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Vietnam - Hué, Danang & Hoi An
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The arrival of Emperor Gia Long in 1802 began the flowering of Hué, with the building of a Chinese-style Forbidden City and the construction of royal tombs along the Perfume River. When Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in 1945, Hué ceased to be the capital of Vietnam, and Hanoi was reinstated. Hué was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. It is a wonderful city to stroll around, and the tombs along the Perfume River are a peaceful oasis not to be missed. The Citadel and the Forbidden City are the highlights in Hué itself, and the Emperors' Tombs along the Perfume River are also not to be missed. The main attraction close to Hué is the collection of Emperors' Tombs along the Perfume River. You can visit these on a boat tour, or rent a bicycle or hire a tri-shaw and explore them from the land. Danang is the third-largest city in Vietnam. It sits on a large, sheltered bay, making it an excellent harbor and shipping port. Marble Mountains Park is the site of marble quarries and sacred caves. Most tour buses will stop here for a few hours to give you time to hike up to a cave. You can also wander the many carving shops - some of the work is quite good. There are over 1,400 species of flora and 230 species of birds in the Bach Ma Park. You may also see the Asian black bear, leopards, and other interesting mammals. The maritime importance of Hoi An stretches as far back as the second century BC. Hoi An has been occupied by Japanese and Chinese, as well as Europeans, leaving an interesting legacy and culture. As far back as the 16th century the river and seaport of Hoi An bustled with activity, as evidenced by the large numbers of Chinese shophouses and 18th- and 19th-century homes of Chinese merchants still present in the town today. Today you can still see the homes, shophouses, temples and Cham monuments in and around Hoi An and My Son. You can still wander the narrow, winding streets, hear the babble of languages and see the myriad goods being carted up and down steps and streets. It could easily be one of the highlights of your trip, especially if you add the attraction of made-to-order clothes. Too many travelers come to Hoi An for one reason - to get custom silk, wool, and cotton clothes made in a hurry. They miss the charms of this truly lovely, interesting city and nearby My Son. Hoi An was, and still is, an important part of Vietnamese culture, and has the buildings, temples, and monuments to prove it. All the details you need are in this guide - the hotels, the restaurants, nightlife and other activities, plus color photos throughout.
Hunter Publishing; January 2012
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