When I pulled away from my apartment at around 5:00 in the afternoon yesterday, the light did not look too promising. How wrong I was. This was taken from the Cầu Thuận Phước, the big bridge at the mouth of the Han River where it empties into Da Nang Bay. The sun was going down over the Hai Van Pass that divides Da Nang from Hue and other points north. Quite a few people were stopped taking photos. You slow down in the middle of the bridge, pull your motorbike to the side of the road, get off, step up to the railing, take the photos and then go. Actually, I was headed the wrong way for shooting this view and had to flip a u-turn in the middle of the bridge to get at the photo op. When in Rome… Anyway, the bridge has a sidewalk on both sides of the road and the railings are not too high. It was squalling intermittently and the rain brought a significant drop in temperature to go with the great clouds and light.
This woman has stopped on her way to work to pay her respects in front of the Man Mo Temple. Man Mo Temple is neither Buddhist nor Taoist, so it is not clear what deity or spiritual being she is communing with. Wikipedia claims that in the past during the Ming and Qing dynasties, scholars sitting for the imperial civil service exams used to visit this temple to ask the Civil Deity to look favorably on their efforts. Wikipedia goes on to say the temple was built in the 1890s – the Ming dynasty had been gone for more than 200 years by this time and the Qing would collapse in 1911. I cannot recall the exact year, but if I am not mistaken, it was sometime around the time that the temple was supposedly built that the imperial examination system came to an end for good. So much for that. Man Mo Temple is on Hollywood Rd in the Sheung Wan area just west of Hong Kong Central.