A couple of days ago, Robert and I decided to take our lives into our own hands (instead of placing our lives into the hands of a crazy bus driver) and hired a motorbike to take a day trip to My Son.
My Son was — at least for us — about a 90 minute moto ride from Hoi An. No doubt many people get there in less time, but we were in no hurry. The drive was quite lovely and we passed numerous rice fields, temples, craft villages and towns.
Not all that surprisingly, we got lost at one point and ended up on a tiny little concrete path running through the fields. We eventually found the road we were supposed to be on. Unfortunately, it was a raised highway and there were no on-ramps. No worries, this is Vietnam. There was a clear trail up the hill to the road and off we went. (In complete candor, this was only after we went up another very clear trail that (1) was blocked at the very top and (2) went right pass a nursery school resulting in something like 50 kids running out and screaming hello at the top of their lungs — I’m sure the teacher loved us. Not.). And then there was the cow traffic jam where everyone had to stop to let the cows cross the road … The drive was worth the entire experience, especially the looks the Vietnamese moto drivers gave us while we were on the concrete path which made clear they were thinking “do you have any idea where you are?”.
My Son is another UNESCO world heritage site. It consists of Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and 14th century. The temples were built of brick with no mortar and yet many of them are still standing. The temples were used by the Viet Cong as a base during the war. Some sources say the US military carpet bombed the ruins during the war, while others say Congress forbade the military from bombing them. Not sure which is accurate. I would say they were some of the least impressive ruins we have seen over the years.
Although that judgment might be a bit tainted because it was so hot. Unbearably hot. Middle of the jungle, 100 degrees, no breeze, sweat right through your clothes — that kind of hot. We were pretty miserable. But there was cao lau and bia hoi waiting for us back in Hoi An, so all in all it was a good day.