Thursday, 6 May 2010
I was all up for buying a whole rucksack full of new clothes, but due to the guaranteed tourist market, and the fierce competition, prices aren't dirt cheap - don't get me wrong, cheaper and better quality than what you would get here, but not cheap enough when you're on a shoestring budget! So, I settled for a pair of linen trousers. I have never had anything made to measure in my life, so was a little taken aback by the process - before the words 'I'd like that style please' had managed to escape my mouth, one of the women had whipped my T-shirt up into a knot, and started measuring my waist, hips and legs, while another woman was trying to sell me a deal so that I might buy another pair. I resisted! So, I left the little shop, and merely three hours later I was back to pick up my new trousers. They're a really good fit, and, well, they haven't come apart yet!
As well as everything within Hoi An, there are some interesting places to visit nearby. We went on a trip to the ancient Cham temple ruins of 'My Son'. Again, a lot of these have been bombed and destroyed, and - oddly - none of the statues have heads because the French cut them off to take back to their museums, but there is still a lot to see, and there is a lot of reconstruction under way too. So, what's the big deal about My Son? I wondered the same thing, but our enthusiastic tour guide definitely swayed me into believing that the answer is 'A lot!' Not only are the ruins believed to be even older than Cambodia's Angkor Wat, but they are also surrounded by a bit of mystery. Looking at the construction of the temples, no cement has been used to secure the bricks together, instead they are also fused, and completely unaffected by weathering. In fact, we were shown walls that were reconstructed about twenty years ago, and they were covered in moss and looking in a sorry state, whereas the original walls that had been there for thousands of years looked almost new. No one, not international experts, not those whose ancestors helped build the temples, knows how it was done. Pretty cool, huh?