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Full Circle

Day 83: Da Nang

Da Nang, Vietnam 
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The Reunification Express crosses Hai Van Pass, between Hue and Da Nang.
Michael Palin - Full CircleBach Dang Hotel, Da Nang. I pay dearly for asking for a river view. There is a night-club next door which doesn't really get going until just after you've got off to sleep. Whenever that might be. It isn't the music that keeps me awake so much as the revving of scooters and the high-pitched voices of people trying to make themselves heard over the revving of the scooters. When that dies down just before dawn, the noisiest fishing boats in the world start chugging up the Han river and out to sea - leaving the quayside clear for thunderous trucks to come and unload.

Miss Ha is wearing her Cliff Richard T-shirt this morning. Despite considerable official apathy, Roger has a full programme for us here in central Vietnam and we are heading through the suburbs of Da Nang at first light. Familiar urban landscape of sheds, shacks, uncollected rubbish, corrugated iron roofs, the mottled and streaked concrete of half-finished buildings. Cities out here in the East tend to grow according to need. There is no concept of civic architecture or town planning.
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  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 83
  • Country/sea: Vietnam
  • Place: Da Nang
  • Book page no: 120

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