Jutting out of the south end of Da Nang are five little mountains. Despite being relatively short, they seem to have a unique prominence, as they protrude out of the coastal plain not much more than 500 meters from the ocean. Surrounding the mountains are buildings--in some places running right up to the edge of the mountains, surrounding them--adding to their strange prominence.
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Overlooking Da Nang stands the 72 meter statue of Lady Buddha. Nestled on the side of Monkey Mountain, the white marbled statue is referred to as The Female Buddha, The Goddess of Mercy, The Emotional Rescuer, and The Jewel in The Lotus.
We're trying desperately to catch up on our posts--so the next few will be predominately photos. Hope you don't mind. Here are a bunch of pictures from the tourist trap of Hoi An. It was beautiful (probably why it is such a tourist trap). Hoi An is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is supposed to be pretty close to what ancient Southeast Asian port cities would have looked like long ago. Minus the gaggles of white folks and merchants selling souvenirs, I suppose. Without further ado, the pictures:
Continuing on our way up to Sa Pa, we stayed a couple days in Da Nang. Super hot, but way beautiful! That was the first time I had been to a beach with palm trees, smooth white sand and beautiful aqua waters. Just like you see out of those tropical paradise calendars. We stayed at The Finger Hotel --giggle, giggle. Why it's called that, I have no idea. I'll leave that up to your own imagination. The staff there were super nice and most spoke Engish very well. Sophie was a fan amongst most of them.
It was the first time I had seen a wild monkey. Ashley and I got off the bus, leaving the comfort of air conditioning behind for the insane heat reflecting off the massive amounts of blacktop surrounding the temple. Strangely, everyone's first thought was, "I need to go to the bathroom." My first thought was, I need to get back on the bus. But maybe that was just me.
Now that we are finally settled down here in Sa Pa, I feel like I now have enough time to sit down and recap our travels thus far in Vietnam. We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on the 20th of May around 10:00 am. The temperature was 99 degrees Fahrenheit with 60% humidity. When we stepped out of the airport it was like walking into a sauna! There were tons of people hanging out around the entrance. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, hotel greeters, and tour guides, but mostly families waiting to be reunited with loved ones. As we made our way to bus 152, people were staring us down like zoo animals. I think their eyes were mostly fixated on Sophie. Vietnamese people adore Sophie for some reason.