Hoi An

Hoi An, in central Viet Nam, was a centre of the Hindu Cham civilization between the 4th and 14th centuries C.E. Linguistic evidence indicates that the Cham came from Indonesia.

My Son was the spiritual Cham centre. We took a taxi before dawn from our hotel to the site, and had it basically to ourselves. My Son suffered much bombing damage during, as the Vietnamese call it, The American War.

The city itself is wonderful: very old and very welcoming. The riverside is picturesque and very busy. We were here for the monthly full moon celebration. At night, at every full moon,  small boys sell paper boats with small candles to people, who then place them on the water.  When I took out my money to buy a couple, we were surrounded so fast by flaming boats that I feared we would burn to death.

It is a very picturesque tradition, worth risking your life for… The buildings are beautifully illuminated with colourful lanterns.