The Cham Museum in Danang, Vietnam holds the best collection of Cham artifacts in the world. The Champa people ruled most of Vietnam from the 7th to 15th century.
Most of the sculptures on display in the museum were sculpted during the Cham rule of Vietnam.
This is during the same time that the Khmer people ruled Cambodia and called Angkor Wat and the surrounding city their Capital.
In Thailand it was the city of Ayutthaya that was home to the country's flourishing Capital city.
The Cham people fought a series of wars with the Angkorian Khmer people.
At one point the Cham sacked the Capital city of Angkor during the 12th century AD but in the end they were defeated by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII and sent packing back to Vietnam.
The Capital city for the Cham people was in My Son, Vietnam. There are some pretty decent temples and Palaces in My Son but nothing compared to those in Angkor.
It is a pretty decent thing to do during your stay in Danang.
It will only take you an hour or so to have a good look around the museum.
The 1000 year old sandstone impressions influenced by early Hindu civilization only fascinated me.
Here's a link to the best book I ever read about the Cham people and their battles with the Khmer Empire.
It is fascinating how the sculptures of the Cham people so closely resemble the sculptures found at both Angkor Wat and Ayutthaya in Thailand.
There was a common theme of art, culture and worship that resounded throughout most of Southeast Asia.
But the My Son ruins and the artwork found at the Cham museum in Danang, Vietnam is clearly inferior to that found at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The Same gods carved into the same type of sandstone done by clearly inferior craftsmen.
Have a look. Especially if you have or will pass through the ruins at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Even a visit to the ruins at My Son is worth the trip.
The best part of this museum is the manner in which the carvings/artwork are displayed. There are 8 centuries of evolution clearly mapped out so you can track the progress.and changes that took place.
You can see the very beginning, the golden age and then the eventual decline of the Cham Civilization.
The Museum is located on the corner of Trung Nu Vuong Street and Bach Dang Steets in Danang.
The entrance fee is 40,000 VND or about $2.63USD.
The artifacts don't lie. The similarities are too obvious to ignore. But how could a people have so much in common so far from one another?