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Published: November 17th 2010
Wednesday, 27th October 2010 "This is one place in Vietnam that I wouldn't recommend a second visit."
I joined an organised half day tour with Sinh Cafe this morning to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son Holyland. Located about 1 hour from Hoi An, the journey was boring as the bus was making frequent stops at different Hoi An hotels to pick up passengers along the way. We were greeted by the rainy weather which made sightseeing very difficult. As a result, the return journey by boat was cancelled. It did not help matters that the connecting points in between the ruins were merely dirt tracks with ponding water. I had to take extra care to make sure that I did not lose my footings on the muddy tracks.
Once in the My Son site, the guide was trying to explain its significance and origins. Probably due to his poor command of English, I could only decipher 50%!o(MISSING)f the message he was trying to bring across. It did not help that his flat monotone throughout the presentation did not stir much interest among our group.
Getting to the ruins itself was pretty uninspiring
with the sudden downpours. For the most part, the ruins were left to their last columns and foundations on the ground. Sure that these Cham structures were built around the same time during the Khmer era when the likes of Angkor Wat was constructed. To say that My Son Holyland is Vietnam's answer to the Angkor Temples of Cambodia is an overstatement. Steep admission fees aside, the site is certainly much smaller in scale than the Temples of Angkor.
My Son's site was badly damaged during the Vietnam War and it would probably take years of restoration before regaining its former glory. I wouldn't recommend a visit to the place until some decent restoration work is completed. Until then, you might be better off slacking your time away within the comforts of your hotel room on a rainy day and reading all about My Son from the internet.
I'm certainly not impressed with the whole experience.
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