Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Morning Mỹ Sơn Visit

Mỹ Sơn temple
It was a painfully early morning, and it didn’t help that the breakfast that was included in the tour was at 5.15am when neither of us really felt like eating at all, but at least the coffee was appreciated. It took us just over an hour to arrive at the site and along the way our guide Vinh told us lots of info about everything we drove passed, he was already proving to be a great, enthusiastic guide. 

The Mỹ Sơn site was interesting, made even more so thanks to Vinh’s comprehensive explanations, and we learnt not only about Mỹ Sơn but also more about Hinduism in that one hour than we did in our entire three weeks in India. It’s disappointing that most of the site was destroyed from the Americans bombing it during the war, but there are a lot of restorations still ongoing as more temples are being uncovered and repaired so the site should improve over time.

Mỹ Sơn temples
After we’d explored the site it was back on the bus and since we hadn’t paid the extra to take the boat ride back to Hội An, as most of the group had, we essentially had the bus to ourselves once we’d dropped them all off along with tour guide Vinh, so we spread out and caught up on some sleep. We were back in town by 9.30am and still had the whole day ahead of us and since it was 4 hours since our first half-hearted breakfast we decided a second one was a good idea. 

While eating we decided it would be a good idea to hire some bikes and ride the 5km out to the beach. We took the scenic route through rice paddy fields where old ladies were planting, along rivers with fishermen and through old villages – it was a beautiful image of Vietnam and a very enjoyable ride. When we arrived at the beach we realised we were banned from actually approaching the beachfront with our bikes, even if we were just pushing them, and we soon realised that is was because we had to pay for parking for our bikes in a designated area, hilariously entrepreneurial! So we walked to the beach and then up and along it, checking out the many resorts perched right on the water’s edge. The cool bungalows with comfy looking sunbeds looked very tempting but were unfortunately out of our budget, maybe next time!

Lunch with a view!
We decided a seafood lunch right on the beach was too good an opportunity to pass up and we surprisingly found a place that was quite reasonably priced. We enjoyed fresh greens, more fantastic fresh spring rolls and oyster noodles while relaxing and watching the non-existent surf roll in. Too soon it was time for us to roll on and it wasn’t long before we were sweating like pigs from the humidity. To help cool down we kept our eye out for our favourite red bean ice cream, it wasn’t till halfway home that we found it, but thanks to the wait it tasted extra good!

Since it was still a few hours before the bikes were due back we explored the suburbs and outer pagodas that would’ve been too far to walk too easily. By late arvo we were in need of some aircon as it was really hot so we returned the bikes and cooled down in our room until dusk when we walked back down to the river to enjoy our last evening in Hội An.

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