In the middle of all the work with the group paper that we all are doing it is important to find time to relax and explore the many UNESCO World Heritage sites in the area that we are in. One of the more spectacular areas is My Son. This is a place filled with ruins of old Hindu temples from the 4th century until the 16th. They are mostly built for the Hindu god Shiva and are truly amazing to look at. The buildings are partially overgrown by nature and walking around amongst the green mountains and the ancient architecture makes you feel like you’re in an Indiana Jones film. The place also offer a cultural show with traditional music and dance. The trip from Hoian takes somewhere between one and two hours and is almost as interesting as the heritage site itself. The roads go around the hills and through small villages and rice fields with tombs in every colour in every direction.
If you get up early you might be able to do a detour to see the Lady Buddha Statue in Da Nang. She is protecter of the ocean and a very popular figure not only for travellers and fishermen, but for most people in Vietnam. The statue is gazing over the oceans from the tip of Da Nang and on a clear day one could even see her from the beach in Hoian! The statue is larger than Lady Liberty in New York and inside there is statues of all the other Buddhas that have appeared through out the ages. On the grounds around the statue there is a temple and garden with a variety of nicely cut and organised trees which are quite amusing to watch.
If you are taking this trip I would also recommend you to go to the marble mountain. This is on of the many mountains where artists get the marble for their statues. The mountain is surrounded by marble shops and statues, but its the mountain itself that amazes me. It shoots up from the ground with almost straight edges on every side! There is, hoverer a path up, with a few temples and a nice cave with yet another buddha. You get a good view and if you don’t want to walk to the top there is also an elevator. After this busy day of sight seeing its always good to come home to Hoian for a good meal and a comfy bed before the next day of exploring, sunbathing, reading or writing.