Aug 3, 2002

The Saigon Morin Hotel is a very pleasant place to camp out for a while.  It was built in 1901 which makes it the oldest hotel in central Vietnam.  It’s a classic old hotel that hosted celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Andre Malraux during its long history.  It was used to house Hue University from 1957 to 1975, but eventually was turned back into a hotel in 1997.

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Jul 26, 2002

Hue is a combination of old and new.  On the north side of the Perfume River is what’s left of the Imperial City.  The Nguyen Dynasty ruled here from 1802 to 1945, and much of the city is centered around this period.

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Jul 19, 2002

I really like Hue!  It’s quite a compact little city, and easy to get around in.

The Perfume River runs through the city, and is quite near my hotel, the Saigon Morin Hotel.  In fact, this hotel is ideally located for people who want to explore the city.  Across the street from the hotel is more or less a park right next to the river.  And there is bridge that crosses the river just a stone’s throw from the hotel.  This bridge leads to the other side of the river where the city’s main attraction is located: the Imperial City.

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Jul 14, 2002

While I’m back in Vietnam I decided to check out the train system.  So, after exploring Ho Chi Minh City, I was ready to take a train ride.  The train goes between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, but I was only going as far as Hue.

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Jul 7, 2002

When I had dinner with Somchai and Ning last week, we talked at great length about the police, but talked about other things.  I don’t remember how we got started on this, but we ended up talking about Vietnam.  I had only been to Hanoi, and they both thought I might like trying the train ride from Ho Chi Minh City north to Hue.

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Jun 29, 2002

Now I’m back in Bangkok, after my little tour of Taiwan.  I’m going to hang out here for about a week to take care of some business, and think about what else I want to see while I’m still in Asia.

My apartment was broken into while I was in Taiwan.  I was really surprised: I thought with all the neighbours around that I had chosen a safe place to park my stuff.

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Jun 22, 2002

I’m still in Taipei, but my time here, and in Taiwan, is coming to an end.  I’ll leave early next week.

I‘d visited one temple already, Longshan Temple, but the concierge at the hotel recommended that I see a few more.  She also recommended a couple of other sights, and told me I should not leave Taipei without visiting a night market.

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Jun 14, 2002

The concierge at my hotel is very friendly and very resourceful.  She comes up with excellent ideas for sights and things for me to do in Taipei.  She’s always helpful in finding taxis to drive me around the city.

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Jun 7, 2002

Still in Taipei.  Still at the luxurious Shangri-la’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei.  Still recovering from all that “roughing it.” ☺

The National Palace Museum was obviously first on my list to see and do in Taipei.  But there were some other things I wanted to check out.

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Jun 1, 2002

Finally!  Here I am in Taipei.  What a busy city!

After roughing it for a while now I felt like I wanted to stay in a comfortable hotel, so I checked into the Shangri-la’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei.  It’s a beautiful property, a nice blend of East and West, including some fabulous artwork.  It also has several restaurants, a spa, and a swimming pool.

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