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Published: January 22nd 2017
My Son is actually near Hoi An, so apologies to those looking for it near to Hue. Can't seem to set locator to Hoi An.
Tearing down the QL1A whisked by buses and trucks is not my favourite occupation and hurtling back from My Son in the ever decreasing dusk is far from palatable. My sister's words keep ringing in my ears about the dangers of motorbikes and the horrific accidents that occur. Nevertheless, the trip to My Son was worth it and in our case we returned home unscathed having tasted some of the best pho in an unprepossessing restaurant in a small town just before the turn off to the ruins.
We had despaired of finding a coffee in any of the numerous ca phes that we had seen as being a Saturday they seemed to have been turned over to young men drinking enjoying their time off. We were offered numerous whiskies and encouragement to join in but the ruins called.
This post should really be the photos show it all. I could give you a potted history
version about the Cham ruins and how they are not a patch on Angkor Wat as many
others have reported but this would be to do them a gross injustice. They may be far fewer but are more evocative of the stupidity of war as so many have been destroyed by careless bombing in the Vietnam/American war and in fact many craters lie around and several shells are on show in one of the temple displays. It haunted me, seeing the crumbling edifices listing dangerously held by huge steel props. Reconstruction goes apace but there is lack of a needed injection of hard cash.
It was a cloudy day but the sun did come out and it was hot and muggy. I wished I had brought a fan with me. The tourists here seem to come in bursts as tour buses arrive. We had been told that a tour would only give you about an hour in the ruins and this would certainly not have been enough time. We spotted recalcitrant tour members chasing back down the yellow concrete road before their bus left without them. We strolled up the old path and enjoyed the peace and quiet in the smaller temple sites where only a brave few took obligatory selfies.
The buildings, we learned,
were built with no mortar but by rubbing brick faces together presumably to create some dust and friction. Some of the restored temples seemed to have used a mixture of old bricks and new. All around lay piles of red bricks, broken cornerstones and shattered pillars. An archaeologist's dream or even nightmare!
Marvel at the impressively potent linga and remnants of beautiful carvings of deities around the bases of the temple. Snuggled, as the site is in a verdant valley below Hon Quap, Cat's Tooth Mountain it is certainly an awe inspiring place to contemplate ancient history from the 4th to 13th century here in what is now Vietnam and to contemplate the breadth of the Cham influence in Asia.
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