Da Nang – Hoi An – My Son

Da Nang – Hoi An – My Son

The portion of the central coast around Danang is one of the most scenic and interesting of the very long country coastline. The mountains drop precipitously into the South China see there, and it is less than 100km to the border with Laos. North, on the way to Hue, you’ll have spectacular views at the Hai Van pass, then go by the crystal clear turquoise blue lagoon of Lang Co.

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Just south the city lie the Marble Mountains, which consist of five marble hills, each said to represent one of the five elements of the universe (water,wood,fire,metal,earth). The largest has some of the finest troglodyte sanctuaries I have ever seen. Hoi An, 30km south of Danang, was one of South-East Asia’s main sailing ports from the 17th to the 19th century. It was a good material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international commercial port, and is still exceptionally well preserved. The city has retained a unique character, as there are still a thousand of very concentrated historical structures, and no modern development. It is a quiet and friendly place where you can still be transported one hundred years ago to a colorful past. The Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Nearly one millennium ago, My Son, 60km south of Danang, as the main Champa center was the counterpart of other South-East Asia’s great cities such as Angkor, Bagan, or Ayathuya. Between the 4th and 13th centuries a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Viet Nam. This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. The monuments on the site, set in a verdant valley, are largely ruined, but it is still possible to grasp the importance of the site and see the effects of time and vegetation. For beautiful specimen of Cham sculpture, you’d have to check the Cham Museum in Danang, whereas the best preserved structures are much further south. My Son Sancturary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hindu tower temples. My Son, Vietnam

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