My Son (Hindu) temples were built in the time of the Kingdom of Champa (4th to 14th century AD) and were dedicated to worship of the god Shiva. The ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and you’ll see a picture of them hanging outside of almost every “tour agency” in Hoi An. But are they worth a visit?
A trip to the My Son ruins from Hoi An takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes on a motorbike, so I decided to visit them myself. A great deal of the drive is spent on the highway which is quite dangerous and best avoided when driving on a motorbike in Vietnam. Especially after dark. Trucks and buses will be constantly driving on your lane when overtaking other trucks, buses, motorbikes – and they don’t really care if you are heading straight towards them, so you have to move. But that’s how it is in Vietnam. So, drive slow … and if you go, make sure you go back before dark (don’t repeat my mistake!).
The second part of the journey is easier and much nicer as you drive through the green countryside and road conditions are good.
The My Son ruins
The My Son ruins were heavily bombed in the American War, so there is really not much to see there. I think that it’s really not worth the drive. Don’t go if you are not really into the whole temple thing or a complete history buff. But do go if you like seeing bomb craters marked with flags. I’d rather spend another day strolling down the Old Town or driving around the countryside of Hoi An anytime.
Admission fee is 100.000 VND and 5.000 VND for motorbike parking.
The long way back
So, the My Son ruins were a waste of time and I headed back to Hoi An a bit disappointed. It was getting dark already, since I arrived a bit late.
It wouldn’t be such a problem (I would just take it a bit slower on the highway) if it wouldn’t start pouring rain as if it’s the end of the world soon after I left the site. Luckily I always carry a rain poncho and backpack cover with me, so I wasn’t completely wet. But the highway was sick. The amount of water I got splashed on me by all the trucks passing by is unbelievable. Like the rain wasn’t enough. And we were moving slow, so slow that the trip back took me more than two hours. I was hungry as hell and it really seemed to last forever.
Everything was better in an instant, when I made a stop for a quick Pho Bo energy boost when arriving to Hoi An. After I took a shower and got rid of the wet clothes, it was time for more food and Bia Hoi.
It didn’t really stop raining till noon next day and the street where my homestay was located was flooded with water, but well … I guess it wouldn’t be a rainy season without some rain.
And it was a nice brief intro into things to come later (when riding through the mountains of North Vietnam in heavy rain).