My Son Vietnam - tour guide and pictures for My Son Cham Temples and Towers.
Day trip to tour around My Son Cham Towers in Vietnam.
Vietnam's World Heritage site of My Son is 40kms southwest of Hoi An so easily reached on a day trip from that town and with these day-trips being offered all over Hoi An there is fierce competition for your business so prices are hot.
We payed USD7 each which included the coach, a guide, visiting My Son (entrance fee of 60000 Dong was extra), partway back by coach then transferred to a boat for a ride back along the Thu Bon river to Hoi An. The boat stopped off at the customary (perhaps mandatory) craft village for a while and then we were finally disembarked at the market area
where we had started.
Several things to note on this trip to the Cham Towers at My Son - which seemed typical of what was on offer:-
Coaches cannot get directly to My Son - you have to walk from the coach park for around 10 minutes until you reach a jeep area - these then take you on through the jungle to the information centre where you are given a brief history of My Son. From here you then walk generally uphill along a wide dusty path to the
Temple site. Although this is not particularly a long walk it was enough to cause some people problems because of the dust and heat.
Time wasting at My Son - the guides kept us all waiting around in the "shop/cafe area" for around 30 minutes for no purpose other than presumably in the hope people would buy things - this also occurred when we returned to the coach area from the temples. Much more time should/could have been allocated for the Cham Tower site itself and quite a few people were getting very irritable about this
In addition the guides all tried to "march" us quickly around the site - independent lot that most of us were we generally left the guides and wandered off on the marked "safe" paths looking at the temples on our own. However caution is necessary about wandering off the marked paths etc. - much american ordnance is still
lying around from their war making parts of the area obviously hazardous so don't leave these marked areas and paths.
About My Son Cham Temples and Towers. The Cham people originated from Indonesia and My Son was a religious centre between the 4th and 13th centuries and is located in a dense valley beneath Cats Tooth Mountain (Hon Quap). The Cham Kings were buried here from the 4th century onwards.
Hidden by dense vegetation for many centuries the temples were re-discovered by a French archaeologist in the 1890s who located about 70 temples. American carpet bombing destroyed much of the area during the Vietnamese War but around 20 temples managed to survive the Yanks - even these few temples suffered some damage though.
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These Cham Temples were skilfully built using bricks however instead of mortar it is thought they used resin mixed with ground brick dust and mollusc shells so that there is only hairline gaps between the bricks. The variety of carvings were cut into the bricks themselves rather than being inserted - the carvings and
relief's are of religious images dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.
An option for the return journey to My Son is to go by small boat. Climbing on and off these boats can be somewhat awkward especially if the tide is out - getting onto the boats can be around 5 foot up or down and this over a particularly crappy piece of planking. The "lunch" provided on the boat part of the trip was exceedingly basic and no great quantity so if you eat at lunchtimes perhaps take sandwiches with you. Mind you
the whole trip really is very inexpensive so perhaps you cannot expect too much in the way of catering and certainly visiting these old temples was still a good day out.
Closely related items to the above topic:
- Hoi An Vietnam travel and touring guide and photos
- Visiting Hoi An, getting there, things to do and see, japanese covered bridge, merchants houses, pagodas, temples.
- Bike Rides to beaches and local countryside in Hoi An
- Nice bicycle rides at Hoi An, visiting An Bang Beach, Cau Dai Beach, a temple, Cam Nam Island rice fields, countryside.
- Vietnam and Mekong Delta Touring Guide
- Our Vietnam Home Page - this contains all of our topics about touring in Vietnam and The Mekong Delta.
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