Posts Tagged ‘My Son’

Malaysia has many holidays. In fact, along with China and Egypt, they have the most number of public holidays in a year. As such, when i was doing my summer internship in KL,  i was lucky to have long weekend couple times and able to explore other touristic places nearby in South East Asia. Amongst that was Vietnam to reunite with my best-friends from previous work who now lives spread all over the place.  While there, i visited the following:

1. Hoi An 

Hoi An is located in south central coast of Vietnam. It is a well preserved trading port that raise to prominence in 15-19th century. An ancient town which its building and street plans reflect the mixing influences of many different settlement there (Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Indians and indigenous people of Champa kingdom), Hoi An is one of the world-heritage site recognized by UNESCO.

The best way to explore Hoi An is through cycling (around 15-20 minutes from the hotel by the beach – yeap, they also have beaches nearby). Some of the hotels were actually provide opportunity for its guest to borrow the bike from the hotel and use it the whole day, free of charge.  The only thing that we need to be careful of is the chaotic traffic. It was not full with car but rather motorcycle who honk at almost each time. The key is to relax, and ignore it. Just let them pass.

In Hoi An, we can visit numerous temple with striking colours and heavily influenced with Chinese architecture. We can also take a walk along the riverside and try the infamous Vietnam coffee. Here in Vietnam, drinking coffee is big habit, almost similar like the way the Turkish drink tea. Everywhere you go you will find coffee shop. It is mostly served cold and very tasty.

Hoi An riverside

One of the ancient temple in Hoi An

The bridge over the river is  decorated with colorful lanterns

The bridge over the river is decorated with colorful lanterns

The bridge that connect to the Japanese settlement

The bridge that connect to the Japanese settlement

The dragon statue in front of one temple

The dragon statue in front of one temple

The ancient town of Hoi An

The ancient town of Hoi An

Another famous thing from Hoi An is its lantern and crafts-making. The street in ancient town was dotted with many lantern-makers, crafts made from roots and paintings from rice. We can also bought ceramics with interesting designs.

While we are here, we also try the delicious beef rice noodle soup called “Pho”.  Other noodle dishes also worth-trying. In addition, you should also go for a massage. My friends and i experienced 1-hour massage and to be honest it was probably one of the best massage i had that year. Compared to Thai massage? They are better (sorryyyy….) !!

A woman making lantern

A woman making lantern

Colorful lanterns that is sold in Hoi An

Colorful lanterns that is sold in Hoi An

Handy-craft made from tree's roots

Handy-craft made from tree’s roots

Superbly delicious dry noodle 🙂

Scenery at Hoi An

Scenery at Hoi An

2. Mỹ Sơn 

Located quite close to Hoi-An (like 4 hours driving), Mỹ Sơn is a place worth visiting. Its a ruin of Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva that built between 4th – 14th century AD by the Champa kingdom. Its valley was used as a religious ceremonial site and also as burial to the Champa’s royalties and heroes.  Once, it was even consisted of 70 temples and numerous stele bearing historically critical sanskrit and Cham. Unfortunately, large proportion of its architecture was destroyed by US carpet bombing during the initial period of Vietnam war.

Mỹ Sơn - an UNESCO world heritage site

Mỹ Sơn – an UNESCO world heritage site

The ruins in My Son

The ruins in My Son

At certain hour, they conduct a show of traditional Champa’s dances and music exhibition. Its quite beautiful and fascinating performance. One of the dance required the performers to hold a vase on their head without losing balance and made the vase stays put.

Traditional Champa dance performed in My Son

Traditional Champa dance performed in My Son

Musicians performed the traditional Champa song

Musicians performed the traditional Champa song

3. Da Nang 

Da Nang is a famous beach resort (Non Nuoc beach) and entertainment center in Vietnam. Its proximity to numerous UNESCO world heritage site (the imperial city of Hue, ancient town of Hoi An and My Son ruins) make it a perfect hub to be visited. It is also the home of Marble Mountain, a rocky limestone outcrops situated out of the beach. In this mountain there are numerous pagodas built by Nguyen Dynasty among the caves. Its also dotted with many artisans producing marble and jade sculptures.

The temple's main gate at Marble Mountain

The temple’s main gate at Marble Mountain

The rooftop architecture is heavily influenced with China's culture

The rooftop architecture is heavily influenced with China’s culture

The front-altar in one of the pagoda at Marble mountain

The front-altar in one of the pagoda at Marble mountain

One of the many caves in Marble mountain

One of the many caves in Marble mountain

Non Nuoc beach as seen from the top of Marble Mountain

Non Nuoc beach as seen from the top of Marble Mountain

The God of Wealth sculpture made from marble

The God of Wealth sculpture made from marble

4. Ho-Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh city is the largest city in Vietnam. Its derived its name from the Vietnamese communist leaders. The city is adorned with elegant boulevards and French-colonial buildings. As such, there are many historical buildings can be visited here. Amongst them are the city hall, reunification palace, opera house, and Notre dame cathedral.

Ho Chi Minh city hall

Ho Chi Minh city hall

Statue of one Vietnam hero

Statue of a Vietnam hero

French-colonial building in Ho Chi Minh

French-colonial building in Ho Chi Minh

Daily portrait of Ho Chi Minh's street

Daily portrait of Ho Chi Minh’s street

So, thats all my first trip to Vietnam. I am still missing some key places to be visited, such as the sand dunes Mui Ne (also a famous beach resort), Ha Long Bay, Thien Duong Cave (31 km long!!) and  imperial city of Hue.

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