Montag, 4. Juni 2012

Scenic views from a moped

Scenic views from a moped – Danang
© Eike-Christian Heine

Hoian's beaches are white, beautiful and quiet – at least during the week. After I had spend a day under the shadows of palm trees I took the moped to Danang the next morning. The 25 kilometer long ride along the coast passes a continuous succession of construction sides of huge luxury resorts. As I steered I wondered who will sleep in all these tens thousands of beds that obscure the view on the ocean.

Danang is in the middle of Vietnam's 3.400 kilometer long coastline, its third biggest city and a boomtown. Several huge bridges and skyscrapers are under construction. I came here to visit the Cham museum. The building and big parts of the collection of delicate rock statues and carvings from all over the old Champa kingdom are a product of French Colonialism. But when the French came in the 19th century, Champa had already been swallowed by a southwards expanding Tonkin, that finally drove the Khmer out of the Mekong Delta and that calls itself Vietnam today. But when Champa was still standing and the Khmer ruled in the south, Danang constituted the empire's northern perimeter.

The former border follows a major natural border. The mountains north of Danang rise steep and high, form a spectacular scenery as well as a formidable obstacle. I took my bike up the Hải Vân Pass that nowadays is only a touristic route as it slopes are bypassed by a nearly seven kilometer long tunnel. On the way up I drove into a heavy rain and reached the top of the pass wet to the bones. 

Up on the peak of the pass I fled into a small eatery, ordered coffee and cookies and waited out the rain. One of the women running the hut joined me. Mango was her name, she could speak some English and we chatted an hour away as I was the only customer. She talked about her two kids – two boys and two girls – the cost of education, her economic prospects.

I left, not without buying a package of Tigerbalm and greeted the sun that had changed Danang Bay into an ocean of blue and dried my clothes fast as nothing. Back in Danang I took my motorbike up the Monkey Mountain. On its peak tower big radio telescopes that the Americans had installed during the war and that are still run by the Vietnamese military today. In a pavilion with a stunning view a group of men and women in their twenties invited me to a picnic of fresh springrolls and beer. 

It was nightfall when I made it back to my hotel.

Cham museum, Danang
© Eike-Christian Heine
Cham museum, Danang
© Eike-Christian Heine
Cham museum, Danang
© Eike-Christian Heine
At the peak of the Hải Vân Pass
© Eike-Christian Heine
Mango runs a small eatery on the Hải Vân Pass
© Eike-Christian Heine
Scenic views from a moped
© Eike-Christian Heine
Scenic views from a moped
© Eike-Christian Heine
The Hải Vân Pass seen from Monkey Mountain
© Eike-Christian Heine
Thanks for the picnic!
© Eike-Christian Heine
Scenic views from a Moped, Danang
© Eike-Christian Heine
Scenic views from a moped
© Eike-Christian Heine

1 Kommentar:

  1. Really awesome pictures been shared of vitenam. Specially sea and pictures of museuam are really attractive.

    Regards
    Matthew
    50cc mopeds for sale

    AntwortenLöschen