Saturday, 9 March 2013 · champa, my son, ruins, vietnam

Mỹ Sơn - morning with Champa dynasty

Zbigniew Czapran

We had to wake up very early that day (4:30am) and after 15 minutes we had been waiting outside our hotel for the transport. The night wasn't very dark as it was second night after the full moon. We expected a bus, however instead an SUV picked us and another couple up and took us for breakfast consisting of Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguette) with egg and mint as well as small cup of tea. After several minutes the whole group of sightseers arrived and we could finally start our trip. Unfortunately, the sunrise happened while we were still on the bus and as we reached our destination the sun was already fully above the horizon.

Mỹ Sơn surroundings
Mỹ Sơn surroundings

In the morning shade of Cat's Tooth mountain the forest was steaming with humidity. The path to the Hindi temples of Champ dynasty, although paved, was slippery and sometimes dangerous. Fortunately, after several minutes we arrived at the place called Mỹ Sơn. Between 4th and 14th century it was a site of religious ceremonies, as well as a burial place of Champa kings and national heroes. Despite its long history, the US carpet bombing during the Vietnam War was the main reason most of the buildings and statues are nowadays irreversibly destroyed. Currently Mỹ Sơn is the foremost heritage of this nature in Vietnam and in 1999 has been recognized as UNESCO world heritage site.

Champa temples
Champa temples
One of Champa's tombs on the left
One of Champa's tombs on the left

The ruins left quite good impression on us, not only because their beauty and craft but also because of remnants (e.g. still visible bomb craters) of the war that happened only few decades ago.