There are sometimes disadvantages to cheap hotels. Last night was the loud arguing along the corrider until at least 2am. I slept through it but David had a disturbed night. We were not quite sure where the noise came from but a large pile of discarded beer cans outside an adjoining room might be a clue.
However, we were still up early as usual, cooked up our porridge in the courtyard outside and were off into another grey drizzly day. We have learned our lesson about not cooking in the room!
Our plan to get a bus south for better weather seems to have backfired. It is slightly warmer here but seems to be rainy everywhere at the moment. However, part of that plan was to see some more interesting things and, in that respect, the day excelled.
We cycled through fairly uninteresting terrain for 40km. At least, it might have been more interesting if we could see more but it was misty and visibilty was poor. The weather alternated between light misty drizzle and patches of slightly heavier rain. Highlights were finding a good bakery and a good coffee shop.
Around 11.30 we reached the historical site of My Son – an ancient site of the Cham kingdom that dominateed the region for centuaries. There is evidence that this valley was treatedas being a sacred place from from the 4th Centuary onwards, and that Cham kings were buried at the site. There is also evidence of widespread trading with India and China and significant influence of the Hindu religion, which was largely adopted by the Cham kings. Most of the site was built between 7th and 13th centuraries with mutiple temples set in a lush jungle setting, surrounded by mountains. The ruins were discovered by French archeologists in the late 19th centuary, and restoratino works began. Sadly many of the temples were badly damaged or destroyed by US bombing during the Vietnam war (or American war as they call it here). There are bomb craters scattered through the site. Renovations continue.
The rain held off for most of our visit but cloud swirled around the surrounding mountains making the site feel very atmospheric. The site was impresive and those parts that had been renovated gave a real feel of how it must have been. Flashes of amazing stone work and decoration were visible and several examples of stone tablets etched with Sanskrit script. It was fairly busy but not heaving with tour groups (as the guide book indicated it can be) and we met a nice Danish family who we chatted to.
We enjoyed strolling round the ruins for a couple of hours then back on the bikes for the next section to Hoi An (the day being a triangle between North of Da Nang, My Son and Hoi An). The route was a ‘Kamoot special’ which routed us way off the main roads and through some pretty tiny ones. At one point we crossed a railway bridge across a river with a narrow track next to it for motor bikes, which was ionly just wide enough for the trikes. The whole bridge seemed to bounce as we cycled across.
Then down a precipitous path and a small track took us through a cemetary. Here we noted that some of the tombs had continuous music playing – so a person can have their favourite playlist for eternity. The track then turned into a muddy path that we had to negotiate to get back to the road!
We took a very back way into Hoi An along tiny roads across fields and beside the river, but we were suddenly in the heart of the busy old town which is only for pedestrians and cycles. However, there were so many people it was hard to battle through with the trikes without running over wayward tourists. In spite of our efforts, we did not hit anyone.
Our hotel was on an island in the Thu Bon river. We had decided to splash out on somewhere a bit more upmarket this time and knowing that Hoi An can be very busy. Our chosen one was described very quiet and with rave reviews. Mostly hotels don’t live up to their photos on reviews but this one did. The location is central but very quiet, the room huge and very comfortable. A splash of luxury on contrast to last night!
The day rounded off with a pleasant meal of Hoi An specialities sitting looking over the river as garishly lit up boats chugged past.
2 thoughts on “Day 55. Tuesday 28th February. Da Nang to My Son and on to Hoi An: 78km”
Your day looks like a good one. We enjoyed Hoi An. It’s been awhile ago. I remember eating at a restaurant that was created for and managed by handicap folks who otherwise have a hard time getting work..
What a wonderfully interesting day to enjoy from the comfort of my breakfast table.