The Cham Pa Museum in Da Nang City was high on our list. We arrived in Da Nang early, left our stuff at the hotel and decided to walk to the museum. This place is centrally located. Old French building was refurbished to accommodate most extensive collection of artefacts from the Cham civilisation .
The Kingdom of Champa occupied Central Vietnam from 192 A.D to 1697, however this civilisation was at the highest point in the 9-10th centuries, approximately the same time when the Khmer kingdom flourished in Cambodia. The Cham people were ethnically very different from the Vietnamese. Their preffered occupations were sailors and pirates. They predominantly practiced Hinduism until 15th century. Many Cham temples – currently UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – had Hindu and Buddhist sculptures installed.
Trip to My Son Sanctuary
We wanted to avoid the crowds and traffic and watch sunrise at My Son temples. Following this simple logic we booked a sunrise tour through a travel agency in Hoi An. Guess what? To male our life more exciting nobody picked-us up from our hotel. This fact did not improve our mood, which was already compromised by early wake-up. To save that day, we rebooked a trip through our hotel, but we obviously missed the sunrise. Needless to say, that by that stage the place was packed with tourists and the sun did not show any mercy on us.
As we found out cultural links between India and Vietnam go way back to 2nd century. The Cham people used the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. Some elements from a script of Southern India can be seen in Cham writing. Close contacts between Vietnamese civilization and Indian culture left an undeniable mark on both nations.
Source: Bridging the divide by Le Huong http://vietnamnews.vn/print/193949/bridging-the-divide.htm