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Monday, January 16, 2017

Chan May and Hue, Vietnam (Celebrity Millennium)

Today we arrived at the little Vietnamese industrial port of Chan May, the country’s main export point for sandlewood chips. 

In that it was pretty isolated and uninteresting, we were glad that we had signed up for an excursion, to the old imperial city of Huế, nearly a two-hour drive away (during which we got some great views of the Vietnamese countryside, including the rice paddy that appears below). 

There we visited the mausoleum of Emperor Tự Đức, who ruled from 1847-1883; the Heavenly Lady Pagoda and monastery, home of monk Thích Quảng Đức, who famously set himself on fire during the Vietnam War; and the Imperial Citadel, which was a battleground for U.S. and North Vietnamese forces in 1968 during the brutal Tết Offensive (one of the gateways within the citadel can be seen at right). 

Tết, in fact, is the name for the New Year in Vietnam, and we saw more public preparations for the holiday here than anywhere else during our trip. 

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