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Champa Art and the Way to Hué

October 25.  (First, my back is a whole lot better, thanks for asking. A nurse from the hotel came in to see me this morning and said that we were doing the right things to control the pain.) 

We order breakfast delivered to our modest lounge and then set out for Hue. Our first stop is a place where marble work is done, and sold. A key to their focus on tourism is that when we pay for the modest purchases we make, the credit card slip is in dollars.
Our next stop is China beach, one of the spots American troops landed during the war. What once was sand and small fishing villages around Danang is now hotels, high rises and shops, which has happened in the last fifteen or so years. Progress. Below are some beach patrons, with the white statue of Lady Buddha visible (barely) on the mountain across the bay.
Our next stop is Danang’s Cham Museum which houses the world’s finest collection of Cham artwork.The Cham people once controlled a large part of Vietnam, dating back to the Second Century, put were gradually pushed South, where they are now a small group of some 140,000 people. The ruins we saw at My Son yesterday are Cham. The work in the museum is terrific and the new gallery, opened only a couple weeks ago, is simple, lovely and well-lit. Our guide, Van, is pictured with one of the pieces.
In addition to the Cham work, there are some marvelous works on cloth by a Japanese artist named Toba Mika. This special exhibit is set up for the APAC meeting that will start in about a week. The work employs a technique called Katazome, utilizing the traditional dyeing method of Japan, and is visually stunning. It forms a great counterpoint to the fine Champa work.   

We head up the mountain and enjoy the lovely, but very foggy, views along the coast in the Cloudy Pass and stop for lunch in the village of Lang Co, then drive (stopping for a photo op of some sanpans)

 on to the ancient capital of Hue.  We also stop for Chet and me to recruit some more GOATS, and then passing a woman transporting ducks on her motorbike.

.

We check into the La Residence hotel and relax.  The hotel is quite nice.  Not nearly as opulent as the Four Seasons, but a more comfortable feel.  And the view of the Perfume River from our private patio is not too shabby, either.
We meet Chet and Nancy for drinks in the hotel bar, then taxi to dinner in the Old Town at a restaurant called Y Thao Garden, which was recommended by our guide, Van. We were greeted by the daughter of the owner of the restaurant, who told us something of its history.

Van ordered a special menu for us, which was terrific, including spring rolls decorated on formed peacock (below), pumpkin cream soup, sauted shrimp with tamarin, Hue specialty pancake, banana flower salad, fried fish with lemongrass, turtle-formed fried rice (below) and dessert of tangerine and Mung bean cake formed fruit (below).  Not our typical dinner menu at home.

8 comments to Champa Art and the Way to Hué

  • Ron Sherman

    Great photos and a wonderful experience for y’all.

  • Gil Cornfield

    Thanks for taking us along. The pictures really enhance our experience. Glad you are feeling better and up for the travel.

  • lauri pollack

    Absolutely fabulous. Thank you.

  • Glad your back is better. Photos are stunning! What an incredible trip.

  • Rick

    Looks like a fun time so far. I like your hotel!

    Next time you visit the beach, wear your Speedo.
    It is much cooler.

    Sorry to read about your back. On our Machu Picchu
    trip I fell maybe 10 times over the 4 day trek. Wear a
    backpack and try to fall on it if possible. By fall 5 I kind of
    had the strategy down so to speak. Unless something
    really hurts, get up and keep on trekkiin.

    We are off to FLA just in time. Snow is predicted for
    Sunday our day of departure.
    Best to you and Carol.
    Rick

  • Paul McLoughlin

    Chu Lai 1969-1970. Stopped the next domino from falling. Love the pictures…
    Particularly of you next to the Buddha. Enjoy.
    Paul, Jodi, Tully and Grace (latter two in NY now)

  • Ahdina

    Love the pictures Arnie!!

  • Wendy

    Great pix, Dadz! Lobe the one of you and Buddah and the woman on the motorcycle transporting the ducks.I’ll have to go through the pix with Max cuz he’d really like to see. Very sorry about your back, but glad you’re taking care of it and able to carry on! Love to you and Maz,
    W.

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