Ba Na Hill Station

22

Nov
2021

Ba Na Hill Station

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A conveniently close getaway from Danang, this old French hill station is set at an altitude of 4,593 ft (1,400 m), and is often shrouded in clouds or mist. In its French heyday, during the early 20th century, it is said to have been home to more than 200 villas, as well as restaurants and clubs. Sadly, Ba Na’s glory days did not last long. Effectively abandoned during the Indochina Wars, it soon fell into disrepair.

However, the hill station has witnessed a resurgence of interest from the tourism authorities, and is being redeveloped into a vacation destination. Attractions include cliff-side resorts, karaoke bars, a cable-car ride, hikes to cascading waterfalls, views over Danang and the South China Sea, and the Linh Ung pagoda.

Saving My Son

Some of the greatest non- human casualties of the Vietnam War were the archaeological sites at My Son and Dong Duong. The situation in the area was particularly grave during and after the Tet Offensive in 1968, when massive bombing raids by the US resulted in widespread destruction. Previously, French archaeologists had listed around 70 structures at My Son. Only 20 escaped irreparable damage. Following this devastation, Philippe Stern, a leading authority on Cham history and art, complained bitterly to the US authorities, including President Richard Nixon. His attempts eventually bore fruit. In January 1971, the US ambassador was instructed by the US State Department to take all possible measures to preserve the historic site at My Son.

Today, with aid from UNESCO, archaeologists are still struggling to piece together what remains of My Son. Fortunately, the French left detailed architectural drawings, but the task remains all but Street vendor selling snacks to visitors on impossible, and much of My Son has disappeared forever.

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