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My Son lay neglected for centuries, rediscovered by French archaeologists in 1898. Ravaged by time, ironically the greatest damage occurred during the Vietnam War, however, the majority of the central complex managed to survive the bombs and some parts are being restored. Devoted to Hindu Gods, the sanctuary is comprised of more than 70 red brick and sandstone temples arranged in clusters, incorporating striking decorative carvings, stele, sculptures, and inscriptions. Today, in various states of ruin, repair, and vegetation overgrowth, My Son nevertheless is still impressive, with around 20 temple structures still standing. There’s also an interesting on-site museum; visit early morning to escape the tour groups and heat.
More than 1,600 years ago, the Chan people of Vietnam began construction on dozens of Hindu temples near the village of Duy Phú. Under the shadow of Cat’s Tooth Mountain, and surrounded by a green valley, several of these temples still stand. Known collectively as My Son, most of the temples are now ruins. However, that only adds to the atmosphere. Visiting My Son is like stepping back in time, thanks in part to its secluded location and the lack of touristy infrastructure.
The verdant rice field countryside surrounding Sapa, bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still known by their French colonial era name of the Tonkinese Alps), are home to Vietnam’s most beautiful rural vistas. The deep valleys here are home to a diverse mix of the country’s ethnic minorities including the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao people while the rippling hills are terraced with rice fields and overlooked by the country’s tallest peak, Fansipan Mountain. This is the top trekking destination in Vietnam, with oodles of options to trek or day hike between tiny villages and experience the staggering mountain views. Sapa itself is the main base here – an old French hill station and now a bustling and forever growing tourist center that is a stark contrast to the sumptuous tranquil countryside right on its doorstep.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are basically a huge war museum offering visitors a sneak peak at the underground life of Viet Cong-era soldiers. Comprising more than 120km of tunnels, they were first started around 1948 when the Viet Cong were fighting the French. The work never stopped and resulted in a massive collection of tunnels. Today, it is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attractions where visitors can enjoy activities such as following the claustrophobia-inducing routes of the underground army, firing an M16 assault rifle, as well sampling meals that the underground soldiers had to live with years ago.
Located north of Greater Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels provide a more interactive historical experience for all ages (although claustrophobics should perhaps miss this one). Stretching for 100-plus miles towards former Saigon, this immense network of connecting underground tunnels was the secret HQ for the Viet Cong’s military operations during the Vietnam and Indochina wars. Of immense strategic value, the Cu Chi Tunnels played a major role in the Northern Vietnamese victory, regarded as one of their proudest wartime achievements. These historic tunnels have now been preserved and transformed into a war memorial park and hugely popular attraction. Visitors can enter two short sections of the original tunnel network, at either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc villages, which have been restored, slightly widened and cemented. Led by guides, crawl along the deep tunnels and get a rough idea of what conditions were like and see former subterranean facilities, like the conference rooms. Read additional information on https://danangtourscity.com/.
Many people probably don’t realize that Da Nang has been making a name for itself in recent years as a result of its idyllic golf courses. There are four main courses in the city and one of these is the Da Nang Golf Club which first opened in 2010 and has been voted one of the 15 best new golf courses in the world. As such you can fit in a game of golf when you are in the city and enjoy lush rolling greens which extend onto white sandy beaches. The Linh Ung Pagoda is located at Son Tra Mountain and is one of the most famous attractions here. The pagoda is known for having the tallest statues of the Goddess of Mercy in the region which was built on top of a platform in the shape of a blooming lotus. You will also find some 21 statues of the Buddha here which are in turn located inside a larger 67 meter tall Buddha figure.