We took a day trip to Da Nang to see Muc's (Lan's mother) home and the home were Uan stayed while going to high school. The two met because they were neighbors. The roadtrip took us from the wet lowlands into the mountainous highlands, seemingly two separate geographies smashed together by accident. The road was winding and pretty treacherous with seemingly depressed tour bus drivers ready to end it all and take out a passel of annoying foreigners by passing haphazardly during the steep mountain crossing. Our driver was a cautious man who loved life and took us at a sedate, comfortable pace to Da Nang.
On our way to Da Nang we stopped at an awesome sea food restaurant called Sao Bien, where we had a multitude of yummy sea critters for lunch. I also got to sample more of my new favorite beer, Huda (Vietnamese brew made possible by Danish technology). We continued our trip to Da Nang and during our visit there we toured the Cham museum. The Cham were a Hindu civilization that ruled southern Vietnam thousands of years ago. I was entirely unaware that an Indian empire had stretched this far, but the evidence is vividly displayed in the form of stone work and artifacts.
On the two lane road we saw the highlands and lowlands of Vietnam, as well as some water buffalo. The trip back in the night was pretty bad, as we saw two accidents.
At Sao Bien restaurant we ate fresh sea food: shrimp, crabs, and two kinds of fish soup. It was divine. Uan used to stop here on his way to Da Nang as a student. At that time it was a one lane road over the mountain, so people had to wait to cross. Now we use the tunnel (below). We did not sample the pickled reptiles.
Uan's old high school.
While going to high school, Uan stayed with family friends who still live in this home in Da Nang. Muc lived right around the corner.
Da Nang is a harbor town. This is the new bridge spanning the river.
At the Cham museum
Lan poses with an elephant. Fertility was big the Cham, yes those are breasts adorning the column.
The elephant god on the right is the Cham representation of Ganesh
Kickin' it Cham style. Definitely the oldest school.
Cham carving of Shiva
A portable shrine
Having coffee and coconut down by the river. Yup they just pulled the coconut out of the fridge, pre-cut.