Day 4 (Mỹ Sơn & onwards to Hue)
For once, we had a chance to taste the “free breakfast” at an originally booked hotel. The spread at the Jade hotel was pretty good, a typical English breakfast spread. The pool side table only made it better.
Our driver arrived by the designated time of 8 a.m. Mỹ Sơn is located about 50Kms away from Hoi-An ; is about 60 minutes away by car the road was pretty smooth.
About Mỹ Sơn
Mỹ Sơn is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is Bhadreshvara.Mỹ Sơn is perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, but a large majority of its architecture was destroyed by US carpet bombing during a single week of the Vietnam War.The Mỹ Sơn temple complex is regarded one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. It is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur of Java in Indonesia, Angkor Wat of Cambodia, Bagan of Myanmar and Ayutthaya of Thailand. As of 1999, Mỹ Sơn has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
The entrance is located about a Kms walk from the main ticket gate/ticket counter. The paved pathway leads to a motorized Cart stand; the carts transfer the tourist another 1km to the main ruins site. It was interesting to find an ‘Indian Connect’ so far away from home.
The overall ruins complex is not that large; there are probably only 5- temples complex and a lot of restoration work was ongoing at the time of the vist; a collaboration between the Indian and vietnamese government.
We strolled around the archaeological site for about an hour or so; listening to our guide narrating the history of the champa people. To be honest, the site itself wasn’t too extraordinary for us since we had been to such ruins multiple times back home in India. What was interesting though a religion had spread very far away from its source hundreds of years ago.
The highlight of the evening had to be song & dance performance by the performance group towards the end of the tour. It lasted for about half hour and was well appreciated by the audience.
So overall, we were done with Mỹ Sơn in about 1.5 hours and it was quite an experience. Lunch was a part of the itinerary and we returned to Hoi-An for a quick lunch on the other side of the canal. It was unfortuante but we realized we were about to miss a very unique side of Hoi-An; this side was almost themed like a modern Riviera. We missed this side on the previous day primarily due to the lack of knowledge.
We definitely wanted to spend more time here but our driver requested us to finish our lunch fast so as to catch the bus to Hue on time. The lunch was delicious and was a part of the itinerary but should cost some one in the range of 100K VNDs since it was a five course meal. (I ended up breaking an expensive glass here)
The bus from Hoi-An to Hue was a very interesting one; it was a very large sleeper bus with three columns. The operator was ‘the sinhtourist’ and I would highly recommend this operator when in vietnam. They were professional and the bus is very comfortable.
On the way to Hue, we passed by the beautiful city of danang again. While I wanted to take in the sights further, my body did not comply and I just fell asleep. The bus averaged at 40Km/hr ; so the journey was very comfortable although a bit slow.
When my eyes opened next, we were at Hue.
Thankfully canary hotel was located only half a Km away from the drop off location ; Gmaps as usual pointed to the precise location and we checked In by 3pm or so. The rooms were as per expectation ; very clean.
We had the rest of the day to our selves and there wasn’t much to do. So we got some laundry done and took a quick nap before heading out in the evening for supper.
Huế is a city in central Vietnam that was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its vast, 19th-century Đại Nội Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls. It encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City , once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theater.
Hue is a very urban large town-city with hundred of cafe’s and restaurants; worth mentioning since the density is very high.
Walking around Hue, we were offered Marijuana more times than we can remember. We ended the night with dinner at Nina’s cafe which was rated very highly on Google reviews.