakes of Minh Mang I tried to imagine the life of the elite a century ago as they strolled through these grounds -- not a bad life.  Of course, it takes a lot of servants and peasants paying taxes to support that lifestyle -- their lives probably weren't as pleasant. Minh Mang Tomb
  bicyclist carrying bike If you take a closer look at this bicyclist you will see that he is hauling another bike, on the back of her bike.
In the estuaries along the coast boats are common form of non-motorized transportation.
Channel with fishing boats
  Gulf of Cao Hai The boats (left) float motionlessly in the Gulf of Cao Hai.  Just upland a girl (right) grazes a water buffalo. girl grazes a water buffalo.
  Rice farms, Vietnam The villages, the people, the farmland, all form a captivating collage of images.  It is often hard to make forward progress on the bicycle because it is so interesting and gratifying to watch how all the different pieces of life fit so comfortably together -- like the rice paddies on the plains.  
  Coastline near Lang Co This section is a generally flat ride along Highway 1, there are two modest hills near the end, which reward you with longer view.  As you enter Lang Co you pass the Catholic cemetery (right).  A man is working on one of the grave markers. Catholic cemetery near Lang Co
  Lang Co Lang Co Lang Co is a small community with a long beach.  The construction of new hotels along the beach indicates that tourist are starting to discover it.  Our hotel  (right) was typical of the private family-owned and operated mini-hotels common in medium-size and larger towns around the country.  They are general skinny buildings with three or four stories.  The rooms are spacious with two beds and a private bathroom. hotel, Lang Co

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