Friday, 2 April 2010

My Son Moto Excursion 21.03.10

On a foggy mist-laden morning we drive out of town on our hired scooter, through the lush green countryside to visit the ancient Cham ruins of My Son, 40km west of Hoi An. At 6am the roads are starting to get busy with commuters on their way to work by scooter and bicycle and Greg has to adapt to the somewhat bizarre rules of the road, most notably crossing into the oncoming stream of traffic to turn left, rather than waiting turn. Somehow, the majority of the time, people just weave in and out of each other's way with frequent beeps to warn oncomers of their intentions. The Cham dynasty of the region of Champa, which covered most of modern day Vietnam and stretched into Laos and Cambodia was akin to the Angkor civilizations at Siem Reap.
It's architecture of temples and prasats is in many ways the same as the temples of Angkor, with definitve Hindu influence in the form of statues and carvings of Lord Visnu and Ganesa.
A lot of the complex is hidden under metres of earth and even the most restored one has been overgrown with vegetation. It makes for quite an atmospheric experience however, in the dim morning light through the light rain which is descending on us. We are unused to this coolness in the jungle and it's a very pleasant walk around the temple walls and surrounding forest. Sure enough however, by late morning, the sun breaks through and the heat of the day sets in again. We have a lot of fun on our drive back through the countryside, stopping en route to take some typical Vietnamese rice paddy photos and doing the odd detour down a side road, leading through some quiet farmhouses and fields. Greg loves his bike and insists on doing a circuit round Hoi An and out to the nearby beach, where there's immense development going on, building hotel spas and complexes.