June 17, 2020
Today we visit another historical place from the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. My Son is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. It was also a kingdom, and one of the holiest site of Cham people. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is "Bhadresvara”. Originally, we planned to ride a scooter to this place, but the weather made us take an organized trip by bus. Disadvantages of such trips came out already at the beginning, as the bus arrived more than half an hour late. We decided this will not spoil our trip and we stayed in a good and optimistic mood.
The Chams was a population inhabiting this area from the 4th to the 13th century AD. My Son was the longest functioning city in the Mekong region. Situated in the valley, surrounded by hills covered with lush vegetation, the remaining temples are ruins mainly due to American bombings during the Vietnam War.
Visiting the ruins of My Son will long stay in our memory. It is a place where you can see how people lived a dozen centuries ago. When we were exploring, tropical rain fell, which was very refreshing and built this unique mystic atmosphere.
For people who plan visiting this place – go by yourself, do not book an organized trip. The best time to visit is early morning hours, to avoid the crowd of tourists intruding into every photo frame. Travelling in a group, we have only 1.30 hours to visit, what with such a large area is insufficient.
We go back to Hoi An by boat on the river Thu Bon, stopping on an island famous for its hand-made wood products. We use the rest of the day to wander the city. In Hoi An you can walk for hours admiring beautiful buildings. Sometimes we find ourselves passing once again the same street, realizing it only after some time – there are so many details to pay attention to. Despite the late hours, we are visiting the market in the hope that yet we will find our friend, who serves delicious food (we call her our Vietnamese mother 😉 ) To our delight her stand is still open. Our hostess greets us with open arms. Once again, she gives us local specialities. This time it is a bowl of noodles, meat and fresh herbs. As usual, she fills any empty space on the plate. From the next stand, we try freshly made, right before our eyes - mango smoothie. At the end we get to enjoy a tasty spicy crab. Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its flavors around the world, as we have seen in person.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles”. – Tim Cahill