My Son

I had a rather early start and by 6 am I was in the old town of Hoi An at the market.

This is the market hall:

Despite the early hour it was bustling with life and there were loads of people having their breakfast in the “fast food” section, in the form of some kind of soup or noodle dish or other.

Here some impressions:

All different kinds of fresh noodles at about 10 stalls:

Real farm chicken – not from the factory – quite pricey but firm, tasty meat:

My department :) :

Some kitties playing under a table in the eating section of the building:

Here I stocked up on delicious bananas for the day:

 

After all the looking and walking I had earned my first ice coffee for the day :) Here are two local brides at the next table flirting with me:

They invited me over to their table – but none of them spoke a word of English. Which kind of limited our conversation :) I understood, however, that they were working in a restaurant where they had seen me as a guest – but maybe I got it completely wrong :)

After that I took off, to finally visit My Son, a UNESCO world heritage site. It was the temple city of the Cham (or Champa) empire – that ruled Southern and Central Vietnam from the 7th till the 15th century – which makes it one of the longest lasting empires in history. The temples are Hinduistic , as basically the whole of Indochina was first “conquered” by old Indian religion – Buddhism coming later (but also from India).

There were many tourist buses and it took quite some effort and patience to take a few snapshots with not too many tourists on them :)

After the fall of the Cham Empire in 1471 My Son became more and more forgotten and was reclaimed by the jungle. Only in 1895 or so it was rediscovered by some Frenchmen – and the same Parmentier who excavated Angkor Wat also excavated My Son.

Altogether there were 68 structures in the big temple compound, that was surrounded by a moat and by walls. During the Vietnam war our dear American friends managed to bomb away 48 of them – the reason for that not being entirely clear to me. They also used a lot of Agent Orange in the area. If you are too young to know what this is and what it does, have a look here and spare me an explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange

Anyway, it was interesting to visit this smaller Cham version of the Khmer’s Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I just wished I had been there at 6am, when they open the gates. Because there would have been less tourists – and I would not have melted in the sun so much…

I had a guide who, of all people, was from Berlin! With a bigger belly than my own and a real “Berliner Schnauze”. He is currently planning to open a beer-garden establishment in Hoi An, in the Berlin style of the sixties, with Buletten, Currywurst, Eisbein and such stuff. Oh my god! Just what Hoi An needs! The world is really colourful!

I have retreated to my air conditioned room and will the swimming pool for the first time before I will venture out for some aperitifs and an early dinner at the river.

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