Motorbiking to My Son Ruins
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Before I even arrived in Hoi An, I knew I wanted to go to My Son (Mỹ Sơn) so I’m not sure why I waited until the day before I left to finally rent a motorbike and make the 40km trek. But it was an awesome way end to my time in Hoi An.
My Son (Mỹ Sơn) is located near the village of Duy Phú and is a cluster partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. The temples were dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva and is regarded one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia. From the 4th to the 14th century AD, Mỹ Sơn was a site of religious ceremony for kings of the ruling dynasties of Champa, as well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes. At one time, the site was made up of over 70 temples as well as numerous monuments bearing inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham. My Son (Mỹ Sơn) is perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, but a large majority of its architecture was destroyed by US carpet bombing during the American War. As of 1999, Mỹ Sơn has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
The ruins themselves aren’t necessarily amazing (especially being able now to reflect back on Angkor Wat*), but the trip was just an amazing experience. I had spent the last 4 days on a cruiser bike, but two full weeks into the trip and I finally got my day of motorbiking through the countryside under the hot golden sun…
*Before visiting, I had read that My Son was the “Angkor of Vietnam.” After seeing both, that so not the case… That’s like comparing a kid’s pop-warner football team to the New England Patriots in the Tom Brady era.