The Chams were a people and a culture which flourished for 13 centuries until the 15th century, after which they were absorbed by the Vietnamese. They mixed their own beliefs with those of the Indians with whom they were in touch and adopted Hinduism and Sanskrit as their religion and their sacred language. Their main legacy nowadays are the so-called Cham towers, brick structures which can be found in many places in southern Vietnam.
As we approach the parking lot of My Son, we realise we are in a remote area of this part of Vietnam. No villages nearby, no villages anywhere in sight in the surrounding hills. After walking a little bit, a special shuttle truck takes us to the actual entrance of the site. Here, several groups of temples still stand, while others have been blown away - brick victims of the American war when guerrillas used some of the temples to hide. Bombing of the towers stopped after a French expert of Cham culture wrote a letter to president Nixon.
But some of the complexes fortunately still exist, while attempts are underway to restore whatever is possible to restore of the destroyed temples. Apart from the impressive temples with their still visible sculptures and the seemingly impossibility of having brick walls still standing after resisting centuries of rain, storms, war and pillaging, the ensemble of brick towers sticking out of the jungle gave an eternal impression on me. Something more down-to-earth I appreciated was the cold river where we could cool off.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from My Son Temples (Vietnam). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to My Son Temples.
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