Into the woods to find Myson and the Champas


In an earlier post on Danang, I mentioned a few of the ancient sites in central Vietnam. Hoi An and MySon are two of them, and both top the-must-see-place list for this region.


Lets go

So, after a heavy breakfast, we were all set for another adventure. The rain didn’t stop us, but accompanied us instead all the way to Myson .


MySon is a cluster of Hindu temples located in the mountainous border of  Quang Nam province in central Vietnam. The temples were constructed between 4th and 14th century AD by the Kings of Champa and is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The temple site had once been used for religious ceremonies for the Champa Kings and was also the burial place for the Cham Royalty and the national heroes.  

The grand Myson

Myson was recognised as an UNESCO world heritage site in 1999. According to research, there were once over 70 temples here. The temples had been abandoned and left inhabited for a very long time. Due to this and the war, the site had been partially ruined. Today, only 18 of the 70 temple structures have survived.

The Myson ancient temple site is located 69km southwest of Danang. It takes 1 hour to get here by road. Guided tours are operated daily from Danang and Hoi An. One can opt to come here by tour bus or by taxi. If you take a guided tour (by bus), you also have an option to either return by bus all the way or to include an one hour ferry ride to Hoi An.

Lets get going
We took a guided tour (with ferry transfer options). Entrance tickets were not part of the tour packages, so we had to add on those charges. Once there, the group had to walk approximately 500 meters to the electric tram station. The tram ride covers a distance of 2KMs, passing through the jungle on paved road to the relic area (this is the furthest any vehicle can go up to).  From here, we walked on wet semi-paved paths through more jungle for about 20 minutes. Luckily there wasn’t a war of umbrellas. Along the way, I stopped to admire the beautiful low hanging clouds in the mountains that surround the temple.

Calmness

The path got rough and uneven once we got close to the temples. It was a good decision not to wear shoes because the clumsy me had my foot on all sorts of puddle that morning.

At the relics, you'd notice that the temple clusters are near to each other and it can get crowded here, so it is important to look out for the right tour group. Otherwise, you may need to listen to a foreign language tour until you spot your other tour mates or spot that nice person you met in Hoi An, yes the one with the yellow umbrella again.

Admiring the temple

The guide was 'entertaining' but I think some of what he said was probably PG13. Nevertheless leaving that aside, kudos for his effort to provide us the condensed history of these Champa temples. Today you can still see a few important inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham in some of the temples. Most of the exhibits have been removed and are placed in various museums.

Around Myson

Here are some tips from me that would be useful for your trip to Myson.
  1. Have a good breakfast prior to the trip, especially if you are picky with food or have a high metabolism rate.
  2. Read up on Myson before the trip, you are in the land of Cham which is so full of history. 
  3. If you prefer reading up on its history on your own, a large tour may not be suitable for you. Try a smaller one or just take a taxi and come here on your own. Do come here early.
  4. If it rains, wear slippers but be careful, the paths can be slippery when wet. You can wash your feet at the rest area.
  5. Be prepared to walk, there is no provision to rest along the way or for wheelchairs.
  6. Bring some bottled water and light snacks like chocolate/biscuits.
  7. Bring an umbrella/cap/raincoat/cameras (hand phones).
  8. Toilet experience is not exactly the greatest,  try not to think about it after.
  9. You can get coffee and ice cream at the tram station.
  10. The ferry ride along the Bon River is nice, I wouldn’t miss that one.
  11. Tip your guide and driver, if you are taking a tour. They did do a good job after all.
  12. Wear a smile regardless of the weather.
We got back on the bus then headed for the ferry and once there we were served a tasty vegetarian lunch on board.

On Board

I needed a strong cup of coffee after all that walking. The coffee picture below was taken at the homestay we stayed in. This coffee picture takes me back a movie I saw recently The Post – get straight to the point, be quick, be willing, never give up, fact check, take the risk and stand up for your beliefs even though it is not going to be the popular choice. Sounds familiar – lifelong lessons, yes - applicable everyday. The early morning news in the Post is as fresh as the message in the coffee. - a simple traditional black Vietnamese coffee (without the phin) with condensed milk. It’s simple yet bold, full of body and regional uniqueness and most importantly true. Hot, they strike! The Post, Katherine, Ben and the coffee. 

The Post

Winter effects are still present in Spring in many parts of the world. I have included some pictures shared by friends from various corners of the globe - This week its a winter & early spring combo-edition:- from frozen rivers and lakes,  hot coffee in freezing ice, delightful deers, amazing views of snow topped mountains to early spring cherry blossoms. Nature is simply great! So is that hot coffee on a freezing day.  Have a great warm weekend and enjoy your cuppa. 💗💙💚💛💜💗

Winter&Spring Combo


Other related blogposts on Vietnam from the Coffee Archives:

https://reachingdelphi.blogspot.my/2018/03/lights-camera-action-wake-me-up-i-will.html

https://reachingdelphi.blogspot.com/2018/02/cocktail-of-marbles-beaches-and-golden.html

https://reachingdelphi.blogspot.com/2017/05/a-phin-song-and-double-shot.html

https://reachingdelphi.blogspot.com/2017/12/caphe-trung-or-pudding-either-way.html

4 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the combination of history, guide for travellers, and personal experience of the writer. This is a must read post for travellers to MySon and Hoi An.

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  2. The tips part if really helpful! Thanks :)

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  3. Wow, the grand Myson look like mysteriously ... , great temple.

    ReplyDelete