So we never would have done this on our own, but we met up with Mariana and Filipa again in Hoi An and they convinced us to wake up at 5am to watch the sunrise at the My Son Cham Ruins! It’s about 35k outside of town, so you need transportation to get there. The receptionist at our hotel kept trying to sell us a tour, and it was more expensive than the one through Mariana and Filipa’s hotel ($6/person), so they booked our tickets and we snuck out of our hotel before daylight. We had to tip toe down the dark stairs and accidentally woke up the security guard who was sleeping on a cot by the front door when we unlatched the door. We knew the staff would be asking where we had gone when we returned, as they did every morning.
It was really worth it to get to My Son for the sunrise! The light on the crumbling brick buildings was beautiful! And although it seemed a bit crowded with 2 or 3 minibuses of people there it probably wasn’t nearly as crowded as it would be later in the day. Plus the air was still fresh and crisp, before the humid heat of the afternoon.
This is another of the many sites that was affected by the bombings during the “American War” (or as we called it the Vietnam War). We were shocked to see that there was actually a big crater in the ground next to where we were standing from one of the bombs! It’s really a shame that so many cultural heritage sites were partially (or completely) destroyed by the war. Our tour guide also mentioned that part of the destruction had been caused by fighting with the Khmer Rouge.
This site is another location where you are warned to stay on the path as there might be some unexploded ordnance still in the fields.