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the gracious hand

When images like these ones went viral on the internet a year ago, my bucket-list had some serious adjustments made to it. "Some day I just have to go to this place."

It did not take long. On our return to South Asia a few weeks ago, I engineered a right hand turn at Singapore and took Barby off to Vietnam for a week's holiday. This Golden Bridge has become an international phenomenon, with tourists flooding in from all around Asia and, increasingly, the world. It is set atop the Ba Na Hills, a former French hill-station, 40min west of Da Nang and 1500m above sea level.

Why this compulsion to go?

I know the locals speak about these hands belonging to some mystical Being in the forest. Nah, that is not for me. If they can lean on their French colonialist heritage for the naming of the cable car stations and if they can build a European-themed village atop these hills ("Why? I don't understand why you'd want to celebrate that past in this way"), then the…

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