Monday, 21 February 2011

I'm only here for the Cham

Next stop, an overnight stay in Da Nang (or Danang - I've seen it spelt both ways).

Situated between Hoi An and Hue, and convenient for the Marble Mountains and China Beach, Danang gets a lot of tourists passing though, but not that many exploring the city itself.

That's a shame. The city isn't the loveliest I've ever seen, but the people are friendly, the food is good, and the Cham Museum is brilliant.

Apsara, or nymph. Steady on, boys.

The sculptures on display date from between the 5th and 15th centuries, and come from archaeological sites across central Vietnam - My Son, Tra Kieu, and Khuong My.

Champa was a Hindu kingdom, so their art features many Hindu figures (Vishnu, Garuda, etc.) along with assimilated Khmer and Buddhist influences. You'll find lingas, dancing girls, guardian lions, and much, much more. And with about 300 pieces on display, the museum has more than enough to keep you occupied for a couple of hours.

Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me (Guardian figure, late 9th / early 10th century)
Cheeky monkey!

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