Another attraction near Hoi An that you can visit on a day tour is My Son temples.
I didn’t find any way to get there with local buses, so I had to join a tour that turned out to be cheaper than driving there. It’s close, but still far for a car trip. The archaeological area still occupies several square meters, but temples are not that many.
The tour lasted all morning and we were picked up at our guesthouse. We were back in town in time for lunch. There were other options within this tour including a boat ride to Hoi An city center on the way back. We didn’t do that.
My Son temples are part of the UNESCO world heritage and are spread through a big area. The area still has a significant number of these relics of another era but much destroyed due to the war in Vietnam. Some are so destroyed that they are just a cluster of bricks. But in others, you can still see the statues carved in the facades that nature begins to cover with gentle green plants that give a charming look to each temple. I personally love temples and although these are similar to those of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, I am not tired of contemplating them. My Son temples are Hindu that’s why the architecture is similar to Cambodia’s ones.
It was actually a good idea to come here with a guide as otherwise, we would just be looking at stones as many of these temples are completely destroyed. This way we were able to know the stories they hide and how the Vietnam war had a core role in destroying most of them. It was also fun to discover that these old constructions are stronger than we can build nowadays. Archeologists are still studying how they were built because the ones they reconstructed nowadays are weaker than the older ones.
With the help of Italian archaeologists, they are “lifting” some of the temples in which they replace the old bricks with new ones that are assumed to be of inferior quality to the original ones. They have not yet discovered the right formula that makes up the original bricks that although archaic are stronger and more resistant than those made now. These are things that leave these archaeologists fascinated and those who hear the stories as well. There is even a temple so destroyed that no one wants to help rebuild it, the guide says. It is a place worth visiting, especially if you have not visited Cambodia yet. They are a great example of Cham architecture and the greatness of an ancestor civilization.
I must add that the pronunciation of “My son” is not the same as in English. Our guide was sarcastically saying that we are dumb when we say it the English way. You better say “Me Son temples”.