The theme letter for our travel pics this week is V, for Vietnam.
For Saturday, we head to the middle of the country, and the city of Hoi An.
This historic city was initially a harbour for the Cham people – who ruled the coast of central and southern Vietnam for about 1500 years, until the early 1800s.
But it really flourished from 1500 to 1900 when it became a major trading port.
The centre of Hoi An reflects this period, and has been recognised as a UN Heritage Site, and the covered ‘Japanese bridge’ is something of a symbol for the city.
It has been there for centuries – the first incarnation was completed in 1590, and the ornamentation remains faithful to that period.
It was built to connect the Japanese part of the town with the rest – and has a unique small Buddhist temple inside (on the other side to the flag you see here)
There is a legend that a giant monster called Cu had its head in India, its tail in Japan, and its body in Vietnam – and every time it moved, earthquakes occurred.
Hoi An, according to the story, was the weakest point in its back – so the bridge was built here to break that back, and kill the creature.
But because they felt sorry about having to kill Cu, the bridge builders also included a temple to show their respects.
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