Vietnam
An Chinh

Here you’ll find travel reports about An Chinh. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

54 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    My Son Sanctuary

    July 8 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 37 °C

    My Son (pronounced Mee Sern) is an important Hindu religious sanctuary that sits about an hour outside of Hoi An. It's a very popular day-trip, mainly because the ruins are quite impressive. While booking our bus back to Hue for tomorrow, we noticed that the same company offered a "sunrise tour" of My Son, which we ended up booking instead.

    Mainly because it got us there and back early in the morning before the heat really kicked in, but also because My Son can get very crowded with day-trippers and most of those don't arrive until around 10am. So by getting in super-early, we could get great photos without anyone in them.

    So that's what we did! Among the last to get picked up, and the bus wasn't super comfortable as the air con wasn't really working, but it was fine to put up with for an hour. Although billed as a "sunrise" tour, the sun was well and truly up by the time we got there.

    The ruins themselves are quite impressive. It was built as the main religious sanctuary of the Champa Kingdom, which ruled a lot of Laos and southern Vietnam for centuries. They were a Hindu kingdom, so of course all of the design, layout, iconography and architecture was Hindu - unusual in this Buddhist part of the world. As the Champa were pushed out of Vietnam by the Buddhist Viet people from the north, the Sanctuary fell into disuse and was eventually overtaken by the jungle again. Only rediscovered in 1898 by a group of French soldiers.

    Originally there was about 160 buildings in the sanctuary - not all religious, but mostly for that purpose. Unfortunately, these days there's only a handful of buildings still standing after American B-52 carpet bombing raids. The site is still dotted with huge bomb craters, and you can see bullet holes in some of the stone walls as well. Our guide even showed me a photo on his phone of his grandmother's front door, which had a large bullet hole in it. Although they aren't angry about it these days, reminders of the war are never far away.

    Back to the hotel by 9am, where we were in time for breakfast! Although we'd already had a simple provided breakfast on the tour, we tucked into the fairly good offerings at the hotel. Afterwards we retreated upstairs and dozed/used computers until the mid-afternoon. Ventured out for a banh mi, then retreated again as it was ridiculously hot.

    In the evening we met up with a travel blogger couple who we'd been friends with for a few years - an Australian guy and his American fiancee. They've been living here in Hoi An for a few months as digital nomads. Spent the evening catching up with them over vegetarian food and beers which was quite nice - we'd last seen them in Manila almost three years ago.
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  • Day13

    My Son

    November 6, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Om onze laatste dag in Hoi An door te brengen, besloten we om met een tour naar My Son sanctuary te gaan. Deze plek ligt op zo’n 25 km van Hoi An. Het gaat om restanten van oude tempels van het hindoeïsme en boeddhisme. Deze werden door de Amerikanen zwaar gebombardeerd en beschadigd. Dit omdat er zich strijders van de vietcong verscholen hielden.
    Het is tegen onze gewoonte om met een grote tour mee te gaan maar omdat het onze laatste dag hier is, leek dit de beste manier. Ondanks dat we dit niet graag doen, viel het best mee. We hadden graag wat extra vrije tijd gehad om zelf wat de tempels te verkennen. Ook de uitleg duurde soms wat lang. Maar we zagen leuke dingen en de uitleg was soms ook interessant. We kwamen met de boot terug en kregen hier een lunch op. We konden hier wat uitrusten en van het zicht op de oevers genieten.

    Nu genieten we op een terrasje van een lokaal biertje en vanavond kookt onze gastvrouw een diner voor ons om samen te eten en te babbelen.
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  • Day19

    My Son

    March 28 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    First proper archaeology of the trip. The site has a series of Hindu temples built by the Cham people (who lived in this area before it was taken over by the Vietnamese) between the 7th and the 13th centuries.
    Unfortunately large parts of the site were destroyed by USA bombing raids.

