A scenic drive from our cruise port in Chan May, Vietnam afforded stunning countryside vistas of rice fields dotted with water buffalo, and breathtaking sweeping views of white sand beaches and jagged tropical mountains.

Our time in Hoi An was perfection. The air here is densely humid. A cool breeze feels so welcome that I stop to feel it fully, afraid that any movement will take this momentary bliss away.

The streets are alive with fruit vendors and pedicab drivers, carting tourists around this historic city in class-apparent comfort. An amazing lunch in an air conditioned restaurant was what we needed to recharge and get back out into the streets for more!

A visit to the Namo Shakyamuni Buddha (Lady Buddha) temple near Da Nang Vietnam, was a highlight of this amazing day. Here, faithful worship the female Buddha counterpart along with their ancestors, leaving offerings of fruit and food to be consumed by the spirits. Pilgrims from all over Asia come to worship at this special place, revering this female Buddha for her role as protectress of the home and family. It’s impossible not to draw comparisons between this beautiful lady Buddha and Mary, the mother of Jesus, from the Christian faith.

While a couple chants Buddhist mantras inside the temple, outside, the weary rest in the shade and sleep on cool slabs of stone out of the sun’s harsh glare.

The end of the day finds us back on board the ultra comfortable cruise ship, but a part of me wishes we could have spent just one night at a local hotel.

Another time.