Hoi An was the merchant and trading capital of the ancient Champa people.. They had three large city centres, Hoi An, another one up north which was financial and My Son around 60km inland which is the religious capital.
Set deep in the jungle away from cities, My Son is almost like a beautiful dream, crumbling towers jutting out of the trees, tripping over ruins underfoot as you walk around this huge ancient site.
My Son is just a shadow of it’s former self, it was heavily bombed during the war as the Viet Cong thought it a brilliant place to hide, therefore the US thought it a brilliant place for target practice. As with so many other archeological sites around the world that are now lost to trigger happy GI Joes just out of high school, it makes me incredibly sad. Worse still is that these temples have stood since the 4th - 14th Century AD in very good condition only to be bombed 50 years ago within one week…..
However they are still haunting and beautiful.
The Champas were hindu and the temples were dedicated to Shiva, and were also burial grounds for Champa kings. We arrived just after dawn, and were luckily the first ones in the park, so Greg has captured some amazing pics!
(The below pics will only show up on the website so please click through to see these amazing images as a slideshow!)
We then rode through tiny villages, huge highways and saw people slowly getting up and going about their day. At 5.30am loud speakers in villages suddenly started playing ear splitting music and radio announcers started. It made us realise that the days start really early here, 5am starts or earlier, so by 12pm you head back for an afternoon nap then continue your day at 3pm onwards into the evening!
We rode through foggy rice fields, where mist clung to the paddies and the moon was still in the sky - magical!
(The below images are a slideshow only on our site, click through to see them!)
Another time I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a huge live pig, hogtied, literally across the back of another motorbike! Greg’s favourite was a guy on a motorbike with a huge upright fridge in a box on the back, amazing and ingenious at how they managed to ride and transport all this!
Hoi An is a wonderful town and we were sad to leave, but onwards to the Imperial City of Hue…..(meaning its time to don my imperial costume - wait for the next post to see this!).
Look forward to hearing your thoughts, have you been here? Let us know!
Lots of Love
J & G