Vietnam The Jewel of the East

By far my favorite port visit. Vietnam. Only 1 ship a year sometimes gets to make a port visit in this communist country which seems to be trying to slowly get some positive international relations. Everyone wanted to make sure that we left the country with a positive opinion of the place. And, despite the past war, everyone seemed to love Americans. Even our tour guide who had her house burned down 3 times by US bombers in the 60’s. Either that, or they are just really friendly people.

Streets of Hoi An

This was taken in the streets of Hoi An. Hoi An is a shopping district where you can get cheap silk clothes, souvenirs, lanterns, and paintings. Me, being the Japan dork I am, HAD to see the Japanese bridge before I left. I had no idea where it was, but I knew it was in Hoi An.
River in Hoi An
I eventually made it to the river in Hoi An. I knew the Japanese bridge was close to the river. It started to rain a bit at this point. Vietnam is a very tropical country and the weather was very unpredictable the entire time we were there.
Hoi An Japanese Bridge
There it is! I found it but got very lost on my way back and my working whites got very muddy. Still worth it. This was made by the Japanese while they occupied Vietnam for a time.
This was taken on the way to Hue “pronounced Way”. Hue is the city were the final battle in Full Metal Jacket took place. I wanted to see this place so bad. Surprisingly this pic came out decent even though it was taken from the bus.
Ruins Entrance
This is the entrance of Khai Dinh’s tomb. The first place on our tour. Very spectacular ruins of an ancient Vietnam king.
The best part of this tomb was the life-like stone guardians.
Look! I made a new friend! ^o^
Soldiers 2
We joked that we would get on that elephant but there is no “status of forces” agreement with Communist Vietnam so everyone was on their best behavior.
Ruins Middle
For all gray ruins, they sure made it very impressive. The tomb was not actually in this area.
Tomb Ruins
The tomb was actually in here. No photos were allowed in side but some took some anyways. I should have but I was afraid what the Communists might do if they caught me. It was beautiful. More so then anything I saw in Nikko.
Ho Chi Mihn
On to the next place in the tour. There is A LOT of Communist advertisements in Vietnam. The Soviet symbol was everywhere as was their hero Ho Chi Minh.
Perfume River
Beautiful. This is a shot of the Perfume River, not far from the Citadel in Hue. Love how this shot turned out.
Temple 1
This is a shot of the Thien Mu pagoda. Vietnamese are Buddhist too, just like some Japanese. Their pagodas look a bit different though. I actually prefer how theirs looks…
Vietnam Temple Guardian
This is how the temple guardians look in Vietnam. They had real hair. I wonder if that was actual real human hair. Very cool.
Citadel Entrance
This is the entrance to the citadel. There is several moats and fortifications. I can’t imagine how bad the battle for it must have been. There were several ex Marines revisiting the old battle sites which they had participated in. It was an honor to meet such brave soldiers. The armed services is not a safe job. People in my division have been to Iraq or are going now. My brother is going to Iraq. I have been involved in some situations of the classified nature that are dangerous and will likely see more. The military is not for everyone but I think I made the right choice in joining. It was something that I wanted to do before I eventually leave this world (naturally ^_^;).
Temple Gates
Here are some of the Citadel temple gates. There is an actual temple inside the Citadel.
Citadel Flag
The last shot is of the huge Vietnam flag flown from the Citadel.

Hope you enjoyed my Vietnam photos. I know this is not Japan related (except the bridge) but there are some cool places in Asia besides Japan. This was an experience which I will never forget.

One comment on “Vietnam The Jewel of the East

  1. meronpan says:

    those stone guardians are awesome looking ^^

    i guess one perk of the armed forces is the amount of travel you (potentially) do. my friends in the military are also all over the world.

    that’s another country i better visit someday… loved the pics!

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