In 2014 we visited Vietnam, beginning in Hanoi, to Halong Bay, to the imperial city of Hue, then the ancient port city of Hoi An before returning to Hanoi. From Hanoi we did a day trip to Tam Coc with it's karst mountains in the rice paddies.
Halong Bay is a world heritage site because of the wonderful Karst Mountains rising out of the bay.
Halong Bay is a world heritage site due to the thousands of spectacular karst mountains rising out of the water. Views as we cruised through the bay.
We used Huong Hai Junks and were extremely pleased and would recomend them.
Monkeys would come on boats looking for food.
This cave was huge and an interesting visit.
Imperial City of Hue
Hue is the imperial city and exclusive residence of the emperors like the forbidden city in Bejing. Unfortunately it was heavily bombed by the americans and badly damaged. The surrounding countryside is home to a number of burial grounds of the emperors.
In Hue we stayed at the Muong Thanh Hue Hotel it was quite luxurious but reasonably priced. This is the view from our hotel, note the flag.
This is the flag seen from our hotel at the entrance to the citadel.
One of the many gates in the citadel.
The imperial city was badly damaged by American bombing but is slowly being rebuilt.
To Thein Mu Pagoda just outside of the city is still active.
View of river from the pagoda.
This is a newer royal tomb.
Entrance to the Tomb of Minh Mang. This tomb had a huge and beautiful gardens.
Older Tombs with nice water feature and undergoing badly neaded restoration.
There were many butterflies around the royal tombs.
One of the many Lotus Flowers in the ponds at the Tombs.
Hoi An is an ancient port city that is little changed with time and is now a World Heritage Site. It was very relaxed with the historical atmosphere and great beaches.
The old town reflected in the waters. Buildings reflect the French influence.
Just after sunset the lights reflect in the water and the sky turns deep blue.
This is one of the most famous landmarks, the Japanese covered bridge. It reflects nicely in the water.
At dusk colored lights light up the bridge and reflect in the water. colors are changing every few seconds.
There are many chinese assembly halls in Hoi An reflecting the fact many Chinese merchants lived and traded here.
There are several beautiful beaches near Hoi An.
There are lots of vendors selling any amount of "junk" at the beaches. It was around 40C yet dressed as you see here.
Marble mountain is an interesting mountain between Danang and Hoi An. It has Pagodas and caves with shrines. Worth a look but be prepared to be pitched by carving vendors.
Hanoi is a vibrant city with intense traffic and busy streets. Hoan Kiem Lake is the center of the old district try to stay near by. From Hanoi we did a day trip to Tam Coc an area of Karst Mountains in rice fields.
When you arrive in the old part of Hanoi this is what you see. Motorbikes everywhere. It is interesting just to watch the trafic and speculate on when there will be a crash.
This is a common sight in old Hanoi, covered from head to toe in spite of 40C. Faces are often covered with a mask.
Motorbikes can have any kind of cargo under the sun.
A pretty Lake right in the heart of Old Hanoi. Pleasant to sit in the shade on a hot day. So does everyone else.
Flowers reflecting in the water.
A number of flower planters live on Hoan Kiem Lake.
Probably the number one attraction in Hanoi is the Temple of Literature which is an ancient university.
Under the roofs you can see Stelae of Doctors with the persons names carved in the stone.
It is still common to come to the temple of literature to celebrate graduations. A number of students were posing for pictures when we were there.
French Colonials ruled Vietnam. They built this prison where Vietnamese prisoners were treated quite brutely. It later housed American Pilots and received the nickname Hanoi Hilton.
Tam Coc is a couple hours from Hanoi and is a beautiful area with Karst moutains rising out of rice fields and rivers.
Local ladies tending to cattle eating along edges of fields.
A local women is harvesting grass to carrly back to her animals.
We were taken down the river rowed by locals. It is really interesting as they row using their feet.
We passed through several caves on our trip.
We floated by a cemetary along the river. Note the goats on top of some of the structures.