Monday, May 7, 2007

Hoi An, Vietnam - 2May07

My Son (Read as "mi song"), Mini Angkor

Viet Ha was leaving for Hue today. We got a road side breakfast and bid farewell. It was always nice to have meal with local because there wouldn't be language problem and i would get a local rate at few thousand Dong instead of tens of thousand.

The fees to My Son was really an over charged. The impression i got when i got there was, "So they left only these few pieces of ruins." Cham civilization is one of the similar to Angkor. Been to Angkor before had making these few pieces of ruins looked so unsignificant to me in a way. However i like the apsara dance. The body language was beautiful and in Vietnamese standards, the bikini liked kind of dancing dress was really 'impressive'!

The guide told us that, the restoration of the ruins was difficult to carry out as the material that the Cham used to paste the bricks or stones were unknown. But the restoration of the similar Angkor has been carried out for so long. So i would say the problem lies on the money. In Angkor, the French, Japanese, German and American have been doing a lot to help in the restoration and conservation. I think My Son probably is lacking of the international help. However we could see clearly that, the original pieces of the building looked pretty much quite 'new' while the one that pasted with cement by the restoration efforts of Vietnamese government ten years ago looked ugly and old. The ancient construction civilisation around the world is probably one thing that we all would never ever found out or surpassed.

i was surprised when we got a vegetarian meal as lunch during the boat trip. After the boat trips at Mekong, i would say this boat trip was really nothing much.

In the afternoon, i met an Iranian at the beach 5km from the town.We chatted a bit but i wasn't really keen to talk to him. He was kind of complaining how expensive it was in Veitnam and how could it be even more cheaper. I was bored and at the same time, i didn't want a middle east guy to mistaken that i could be his number ten wife!

The dinner was an interesting one. i hang out with 3 girls. One from Finland, one from Italy and one from England. They were also just met some where and since they were on the same route, then they just gang up so that they could get cheaper accommodation and short companionship. They said, if they were in Europe, they won't even bother to talk to each other as it is not their culture to just hook up with someone or to talk to a stranger. I was a bit surprised then. i have never been to Europe, but when i am/was traveling around Asia, it was just kind of easy to talk to people and basically i found no difficulty to just ask "Can i join you?" or "Do you want to sit together?" to any Westerners. Many would say this first. But if i met some Asian people, i know that i would be the one to talk or invite first as Asian are more shy. So may be this is about the time that i explore to another culture soon.

The Champa cultural show at My Son ruins.
Consider how conservative this country is, the traditional custome wore by the dancers are really 'exposing'.
It was a nice show though.

My Son is considered to be Champ's smaller counterpart to the grand cities of Southeast Asia's other Indian-finflenced civilisations: Angkor (Siam Reap, Cambodia), Ayuthaya (Thailand), Bagan(Burma) and Borobudur (Java, Indonesia).

River cruise from My Son to Hoi An town jetty.

Fine sands and palm-lined Cua Dai Beach. Looks better than Nha Trang beach but the sea water is the similar murky.

1.) Food: 95000 D
2.) Accommodation: 120000 D
3.) Sights: Enrance My Son - 60000D
4.) Transport: Town to the beach , return - 40000 D
5.) Others: Internet 5000D ; 2 ear rings - 25000 D

[Cashed USD 50 traveler's cheque at the commision of USD 2.50 with bank. Rate 1 USD= 16040 Dong]

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