When General Zhang Qian first passed through chains of treacherous hills and boundless sand dunes to the Western Regions in Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 BC), in his deep heart soared a sole goal. However strenuous to achieve the Emperor’s mission, however long he was enslaved by Xiongnu tribe, nothing could dampen him to continue his journey for thousand miles, to ensure alliance against Xiongnu. Following his diplomatic envoys along the route, commercial relations between China and Central Asia, and hence a transcontinental network, known as Silk Road, blossomed at the end of the 2nd century BC.
It was 8 in the morning as the Han River already sparkled under sunlight, reminding stall owners to embark on a brand new day for business in this riverside market in Da Nang. Shopkeepers were hectically pushing heavy carts and packing newly-arrived products, placing them in a place nearby that could immediately caught pedestrian’s heed. Yet, it is more than just a place for trading and selling. In a maze of stuffed stalls and narrow streets, you will be enticed to squeeze through aisles and the big crowds to explore the humming life of one of the open-air Vietnamese marketplaces.
After a final glance at my last research paper and printing such laborious work out in the Learning Commons, handing it in finally signifies an official epilogue of the days sitting in classes and library corner from dawn till dusk. I should have felt much reassured and lighthearted to survive my final year after months of endeavour and tedious journal readings. Yet in reality, my regular footsteps hung heavily with the springing up of mixed feelings: the feeling of nostalgia about student life, the joy of waiting-to-be-graduated, and the confusion of my future plans.