Welcome to Viet Nam


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


Tam Ky - Quang Ngai (65-90km, 41-56mi)

Point of interest: Chu Lai Base (US), Buddhist Temples, My Lai village (24km sidetrip)

  High school girls bicycling from school High school girls bicycling from school.  Many are wearing masks.  We were told that this is for vanity -- they don't want the sun on their skin.  Another logical explanation would be to reduce breathing pollutions.  The patterns did exactly fit either explanations; mask were worn when there wasn't any sun and when the air seem as clean as it could be.  
  temple Pagodas, temple and monasteries are pretty regular sights.  Periodically we would stop and pay our respects to Buddha.  
  Alter at temple Alters at temples are varied but always quite ornate and colorful. Alter at temple
  Fishing fleet in port, south of Chu Lai Following picturesque, no-traffic, back road we passed a number of rural hamlets, villages and small towns.  The primary agriculture is rice, but there is other economic activity like shrimp farming and fishing.  
  small town market About 15km from Quang Ngai is the village of Son My, better known to the world as My Lai, the site of the most publicized American atrocity of the Vietnam-American War.  Ladened motorcycles
   pasturing cows During the war the Viet Cong punished peasants they thought were cooperating with the Americans and the Americans punished peasants they thought were cooperating with the Viet Cong.  The peasants probably prayed to live and tend their fields in peace. bicycle transport
  vendors selling goods from bicycle Today the visible scars of the My Lai massacre are few.  There is also no indication that there is lingering wounds under the surface. bicycle transportation
  Son My Memorial Site sign Son My Memorial site, house The government has built a monument at Son My with a museum, memorial sculpture and a re-creation of parts of Son My village and plaques commemorating events and deaths in the village. Son My Memorial, My Lai
  Planting tree at Peace Park, My Lai Nearby the Madison Quakers (Wisconsin, USA) have been given land to build a Peace Park.  During one visit, we were invited to help plant a tree in the park.  The Madison Quakers are also involved in other development and healing programs in Vietnam.  
   Ladened bicycle Two-wheeled vehicles are used to carry all kinds of loads in Vietnam.  The cargo on the right is a coffin. coffin on motorcycle
  river near My Lai Near My Lai is a river.  It was a little spooky to think that at one time the tranquility of the river was regularly disrupted by the trespass of gun boats. river near My Lai
   A cemetery for Viet Cong It is said that history is written by the victors.  A variation of this in Vietnam is the frequency of Viet Cong monuments and cemetery along the major roads of the southern half of the country.  Nothing is ever said about where the Army of Vietnam soldiers are buried or honored, if at all.  

Return to Tam Ky Continue to Kon Tum

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