Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey


PAGE 18:
The G-Force Motorcycle Gang II:

Bridges & Bunkers ~ Perfume & Incense
Exiting the Rice Museum on our way back to our motorcycles crossed a canal/stream through an ancient covered bridge - the very ornate Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge. Before entering the bridge we read the posted sign:
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge was recognized as a national heritage in 1990 by the State for its unique artful architecture and beauty.
The bridge was construction in 1776 with wooden structure and tile roof (Thuong Gia Ha Kieu style), including seven apartments. The central is for the worship of Ms Tran Thi Dao, a child of Than Thuy Chanh Village and wife of a high rank mandarin in Thuan Hoa Region who offered funding for the construction. 
~ The People's Committee of Thuy Thanh Commune

Resuming our motorcycle journey after admiring this unique attraction we enjoyed even more fascinating scenery. Eventually we saw a large hill in the distance -- that was our next destination. We bounced along steep, rough and rutty trails until we finally gathered at the crest of the wooded hill -- but we were somewhat worried when Sue-On and her guide didn't join us. On a particularly rough stretch of the road they had hit a bump. . . Splat! Their first thought was that it was a flat tire, but upon stopping it turned out to be the guide's water jug that had dropped off and exploded.  By then, the rest of the group had disappeared through a maze of lanes and woods. The guide phoned the leader to explain the delay and then they sped up to re-join the group. The frantic catch-up ride was an even greater death-defying experience than the rides previous. 

The hill was in a very strategic postion overlooking all the traffic on the Perfume River below. It was a beautiful view point, looking down onto the Perfume River, seeing tiny sampans, fishing boats, barges, tour boats, recreational craft, and larger transports.

Hue is very close to the North and South Vietnam DMZ and during the America/Vietnam War the American military built bunkers on the same strategic positions as the French who had come before.  The hill provided a clear view for miles around without necessitating an overly steep climb. We saw two main bunkers here, both pockmarked with bullet holes. They were made of concrete with the entrance at the bottom of the hill and connected by tunnels. 

Our next stop was an incense- and hat-making shop that also sold souvenirs and confectionery. In one of the stalls a lady was rolling incense sticks. The incense was a compound of ground cinnamon, sandalwood, glue, and sawdust. These components were rolled by hand onto thick sticks and then left to dry. The incense smelled great but we couldn't imagine trying to bring home stacks of sticks of incense in our backpacks!  Nor could we consider having to worry about packing or carrying one of the straw hats that were so craftily made. We left sans souvenirs. 

We then rushed back to the city to meet up with the rest of our group at the Royal Citadel for a tour of Hue's Forbidden City.

Click for larger full-screen images

Leaving the Rice Museum to admire the ancient Tile-Roofed Bridge

More sights along the way

Sue-On gets a riding demo from one of our guides

The G-Force Motorcycle Gang reaches the wartime bunkers

Overlooking the Perfume River

Onward to the Incense and Hat Shop for refreshments

Supplementary Photo Gallery



Copyright 2015
Bill and Sue-On Hillman