Posted: 02 Jan 2013 10:46 PM PST
The journey from Hai Van Pass back to town, in fact, fun and interesting. We blended well with locals who were on their bikes, crossing and honking here and there, without any shouts or accidents. Trust me, they REALLY good in avoiding street walkers and other vehicles. C-curve, S-curve, U-curve, name it, they know how to steer clear of the obstacles.
Approaching the town, we stopped by the road side, to discuss on the next destination. Looking at the map, Cham Museum located somewhere along the Han River.
"Han River is from there to there." The long stretch of the road is located along the Han River. How to find la weh?
Lucky us, we finally found the Museum, just by comparing the printed picture in my Tour Cookbook, with the real-life building. Great!
We went into the compound and parked our bikes near the entrance gate. The ticket booth was 10 meters away, so we had no choice but to pay the fee, VND30,000 each. Haha! To the far left, in front of one info board, there was a group of visitor (foreigners), who were listening to the tour guide, who explained on Champa history.
This building was opened in 1919, dedicated to keep Cham sculptures that were collected from various sites. A French archeologist took some of the sculptures back to Paris, while some were transported to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.
Due to the location of this building (near junction), this two storey building was designed in triangle shape with corridors on both sides. Alongside artifacts, gift shop and refreshment are available too.
Pak Ein and his wife straight away looked for a spot to rest their bums. Fortunately, there was one small chamber with long wooden benches in it. In a second, I saw Pak Ein positioned himself horizontally on the bench! Haha! Pity him. I know he wasn't into museum and artifacts, but he willingly followed and joined us. Thanks dad!
Meanwhile, Dan Arif, hubby, and I went in and enjoyed the sculptures. This museum allows visitor to take photo and video, but special filming might require special permission. Most of the statues like apsara, temple guardian, Cham head, "boobies", were taken from My Son, which clearly reflected Buddhism and Hinduism. That was the ground floor.
We went up to the first floor and things they kept here were artifacts of culture, mainly Chinese-oriented stuff. Enough with history and symbolic statues, we went out and met Pak Ein, his wife, and Aqram.
On the way back to where we parked our bikes, suddenly, something caught our eyes. THERE WAS A SNAKE IN ONE OF THE STATUE! OMG! That is why, NEVER EVER stay close to historical artifacts, ESPECIALLY stone statues! Jom, jom blah!
"Eh, remember those marble sculptures by the river? How bout few minutes of photo session?"
"Can…jom…" Everyone agreed.
On the bike, we figured out how to stop by the Han River, right where those sculptures located. There was neither legal nor illegal parking space at all. We had to do what we had to do. We parked on the pedestrian! Hahaha! Hubby and Dan Arif had turned into two crazy paparazzi where they snapped pixies, non-stop.
Then I had my jaw dropped! WOW! This kind of statue, by the busy road side???
So, no photo session for today. Pfft!
"Han Market, anyone?" *Wink! Wink!* I lured Pak Ein and his wife.
"Shopping timeeeee." I saw "nur" on both faces. Hahaha!
Few minutes from the sculptures site, there were Han Market, one of the major markets in Da Nang. This market comprises of Tran Hung Dao Street, Hung Vuong Street, Bach Dang Street, and Tran Phu Street. So, you will NEVER miss it. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE...BUT YOU CAN DRINK AND RIDE?
It is originally a small trading port for a period of time, under French occupancy. Established in 1940s, original market was completely gone after a major reconstruction in 1989. The design was less chaotic than other street market, with two floors, ranging from local foods to garments to cell phones. So, Pak Ein played once, the seller :)
"Mua một xin vui lòng giá rẻ..." means buy one please, cheap price. Hahaha!
Dissimilar to Con Market, the largest outdoor market in Da Nang, this market is less noisy, BUT STILL, smelly, like toxic! This smell genuinely came from wet market downstairs. Pak Ein's wife and I were forced to pinch our noses, ALL THE TIME, while choosing t-shirts and fabrics for "baju kurung".
"Ok, let's play bargain game. Let see who wins."
Pak Ein used his grandpa aura, told the salesgirl, that he wanted 12 adult t-shirts, 9 kid t-shirts, and 1 for a baby, WITH various sizes.
"OMG! Untuk satu kampung ke bahhhhh?" Well, they were for my sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews.
"Ayang, why not include us in? Dan, you want?" They nodded.
I took off my sling bag, pulled up my jeans, and sat on a small chair, right in front of the salesgirl, who in the midst of taking out the stocks.
"15 adults! Cheap! Cheap! I go no other shop! Only here! How much? How much?" I started bargaining. Well, just use broken English, look more Asian though.
"Pity grandpa, pity grandma, walk so far, tired you know, come, come, give me good price. Tomorrow we go back, we tell friends." I continued. Pak Ein and his wife quickly showed their sad face.
The salesgirl cum the owner of the shop, tried to offer me with lower but still higher price, that I was pretty sure that we can get lower than that. The alley was quite small, so when we sat down to pick the sizes, the front shop started to get jealous. She asked us to sit a bit further, not to "block" her shop. Wow. Cat fight alertttt!
Well, the salesgirl did tell us, that's the culture.
Back to the t-shirt story. I finally managed to get VND45,000 per piece that was approximately RM6. Better price than what Pak Ein got in Hoi An, few days earlier. Kids and extra large were ranging from RM5 to RM10.
Looking at their gorgeous designs, I then decided to get some fabrics for my "baju kurung". They were selling standard length, 4 meters for top, 4 meters for bottom, best length for their national costume, Ao Dai. I grabbed three sets that cost me VND300,000 each (RM30 per set).
EVERYONE HAD MOUTH WIDE OPENED WITH SALIVA EXPLODED.
Lapar gile kot. Masing-masing dah sunburn plak tu.
Everyone, I mean, EVERYONE, agreed to spend our last Dong, on delicious halal food. Where else? Mumtaz Restaurant, an authentic Indian food with halal signboard, without a doubt. 6 plates of rice, with veggies, fish, chickens, and eggs, we had never tasted anything good like this, throughout the journey. Yummeh!
Surprisingly, the price was affordable. Approximately VND800,000, about RM100 for 6 person, around RM17 per pax. Ok la kan?
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