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Around Quy Nhon


There are half a dozen or so groups of Cham structures in teh vivinity of Qui Nhon.

Cha Ban

The ruins of the former Cham capital of Cha Ban (also known at various times as Vijaya and Qui Nhon) are 26km north of Qui Nhon and 5km from Binh Dinh. The city was built within a rectangular wall measuring 1400m by 1100m. Canh Tien Tower (Tower of Brass) stands in the centre of the enclosure. The tomb of General Vu Tinh is nearby.

Cha Ban, which served as the seat of teh royal government of Champa from the year 1000 (after the loss of Indrapura, also known as Dong Duong), until 1471, was attacked and plundered repeatedly by the Vietnamese, Khmer and Chinese.

In 1044, the Vietnamese prince Phat Ma occupied the city and carried off a great deal of booty as well as the Cham king’s wives, harem and female dancers, musicians and singers. Cha Ban was under the control of a Khmer oversees from 1190 to 1220.

In 1377, the Vietnamese were defeated and their king was killed in an attempt to capture Cha Ban. The Vietnamese emperor Le Thanh Ton breached the eastern gate or the city in 1471 and captured the Cham king and 50 members of the royal family. During this, the last great battle fought by the Cham, 60,000 Cham were killed and 30,000 more were taken prisoner by the Vietnamese.

During the Tay SOn Rebellion, Cha Ban served as the capital of teh central Vietnam region, and was rulled by the eldest of the three Tay SOn brothers. The capital was attacked in 1793 by the forces of Nguyen Anh (later Emperor Gia Long), but the assault failed. In 1799, the forces of Nguyen Anh, under the command of General Vu Tinh, laid siege to the city and captured it. The Tay Son soon reoccupied the prot of Thi Nai (modern day Qui Nhon) and then lay siege to Cha Ban themselves. The siege continued for over year, and by June 1801, Vu Tinh’s provision were gone. Food was in short supply; all the horess and elephants had long before been eaten. Refusing to consider the ignominy of surrender, Vu Tinh had an octagonal wooden tower constructed. he filled it with gunpowder and, arrayed in his ceremonial robes, went inside and blew himself up. Upon hearing the news of the death of his dedicated genearal, Nguyen Anh wept.

Duong Long Cham Towers

The Duong Long Cham towers (Thap Duong Long, meaning Towers of Ivory) are about 15km from Cha Ban. The largest of the three brick towers is embellished with granite ornamantation representing naga and elephants. Over the doors are bas reliefd of women, dancers, standing lions, monsters and various other animals. The corners of the structure are formed by enormous dragon heads.

Quang Trung Museum

Quang Trung Museum is dedicated to the second oldest of the three brothers, Nguyen Hue, who led the Tay Son Rebellion, and who crowned himself Emperor Quang Trung in 1788. In 1789 Quang Trung led the campaign that overwhelmingly defeated a Chinese invasion of 200,000 troops near Hanoi. This epic battle is still celebrated as one of the greatest truimphs in Vietnamesehistory. Quang Trung died in 1792 at the age of 40.

During his reign, Quang Trung was something of a social reformer. He encouraged land reform, revised the system of taxation, improved the army and empasised education, opening many schools and encouraging the development of Vietnamese poetry and literature. Indeed, communist literature often portrays him as the leader of a peasant revolution whose progressive policies were crushed by the reactionary Nguyen dynasty, which came to power in 1802 and was over thrown by Ho Chi Minh in 1945.

The Quang Trung Museum (admission 10,000d), 48km from Qui Nhon, displays various statues, costumes, documents and artefacts from th 18th century, most of them labelled in English. Especially notable are the elephants skin wrapped battle drums and gongs from the Bahnar tribal people in Gia Lai province. The museun is also known for its demonstrations of vo binh dinh, a traditional martial art that is performed with a bamboo stick.

Getting There & AwayTo get there, teke National Hwy 19 west towards Pleiku. The museum is about 5km off the highway – the turn off is sign posted in the Tay SOn district, known for the production of a wine made from sticky rice.

Vinh Son Falls

Vinh Son Falls is 18km off National Hwy 19, which links Binh Dinh and Pleiku.

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