Further down the coast, my next destination was Nha Trang. This was definitely a place to enjoy the beach and party. However, given our gluttony in Hoi An, it seemed important to cover some cultural aspects of this town and redeem ourselves a little. It was definitely worth it.
Hiring two motorcycles (plus drivers) Elaine and I headed out to see the sights. First stop was the Po Nagar Cham Towers. The Cham towers of Po Nagar were built between the 7th and 12th centuries, although the site was used for worship as early as the 2nd century AD. The complex originally covered an area of 500 sq metres and there were seven or eight towers, four of which remain. Before reaching the towers you pass through 10 pillars that were part of a meditation hall. The stonework and carvings are majestic and certainly inspire some awe. As we were wondering round the temples, out of one of the entrances a whole (including head and bum!) roasted pig was brought out. The temples are still worshipped in so I can only conclude that the pig was an offering to the gods before being shared out. Similarly round the corner by another tower there was a roasted bird. It may not have had a nice death though as its head was twisted at an angle as if in severe pain. The reality of religion. From the towers you could see out over the harbour, that was crammed full of blue fishing boats. Every so often would be tiny islands with houses on. Very different to UK harbours.
Next stop was the Giant Seated Buddha. After seeing the one in Hong Kong it seemed necessary to compare. Unusually this one only had 152 steps to climb. On the way up we passed a massive sleeping Buddha, easily the size of a house. Further up was the daddy himself. Beautiful in white, he was seated on a Lotus leaf overlooking the town. It is not as impressive as the Hong Kong Buddha, mainly because the approach is not as dramatic. However, you were able to go inside the Buddha where there was a small temple. Around the walls were elaborate carvings in 3D. The detail and work that had gone into these were outstanding, making up for the less dramatic feel you get from the Buddha. There was also a feeling of reverence here and you could sense the spirituality. Different in many ways from the Hong Kong Buddha but it is perhaps more reflective of why the statue is there.
Impressed with our cultural ambitions it was time to hit the beach. In a classy sailing bar (yes it is possible) it seemed very rude not to indulge in a cocktail or two, or six. Needless to say the theme carried on into the evening and early morning! Heading to bed at 4, I unfortunately had to get up at 6.30 for a bus. Oh the joys of travelling!!!