Ken and Bill's Excellent Adventure
XVI. Potpourri
       Back in Hue, Anne and I visited the old market across the street from the Huda Beer factory (the beer factory is new since I was last there in 1990; the market is probably older than the Citadel).  Partly sheltered, partly open, the market is a vast and bewildering array of baskets, shoes, watches, grain bags, spices, t-shirts, hog ribs, dried fish, chinaware, trinkets and baubles, candy, blue jeans, hats, bananas, onions, lichees, think of something, anything, you will find it here if you wander long enough.

The big market in Hue near Truong Tien Bridge. (SA)

Fresh fruit at the market. The red and green fruit in the foreground is called dragon fruit. (SA)
       Next door to the market, on the way to the Truong Tien Bridge, is a far-less-interesting modern grocery store and mall, complete with KFC.  Anne and I passed up that attraction in favor of a leisurely stroll across the bridge.

      Four decades ago, Ken and I had fought our way over that bridge only to have to fight our way back again, losing friends in both directions.

      Now here I was, hand in hand with my wife, enjoying the river and the motorscooter traffic (no cars allowed on this bridge), enjoying the other pedestrians, many hand in hand as we were, enjoying the moment.

Trong Tien Bridge, 2011. (SA)
      There was much to enjoy.  We traveled by motorboat to a fish farm in Nha Trang Bay, toured the Cham-built Hindu temples of Po Nagar (the oldest dating back to the 8th century), listened to a young woman playing a stone xylophone (called a lithophone) at Hoi Quan Vinh, climbed Marble Mountain, where during the war the Viet Cong had hidden a military hospital right under the noses of the Americans at Da Nang, went swimming in the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, and then ate a cooked-on-the-beach barbeque of fresh prawns, squid, beef, pork, tomatoes, and cucumber on Hon Mun (Ebony Island).

The oldest (8th century) of the four Cham-built Hindu
temples at Po Nagar, Nha Trang. (AGE)

A commercial fish farm along the coast of Mieu Island, Nha Trang Bay.
The two women are in a circular "basket" boat. (AGE)

Anne & Bill take a ride in a glass-bottomed "basket" boat off the
beach at Mun Island. Yes, the water really is that color. (NVH)

Relaxing at the beach on Mun Island, Nha Tang Bay. L to R: Nguyen Van Hieu,
(executive director of Ever Blue Travel Company and a former business colleague
of Ken’s), Bill, Ken, one of Mr. Hieu’s tour guides, and Sachiko Akama. (AGE)

Nha Trang Xua Restaurant and Inn. (NVH)

Inside the largest cavern on Marble Mountain, which the Viet Cong used as a field hospital throughout the war. The Buddhist shrine was added after the war. (SA)
(Background photo by AGE)
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