From Hué to Hoi An

After a busy (and quite hot) day in Hué, we were up early and off to the city of Hoi An. First  however, we had to drive over a hundred kilometers and make several stops. Rather than take the new tunnel, we drove the mountain road that connects the province of Hue with that of Da Nang. At the crest of the hill is an ancient crossroads, with a couple hundred year old buildings, pill boxes and gun turrets from the “American War,” and now several tourist shops. Some pix…

In Da Nang, we went to the Cham Museum and learned about Champa sculpture. The Champa are group of people, followers of Hinduism, that had a nation in what is now central Vietnam. My Son is a center of their society that we are not visiting, but several artifacts from there were at the museum. French archaeologiests discovered some of their civilization sites in the late 19th century. First some maps and a model…

Here are some photographs from some of the original discoveries by Henri Parmentier

Here some of my pix of the sculptures at the museum…

After leaving the museum, we continued driving until we came to an area called “Marble Mountain.” In fact, there are five marble mountains, and one of them has an amazing cave. Before going there, we went to just one of dozens of marble shops selling carvings and sculptures. There was an amazing number of pieces, and while there are a lot of pix in this set, it is just a sampling from just one marble emporium. Check it out…

Marble Mountain Cave or Grotto is not only an amazing cave complete with bats and lofty ceilings, but it has been carved throughout with dozens of pieces on the walls. There is one path that goes lower into the depths, and one that goes much higher and has a view of the surrounding town. There are legends about the grotto, an idea that it is the cave of hell (with scary tableaux depicting hell), and it was used by the Vietcong during the war. Here’re some samples…

Finally, we went to an artisan factory/workshop and sales place, specializing in silk. Here are some pix of that, lunch, and near our hotel in old town Hoi An…


Study Questions:

  1. Research the Champa. Describe their culture, art, and current lack of a nation. What would it have been like to be Henri Parmentier?
  2. Research Da Nang and Hoi An. What’s interesting or important about these cities?
  3. Research the role of Da Nang in the Vietnam War. What happened there?
  4. Research Marble Mountain and Marble Sculptures. What’s cool?

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