  • Day258

    My Son, Vietnam

    February 19, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    An hour west of Hoi An, the Cham ruins of My Son [pronounced: me son] sit tucked away in the foothills on the Annamite mountains. Between the third and thirteenth centuries, My Son served as the intellectual and spiritual center of the Cham era. They are not characteristic of other southeast Asian religious sites given the unique artistic inclinations and Hindu leanings of the Cham. Following French colonization, the ruins were restored. Their grandeur was short-lived, to the chagrin of archaeologists everywhere, for the Vietcong used My Son as a clandestine meeting point, which precipitated bombings from US forces. Bomb holes sporadically situated amongst ancient temples give the whole area a peculiar feel.Read more

  • Day9

    Scootertrip to My Son

    August 15, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Today we decided to visit the ancient Cham temple of My Son.

    The Temple was originally build the 9th century and later forgotten and taken over by the jungle. In the beginning of 1900 the temple was rediscovered by a French expedition and they started rebuilding the fragments. Unfortunately the American bombed nearly everything away.

    When you stay in Hoi An there are many tours offered by local agencies but our recommendation is to get a scooter and drive there on your own. We started at 8:po am and The traffic was not too bad. Furthermore the way is quite easy if you have google maps. It took us about 1 hour per way and the moment the early tourbusses left was priceless. We were nearly alone there.
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  • Day33

    My Son -- Champa Temple Complex

    March 20, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    About an hour outside of Hoi An is Vietnam’s most famous Champa Temple Complex — My Son. The complex consisted of a series of more than a dozen temples sites, each of which had approximately a dozen buildings. The temples were built from the 4th century to the 14th century AD, and were used for Hindu worship, although the primary God worshiped in the complex was Shiva (locally referred to as Bhadreshvara). The site was considered holy due to the geography — a valley, surrounded by mountains, with a river running through it. After the slaughter of the Cham, the complex fell into disuse, and was essentially lost for five hundred years. It was “re-discovered” in 1904 by a French archeologist, named M.C. Paris. Messr. Paris knew that the French archeologist Henri Parmentier was working on similar ruins in Cambodia (Angkor Wat) and invited him to see the complex.

    From 1937 to 1943, archeological work on the My Song complex was conducted. The first step involved removing the vegetation that had covered the various temples in the complex. Each “site” had multiple structures, built over hundreds of years. The sites were given letter designations from A through N. The finds were remarkable. The archeologists determined that each “temple” actually included buildings, including a building in which the monks conducted religious blessings, and one in which offerings were a stored. Sculptures sat within and around the temples, and many items were moved to museums. Then, when the war with France broke out, the excavations were stopped. Later, during the American/Vietnam war, the site was used by the Viet Cong for hiding. In a single week in August 1969, the Americans carpet bombed the site and almost every structure was destroyed, leaving only the temples at site C standing. Even now, as you walk through the site, you see enormous craters which were created when the bombs dropped.

    We had left the hotel at 7:30, so that we could beat the crowds to the site, and also avoid the heat. (It turned out perfectly, as it also allowed us to see the site before a huge rain storm blew in.). We were in the third vehicle to arrive to the site, and got to walk through the jungle alone. It was so gorgeous. We arrived at site C, where the only intact temples are, with a few other families. Wandering through the complex without hordes of other people was fantastic. We learned lots about the religious practices of the Cham, and the uses of each building. But, the most interesting thing that we learned was about the Cham view of perfection. According to the Cham, no human being can ever achieve perfection. Only the Gods can achieve perfection. So, in every religious structure, there is some purposeful imperfection included. The type of imperfection varies wildly, and it takes close examination to see the imperfections. In one temple, the imperfection was that a column was left incomplete. But my favorite “imperfection” was in a statute of Shiva. In the statute, Shiva raises her hands together, and places her thumbs together. When you first look at the statute, it looks right. But, when you look again and try to place your hands in the same way, you realize that the hands have been reversed. (Quy had Arie try to replicate the pose, and it was only when he did so that we saw the imperfection.). Subtle, but a beautiful “philosophy.”
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  • Day11

    My Son Sanctuary

    April 21 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    This morning we traveled to My Son Sanctuary, a cluster of abandoned & partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th & the 14th century AD, by the kings of Champa which has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. We saw a traditional dance and music show. Temperature was 41 with 90% humidity! Was so hot!Read more

  • Day9

    My Son

    January 27, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

    Motorbiked to My Son. Took about 2 hours to get there instead of one because we had tip ask for directions so many times :D but we made it! Amazing old ruins that were unfortunately damaged by American bombing during the war. Worth going to see!

