Our Guide showing us the layout of My Son
Well today we got the carriages of our RTW trip train back on the track lines! We were off to the ancient site of 'My Son' pronounced "Miii Sun"). This was another relatively early start for us as the bus was due to leave the hotel at 8:30. We had booked the trip variation where we got the bus to 'My Son' and then the boat back from 'My Son' with another sight to visit while on the boat trip and then lunch on the boat.
When we arrived at My Son
we were brought to the visitor center where the group were shown the layout of the site. There are several areas where there are ruins and there is a path that circles around all the sights and back to the beginning again.
An elephant statue at the entrance to My Son
After the initial introduction we were brought to the starting point, across the bridge and to the bus/jeep pickup point. Of course everyone wanted to go in the old American army jeeps and they tried to pack as many as possible into them, but only so many could travel that way ... the rest of us were stuck in the back of a toyota Hiace!! The weather was quite rainy and overcast so most people were wearing capes and the seats in the hiace were quite damp and wet ... a lovely start to the 'My Son experience!
During the trip we met up with an Australian couple Wendy and Peter who were on our bus and we headed off on the bus with them. After the short journey up the road we arrived at the start of the ruins. The ruins themselves were quite impressive and on close inspection you could see the detail that existed in the building work and the area itself.
The group getting ready to head off .... all covered up for the rain!
However, what also was very evident was the destruction done during war time. There were large, originally pillars, lying on the ground in several sections as well as parts of building were missing completely! The main area also had a building that was being used for restoration and there were several recovered artifacts currently being restored. Further into the Ruins complex itself there was also a building, well mainly rubble that was covered over. This was one of the most important buildings in the 'My Son' complex but it was also one of the most damaged by the American bombs, so they were slowly trying to recover as much of the building as possible. We had been given a time to meet back at the visitor center and after seeing the first 2 ... out of a total of 5 sections we realised that time was slipping by quite quick.
The bridge crossing into the sacred grounds of My Son
We decided to go and find our guide and keep up with them .... but after running through 2 of the sections, all we found were other people from our group ... also looking for the guide. Thankfully after finding about 10 of our group we thought that the bus wouldn't leave without all of us .. so we just meandered through the remaining sections of the ruins and back to the visitor center .... only about 10 minutes late after all!
Well after getting back on the bus we were still 3 people short and once they arrived we headed off. We made it about 2 miles down the road when the guide got a phone call to say that we had left 2 people behind ... but the bus was full ... and after the guide asked the bus who wasn't part of his group, nobody owned up to being on the wrong bus! We had to wait about 15 minutes until the 2 remaining people made it to the bus.
One of the modes of transport to bring us to the main section of My Son .. an old American Army jeep!
After the short delay and about half way along the road back to Hoi An
, we got off the bus and on to the boat. We really got one of the nicest boats available for the boat trip. We had a completely enclosed boat, some of the other boats were open sided and had a port-a-loo just sitting on the back of them .... take a look at the photo as proof! The boat chugged slowly (even slower than the 'slowboat' down the Meekong in Laos) down the river. We got lunch on the boat, streamed rice with vegetables and the usual slice of pinmeapple after the meal.
After lunch we pulled into a small port where we got off to visit a small craft village. These villages exist everywhere in Vietnam and contain mainly all the same type of items.
The other mode of transport to bring us to the main section of My Son .. a Toyota Hiace!!!
They are all beautiful of course but with us being on such a long journey we just didn't see the point in getting any of them and having to either carry them or post them back home. The village itself was a small fishing village as well ... and i did manage to get a photo of some of the circular fishing boats that the locals use for fishing the river as well as a picture of a local fisherman/woman mending thier nets in one of the normal boats. Everything is done by hand over here, whether it is farming, fishing or industrial work or anything, and this is probably the reason why all the Vietnamese are so thin and generally so physically fit. When you see the people in these villages and along the river, you will understand what I mean! For the remainder of the short boat trip back to Hoi An, I spent the time watching the locals along the banks of the river going about their daily life.
More of the ruins of the temples of My Son
Later on that night we decided to head out to one of the pubs, and we made our way back down to 'Here and Now' pub where I wanted to get a photo of some of the cocktails I had tried on New Years eve. Of course ... the only way to get a photo of these was to order them .... so we started a bit of a cocktail party!! We'll after several cocktails and several photos, I noticed a fella walk in with a Muster jersey on! There we met up with 2 Irish lads, a Limerick man and a Cork man who were also out on a tour of Asia! After a drink with them, the pub started to close ... and unfortunately .. these pubs were not like irish ones ... as they didn't understand the concept of a 'lock in'. After a bit of unsuccessful persuading we were told that there was a late bar across the Thu Bon River so off we headed on motorbikesacross the river.
One of the old temples in My Son
There was both myself and Caroline on 1 bike with one driver and then the 2 lads on another bike with the second driver! An interesting way to travel .. especially 2 at a time! We managed to have 2 drinks in the late bar before it was closing time .. and off we headed again on motorbikes back to the hotel. Another productive nights drinking ... these are becoming all too common though!