On the coast, Hoi An is a former trading post and a perfect tourist destination.
A Meeting Place
Although Hoi An is very touristy it’s also very relaxed. There are art galleries and hotels but the Chinese wooden shops are very attractive with nice tourist tat. I really wanted to buy a very large wooden horse I could never have got home. The narrow streets in the ancient town centre have lanterns hanging from them. French colonial buildings and temples are scattered between the shops.
The Japanese covered bridge is a must see. Originally built to join the Japanese and Chinese communities it spans the river that divides them. It’s been restored many times but the dog and monkey statues still guard it.
The local An Bang Beach has perfect white sand and clear water. We did have a quick walk along it but the town was far more interesting.
My Son Temples
The temples of My Son are forty kilometres away. These Hindu temples were dedicated to Shiva. They were discovered in the nineteenth century by French archaeologists. Cham kings were buried here between the seventh and thirteenth century. They were built from red bricks and many have carvings on them. Instead of mortar, resin from trees was used. This means the bricks are very tightly packed together.
My Son was one of the most interesting places we visited. But once again American shells and bullets damaged the temples during the Vietnam war.
There are still unexploded mines in the area so you need to stay with your guide, best not to get blown up.