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Central Vietnam: Hoi An and My Son


Hoi An
formerly known as Faifo, was an important port for Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese traders during 15th-19th centuries.
1999 brought Hoi An back onto the world map as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sleepy old buildings have been transformed into galleries, shops and cafes – a town of silk weavers and tailors catering to the now tourist trade. One can easily pass the days wandering the lanes and market of the old town.  Exploring is a bit more relaxed with no car traffic permitted, but motorbikes can still zoom by as well as charming tailors tempting you into their shops.  Hoi An also hosts many colorful festivals a year.
See more on:
http://www.hoianworldheritage.org.vn/en.hwh


Getting to Hoi An
is an easy one hour drive south of Da Nang City.
Frequent daily flights operate from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh with more direct international flights coming in from Bangkok, Singapore, Siem Reap and Seoul.

Many may remember Da Nang from the Vietnam war news where the first US troops came ashore on what they called China Beach ( it is actually My Khe Beach) in 1965.  Da Nang today has been totally rebuilt into a modern city determined to move forward.   A young post-war population is filling Da Nang University.
Big new resorts are lining the beaches.

The city does showcase an ancient past however, with the Cham Museum:

The History of Champa
and the Cham Dynasty dates back to 4th century AD with the migration of ancestors of the Cham people to mainland Southeast Asia and the founding of their Indianized maritime kingdom. Royal temples dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu began emerging in My Son– an area to the south of present day Hoi An. Champa’s peak was from the 7-10th centuries when the kingdom controlled the trade in spices and silk between China, India and Indonesia.  Over time, a series of battles took place between the Cham and Sailendras of Java, with the Khmer of Angkor and the Viets.  The Cham were defeated by the Khmer under Jayavarman VII in 12th century.
Champa was finally absorbed into Vietnam in 1832.  Today a Cham minority having embraced Islam, reside in Vietnam and in Cambodia.

 

My Son
This former Cham site dates back to 4th century where you can see ruins of temples and towers dedicated to Shiva built by King Bhadravarman.  Although many of the temples were bombed by American B-52s during the 1960s, the remains of My Son can still be appreciated as a UNESCO Heritage site.
My Son is an approx. 45 minute drive from Hoi An.  There are three zones which can easily be visited in half a day and best go early morning to avoid the mid-day heat.


Accomodations in Hoi An:
There are loads of small guest inns within old town and many of the rooms are very small and overpriced for what they are.
Below are some places within easy walk of old town and the river:

Ha An Hotel:
http://www.haanhotel.com/

Orchid’s Homestay:
http://www.orchidshomestay.com/

Luxury:
Anantara Resort 


Projects to support:

Reaching out Vietnam Crafts produced by disabled artisans.
and check out their Tea House close by!
https://reachingoutvietnam.com/about-us/our-story/

Streets Cafe – great place to dine supporting this training project: www.streetsinternational.org

For HUE- the former Imperial Capital
approx 3.5 hours drive north of Hoi An and Da Nang:  CLICK HERE

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