Hoi An, Vietnam, March 24 2006
I don't know what possessed me to think I should see everything in the Hoi An area in one day but I did. After a few hours looking around the City, I looked in my 'Let's Go' travel guide and decided it made sense to see 'My Son'. What was I thinking?
The trip took us an hour and a half by motor bike, in the blazing sun. Bonsoon never seems to get tired and I refuse to act my age so off we go.
I want to show you what it looks like as you tour this country. The architecture is very interesting and the quality of the workmanship is very high.
As we head into the rural towns we see many more bicycles and fewer motor bikes. Sometimes it's astounding to me just how much stuff they haul this way.
I saw lots of trucks like this one, which seem to be left over from the 'American War', although I wonder if they're even older than that. It's amazing that they are still running so well after all these years.
And here you see the old and new together. The traditional homes are still standing but there are many brand new structures springing up everywhere.
We finally arrive at the 'My Son' Ruins. This ancient city was built in the 4th Century and is now a UNESCO site. I was greeted by 50 Tour guides in training; mostly young girls, who were delighted to have me join them as they toured the sight while learning how to conduct the tour themselves. One girl started interviewing me. "So how do you feel?" she asked as we all piled into the Van that took us to the site. "Cramped." I replied, and they all laughed. I felt really welcome here.
Here is one of the Temples on the Site. One of my Tour Guide Cuties is posing for me to show the size of the structure. 'My Son' is primarily a Hindu civilization. Much of the work to uncover it's secrets are just taking place now. And one of the biggest financial contributors to the excavation is the United States Government.
This is one of the Carvings that was found when they pulled back the jungle to reveal this City. I have no shortage of lovely guides to pose for the photos.
I later ran into this man from Vietnam who was on vacation, like me. As I said before, the big difference in Vietnam is that the people of this Country tour right along with the foreigners. You rarely see this in Thailand.
This Guide was one of the best English speakers of the group. I was a celebrity to them and they were as honored to be with me as I was to join them. We all laughed together and had a wonderful time comparing our cultures and talking about our common dreams to explore this planet.
This is a couple I met as I finished my look around the site. People are so approachable here.
Bonsoon waited at the gate to the Site while I did my tour. I have ridden with him on his motor bike since ten this morning and it's three in the afternoon now. We have another hour and a half ride back to Hoi An. As we head out he mentions that his home town is nearby. He asks me if I would like to meet his family. So naturally I say yes. My butt is going to need a blood transfusion when this day is done. And off we go to his village.