Journey Three / Chapter 26

South Vietnam

March 2019

Starting in a past capital of South Vietnam - the Ho Chi Minh City and going north through Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue - some of the most important cities of Vietnamese history.

Our joint exploration of Vietnam starts in the famous Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, that played a major part in Vietnam's colonial and wartime history. Full of history, major sights, fascinating people and amazing cuisine. Classic French architecture and sleek skyscrapers mix well with ornate temples and pagodas.

Afterwards we head North. Major stops on our roads through southern Vietnam are Hoi An, a historic medieval city that still keeps much of its original charm, together with nearby architectural marvel My Son, an ancient Hindu temple complex almost comparable to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or old Bagan in Myanmar.

After passing through major city Da Nang and exploring nearby Marble Mountain full of ancient temple we cross the Hai Van pass, the highest mountain pass in Vietnam. While normally offering superb views, crossing it in thick fog and rain also gave it an unexpected charm.

Ultimately we reach Hue, an ancient imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. While mostly destroyed now, the ancient imperial palace is still a sight to behold, and so are many huge complexes of ancient burial grounds of Nguyen emperors dotted around the city.