Monday, 15 October 2012

Vietnam - the architectural ruins, the unbelieveable My Son

Final day in Hoi An and we headed to My Son - first with a laid-back and thoroughly enjoyable 38km cycle to the ruins among the outer villages of Hoi An following rivers and lakes full of lily's. The sun hid behind the soft clouds as we made our way through the thick of humidity. By the time we got the ruins I was soaked through begging for water.

From the entrance we made our way through the thin forest towards the several sets of tombs of the Dynasty that reigned 2 AD - 15 AD. I was amazed by the sheet quality of the craftmenship of the ruins, some dating back as far as 6 AD. The stories you could have told here if it hadn't been bombed by the Americans during their war who thought they were bombing settlements - instead UNESCO awarded tombs were being demolished to ruins.

Walking round these, you can see the strength and quality of modern brick, it's resiliance from the elements of torrential rain, dry heat and severe humidity. The delicate carvings in the walls and ornate statues and carved entrances. Those that survived took you to another place, another world showing the sheer sophistication of engineering.

Those that were bombed showed fresh demolition, walls left as they had been hit. Craters surrounding the remains. The area was shattered. The realisation of the destruction of war hit home! War doesn't destroy just today - it destroys yesterday too!

If you have to destroy a city to win a war - you're not here for liberalism and democracy - you're here to entrench your power, take control and take ownership.




Visit to My Son

Today we start our day with a short bus journey to a place called Nam Phuoc from where we will cycle our way through to MySon. My Son has been dubbed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has ruins of structures from ancient Champa Kingdom which flourished between the 2nd and 15th Centuries.
For those hankering for culture and history, this presents an ideal opportunity to explore the most evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites at My Son. The Chams were dynastic lords who rejected the authority of China in 2AD and established their own kingdom. For 1000 years they managed to stave off attacks by the Vietnamese and Chinese, before being overcome by the Vietnamese in the 15th century. The site contains several impressive groupings of Cham temples and present probably the finest example of Cham masonry skills in the country.
We take a bus back to our hotel in Hoi An.
Total cycling: 30kms