Located 40 kilometers from Hoi An ancient town, lies the captivating temple complex of My Son, a testament to the exquisite beauty of Cham architecture. Renowned as Vietnam's most beautiful and awe-inspiring Cham temples, this site was rightfully inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.
While drawing comparisons to the grand temples of Angkor in Cambodia, it's important to note that My Son boasts a unique charm of its own. Though smaller in scale and bearing the marks of time's passage, the temples of My Son still radiate an undeniable allure.
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My Son temples complex belong to Duy Phu village, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province.
My Son sanctuary map
My Son sanctuary spreads across a 2 km wide valley. The name "My Son," meaning "beautiful mountain," perfectly captures the essence of this enchanting site. As you approach the complex, the grandeur of the surrounding peaks becomes apparent.
The landscape is adorned with a myriad of plants, their vibrant greenery thriving amidst the remnants of the original structures. This harmonious union of nature and ancient architecture creates an atmosphere of pure magic, enhancing the allure of My Son.
My Son stands as a testament to the remarkable architectural achievements of the Cham people, who held dominion over Central Vietnam from 200 to 1700 . During their reign, the Cham people constructed temple complexes throughout Central Vietnam, showcasing a distinctive architectural style deeply influenced by Hinduism.
After the decline of the Champa Kingdom, the relentless jungle started to reclaim the once-magnificent complex. Slowly, nature's grasp tightened, and the temples became engulfed by the lush greenery. The passage of time concealed these architectural treasures within its verdant embrace.
My Son ruin temple
It wasn't until 1898 that the French stumbled upon the hidden gem of My Son. As they unveiled the overgrown temples, they marveled at the profound significance and scale of the complex. Recognizing its splendor, the French drew comparisons between My Son and other renowned temple complexes scattered across Southeast Asia.
In awe of its architectural mastery and historical importance, the French likened My Son to the likes of Angkor in Cambodia, Borobudur in Indonesia, and Ayutthaya in Thailand. These revered sites represented the pinnacle of human achievement, testaments to the civilizations that once flourished within the region.
In recognition of its exceptional preservation and representation of Champa architecture, the UNESCO organization bestowed the prestigious title of World Heritage upon the My Son sanctuary in 1999. This esteemed acknowledgment solidified its status as a globally significant site of historical and cultural value.
There are some ways to get to My Son temples
For the utmost flexibility and independence, driving to My Son offers a sense of freedom. Renting a scooter in either Da Nang or Hoi An is a popular option, with prices averaging around $5 - $7. Additionally, the cost of round trip gasoline from Hoi An amounts to approximately $3-$4.
However, it is important to note that driving in Vietnam can be challenging and comes with its share of risks. The traffic can be chaotic, and road conditions may vary. It is essential to exercise caution and be aware of local driving customs and regulations.
There are multiple options available for reaching the enchanting My Son Sanctuary. One convenient way is to take a bus, offering flexibility and accessibility for visitors.
Public buses operate regularly on the route from Hoi An to My Son, as well as from Danang to My Son, and vice versa. These buses provide a cost-effective means of transportation, allowing you to immerse yourself in the scenic journey as you make your way to the sanctuary.
In Hoi An, you can catch a shuttle bus specifically designated for the journey to My Son Sanctuary. This shuttle service offers added convenience, providing a direct route and minimizing any potential confusion or detours along the way.
In Danang, bus number 06 is available for those traveling to My Son Sanctuary. The buses operate with a frequency of approximately 30 minutes, starting from 5:30 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. This allows for flexibility in planning your visit, accommodating various schedules throughout the day.
Whichever bus option you choose, the ticket prices remain affordable, typically around $8. This makes it an accessible and budget-friendly choice for transportation to the sanctuary.
It is easy and comfortable to take a taxi from your hotel to visit My Son Sanctuary. However, the cost is more expensive. It costs around $50. Recommend to use Mai Linh taxi, Vinasun Hoi An, taxi Faifoo.
By a tour
Visitors have the option to embark on a convenient tour to My Son Sanctuary, where a tour company can arrange pick-up directly from their hotel in Hoi An or Danang. These tours offer a hassle-free experience, providing transportation to and from My Son for a memorable visit to the sanctuary. It is important to note that different tours may vary in terms of being private or group-based.
Some tours are organized as private experiences, On the other hand, there are also group tours available, where visitors join a larger group of fellow travelers. These tours may have a set itinerary and a tour guide who will lead the group through the sanctuary.
To ensure clarity and avoid any misunderstandings, it is advisable for visitors to carefully review the details of the tour package they are interested in. Checking whether the tour includes a tour guide, entrance fees, and specifying whether it is a private or group tour are essential aspects to consider.
Upon entering the sanctuary and proceeding through the ticket office, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the enriching experience of the museum. Within its walls, you will uncover a wealth of knowledge encompassing the fascinating relics and culture of My Son.
Delve into the depths of this exhibition, where numerous posters and pictures elucidate the intricate history of the sanctuary. These visual aids serve as valuable resources, particularly if you intend to embark on an independent exploration of the site, devoid of a professional guide's assistance.
Apart from its religious significance, the My Son Sanctuary enthralls visitors with its remarkable Cham style of architecture, which exhibits a strong influence from Indian aesthetics. The Cham towers at the sanctuary were constructed on quadrilateral foundations and consist of three distinct components:
The resilient tower foundation symbolizes the realm of the mortal world, grounding the structure in earthly existence.
Cham architecture of My Son temples
The enigmatic and sacred tower body embodies the spirit world, veiled in an aura of mystery and reverence.
The summit of each tower, intricately designed to resemble offerings such as flowers, fruits, trees, birds, animals, and other elements, represents the ethereal connection between spirits and humanity, bridging the gap between these two realms.
This is an amazing traditional dance of Cham people. 5 young and beautiful lady dancers perform this art.
Traditional Apsara dancing
Adorned in vibrant red costumes that harken back to the attire of the Cham people from bygone eras, they have hats reminiscent of the traditional Cham style. Interestingly, observers sometimes draw comparisons to the costumes worn by the Khmer people at Angkor Wat.
It is worth noting that both cultures draw inspiration from Indian traditions, showcasing their shared influences.
My Son Sanctuary entrance fee is 150 000 VND ( $ 7) including the Champa Museum, Apsara dancing show, Electric car transfer from the entrance gate to the sanctuary.
6.30AM to 5.30PM everyday.
Visitors are requested to wear clothes politely when visit My Son ruin temples (long shirts and pants that cover the armpits, navel, and knees).
Visitors are visiting My Son holyland
Best time to visit My Son holyland
It should be in the morning to avoid the heat of the sun and visitors can admire the beautiful sunrise as well as the mysterious temple ruin in the fresh air.