    I wish Canada had these plants:https://youtu.be/r2PfmMdgvH8Read more

  • Day157

    My Son mit Mr. Jom

    September 4, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 36 °C

    My Son (ausgesprochen "Mie san", Bedeutung: schöner Berg) ist eine uralte Tempelanlage südwestlich von Hoi An am Fuße des Hon Den Berges, deren Anfänge sogar weiter als die von Angkor Wat zurückliegen. Die 'Cham' (Hinduisten von Java, Indonesien) haben im 4. Jahrhundert begonnen eine weitläufige Tempelanlage zu Ehren der Gottheit Shiva im Urwald von Vietnam zu errichten. Dort wurde gebetet, meditiert, Zeremonien abgehalten und Könige begraben. Im Laufe der nächsten 1000 Jahre wurden immer wieder neue Tempel hinzugefügt, so dass zeitweilig über 70 Gebäude existierten. Der erste Eindruck überzeugt schon mal. 😯
    Überall entdeckten wir wunderschöne Statuen und Reliefs mit hinduistischer Bedeutung. So zum Beispiel Ninda (die Kuh), Kala (ein löwenartiges Wesen zum Schutz vor Bösem, sehr ähnlich zum balinesisch-hinduistischen Barong), Shiva, Ganesha.. Die Altäre stellten in der Regel ein männliches (Lingum) und ein weibliches Geschlechtsorgan dar. Bei Opfergaben wurde Milch von der heiligen Kuh verwendet. Sehr interessante Riten, die die Cham hatten. 😮😉 Nachdem das Volk die Tempel verlassen hatten, gerieten diese in Vergessenheit. Heutzutage leben die Nachfahren im Süden Vietnam und praktizieren den Islam.
    Erst während der französischen Kolonialherrschaft im 19ten Jahrhundert wurden die Anlagen wiederentdeckt und großflächig aufgearbeitet. Das führte allerdings auch dazu, dass viele Köpfe von den Statuen gestohlen und nach Frankreich verbracht wurden. Heutzutage stehen diese im Louvre in Paris. ⛲ Mr. Jom erklärte uns das folgendermaßen: "Wir haben die Franzosen gefragt, ob sie uns die Köpfe wieder zurückgeben könnten. Sie haben uns eine sehr gute Antwort: ...Nein." 😬

    Ein schwerer Einschnitt, in die Geschichte dieser uralten Anlage, erfolgte während des Vietnamkrieg. Durch Flächenbombardements der Amerikaner wurden innerhalb einer Woche knapp 50 der 70 Gebäude zerstört. Die Bombenkrater sind gigantisch und überall im Wald zu finden. Dabei wurde auch der größte Turm, mit einer beeindruckenden Höhe von 24 Meter, pulverisiert. 💥
    Mittlerweile wurde ein Großteil des Areals durch Kooperationen mit Indien und Italien, aber auch Deutschland für Besucher zugänglich gemacht. Es gibt noch zahlreiche offene Fragen: Wieso sind die Ziegel so widerstandsfähig, nicht mit Moos bewachsen und wie werden die Steine zusammengehalten? Schließlich wurde kein Mörtel verwendet und die Strukturen sind mitunter 1600 Jahre alt. Wenn wir diese Technik heutzutage reproduzieren könnten, würden unsere Backsteingebäude wohl auch ewig erhalten bleiben. Diese Frage erschwert unter anderem auch eine fachgerechte Restauration.

    Die total verblüffenden Einblicke in die Welt der Cham und in die Anlage wurden uns von unserem Guide Mr. Jom ermöglicht, einer vietnamesischen Fusion aus Elvis und Johnny Depp. 😂 ..aber trotz seiner 'coolen' Art sehr sympathisch. Auf dem Rückweg fuhren wir mit dem Boot auf dem Fluss zurück nach Hoi An, während sich hinter uns schon wieder ein dickes Gewitter zusammenbraute. ☔
    Dort probierte Lisa ihren Rock an und ließ ein paar Änderungen einfließen. Abends durchstöberten wir den Nachtmarkt auf der Suche nach Laternen und wurden fündig. 😈🏮
    Da haben wir uns nicht lumpen lassen und schon mal sechsundzwanzig ergattert. 😅
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An Chinh

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