We left the Indochine Hotel in Hoi Han behind with its beautiful scenery setting and headed towards Danang stopping at a Marble sculpting workshop which was mostly carried out out in the open right in front of a huge exhibiting room. We strolled about mesmerised by the beauty of some of the sculptures, which we would naturally not be able to carry back home.
Upon having reached Danang we stopped briefly at the seaside area so as to admire the stretches of sand along the coast with the mountains behind. Two travelling companions even risked walking towards the sea in order to see what the water was like, having later informed us it was quite warm.
It was excessively hot by the time we made it to the Museum of Cham sculpture, located not to far from the Dragon Bridge I could see in the distance.
The Cham empire is said to have existed in Vietnam for around 1,600 years, from the 2nd century through to its downfall in 1832. Despite the existing thriving Cham community, all that remains of their ancient kingdom is its artistic legacy, which is believed to have reached its peak from the 8th to the 10th centuries.
Most of Cham's sculptural elements are carved in terracotta, sandstone and marble, deriving from the Indic tradition and thus exuding a rather unique sensual approach in the representation of Hindu Deities, dancing girls and demons.
We strolled around the Museum rooms and came across quite a few interesting sculptures,some of which fairly similar to those I had seen at Guimet Museum in Paris the year before.
Garuda, the eagle mount of the Hindu God Vishnu (right).
Makara, a mythical sea creature from the Hindu Pantheon (right).
Artistic piece recovered from an altar in My Son this well preserved Cham Art example from the 7th - 8th century (right).
Once we finished "exploring" the Museum exhibition rooms we sat at the open patio Café for a while before having got back onto the bus, which is when I managed to photograph the Dragon bridge which spans the Han river and spouts water at intervals (which I unfortunately didn't see). It was quite a sight though, I must confess.
(To be continued)