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 DAY TWELVE - My Son Temple, Vietnam

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Tokyo | Day 2 Tokyo | Day 3 & 4 Singapore | Day 5 Singapore | Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City | Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City & Tunnels

Day 8 Can Tho | Day 9 Floating Market | Day 10 Flower Market | Day 11 Hoi An | Day 12 My Son Temple | Day 13 Hanoi | Day 14-16 Halong Bay

Day 17 Luang Prabang | Day 18 Temples-Waterfalls | Day 19 Mekong River | Day 20-21 Bagan | Day 22 Bagan | Day 23 Inle | Day24-25 Inle

Day 26-27 Finale

Click photos for a larger image...

Day 12 was overcast with a forecast of light showers which is a bummer, but the hotel provided free umbrellas to take with us.

Today we joined a group tour of about 35 people. It was an English tour, but what was really funny is that we were the only people that have English as a home language on the entire tour! Everyone else was either German, French, Russian, Chinese or Japanese. As there aren't any independent tours in their languages and they all spoke English it was the logical thing for them to do.

The only way you get a tour in anything other than English is if you booked a package tour from your own country with a fixed itinerary for all people. Then the tour is run in your language.

We took a 90 minute drive from Hoi An to see My Son Temple.

Along the way the country side was beautiful, just rice paddies as far as the eye can see, followed by small villages, then more rice paddies.

Once we arrived we were shuttled by electric cars to the temple then it was about a 15 minute walk. (I accidently deleted the nice selfie of us - got Wendy messing with her camera settings instead of smiling at you!)

The My Son temple was built in the 4th Century by the Champa peoples. No one actually knows where they came from, some think India. There is a remarkable similarity, heritage and culture to this temple and that of Ankor Wat in Cambodia.  Both are possess major historical and religious importance by Hindus.

The area is very lush and jungle-like

Over the years until the 14th Century the temple was added onto by various Kings and became a large complex with over 70 temples.

It is the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, but a large majority of its architecture was destroyed by US Forces carpet bombing during a single week of the Vietnam War. Nice job, guys. NOT!

Our tour guide, his English was of course good, but still difficult to understand because Vietnamese cannot pronounce S's so they drop them completely. Restaurant = Retorant and even Vietmanese = Vietnamee.


(More on this below in "Wendy's Notes") 

Inside the Meditation Temple.

Here is a clever shot Wendy took in a roadside mirror as we sped by in the oversize golf cart! Neat!  Out of focus but what do you expect when you have less than one millionth of a nano second to get the shot and they are screaming at crazy speeds.

On the way to the next stop I noticed that people only paint their houses on the front. Side and back is left bare. Guess this saves money but retains curb appeal.

Next was a boat ride back to town (big surprise, we're on a boat again!) Unlike the USA, there is no safety speech or demonstration of safety equipment, you just get on and go while the captain smokes a cigarette!

They have green triangular and red square channel markers, opposite to us.

This is their no wake sign.

We stopped in a village to see how they build boats, big and small.

This boat above sells for $4000 out of the box.

The reason they have eyes painted in front of their boats is for protection from evil spirits - according to our guide.

This is their local ferry into town - yes, you can take your scooter with you, of course!


So after an included lunch of pork and noodles (big surprise) we were driven back to our hotel arriving at 3 pm.

Vietnamese beds are built from wood with slats and the mattress is placed on the slats. Sadly the wooden base extrudes from under the mattress and your shins become a major target as you constantly bump into the corners. Ouch!!!

So we fixed the problem!


And finally...

Read number 5...


They knew were were coming!!!!

(Less the drugs part - we have US Coast Guard random testing after all!! Booze....No PROBLEM!!!)

Look a little closer at this sign - clearly the guy who ordered the sign and the guy who actually made the sign NEVER communicated - someone never specified which way was up!


Wendy's note:  NONE of the Asian languages have plural and in Chinese, the is no tense other than present.  I was chatting with a few German tourists today who've also travelled Asia extensively and they also noted how difficult it is to understand the Vietnamese.  We all concluded it's the French's fault!  :D  Interestingly, we have NEVER had an issue understanding our guides in China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, etc.... Vietnam is just GAME OVER.  Say "cảm ơn bạn", smile and bow your head.


Just back from a great dinner from a local restaurant of fresh shrimp and fish spring rolls (enough to feed 4 people) and a couple Tiger beers. Also grabbed a giant 2 liter bottle of water, juice, 2 packs of smokes and a bottle of Chilean wine to enjoy on the balcony as we wind down for the evening.  Our whopping bill came to about $33.  Packing up and headed to Hanoi in the morning.  Um....6 freaking in the morning, ugh!

chúc ngủ ngon - Good night!