Vietnam is very beautiful with diversified natural landscapes, unique culture and rich history. With 8 World Heritage Sites are recognized by UNESCO, Vietnam attract tourists around the world. Hoi An is one of place which always takes attention of tourist by old house and lanterns along street. Besides strolling around Hoian Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site impresses you with history, nature and architecture.
Overview of My Son Sanctuary
My Son Holly land location is near the Duy Phu village, in Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam Province, central of Vietnam. It is one of the foremost and important heritage sites of this nature in Vietnam.
My Son is the complex of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between 4th and 13th century by the Kings of Champa. These temples are in the valley roughly two kilometres wide, surrounding by two mountain ranges. King of Champa built these temples to devote to Hindu gods Shiva, who is the creator, destroyer and preserver of Chams people. The valley of My Son is the place to organize religious ceremony of Champa kings. As well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes.
The first temple was made by wood during 4th century. However, it was fired so the next Kings decided to build others with red bricks and continuously developed until 13th century.
After the total disappearance of Champ dynasty when Emperor Minh Mang annexed it to Vietnam. The sanctuary was forgetful for a long time. In 1898, a Frenchman rediscovered and restored it. However, almost complex of My Son Sanctuary was damaged in the most recent American war by bombing. Only some impressive decoration still exist: snakes, elephants, scenes of battles, and priests.
Discover My Son Hoi An
Not too many activities in My Son Holly Land. Visiting My Son, you will have chance to admire its spectacular architecture, enjoy local performance or take photos only.
Explore architecture of My Son Sanctuary
With a long history of development, My Son Sanctuary Complex is the religious and cultural center of historical Champa. Hence, it has impressive works of art. Most of the architectural styles of Cham tower-temples are present in My Son and is identification of the Cham architectural style. The population sanctuary in My Son is unique and rare and one the best examples of Hindu architecture in Southeast Asia. Its architecture is combination between Malaysian, Arabian, Indonesian, and Indian model. Indian architecture mostly appear in statue carved in temples.
My Son Holly Land consists of 8 groups of temples and more than 70 architectural works. Surrounding of each group is thick walls of brick. It has main temple in the center and small temples or tombs around. The temples of complex are so simple with bigger roof than foundation, dark interior and no windows in worship places. Peoples said that it is good condition for shamans to communicate with gods
The temples and towers connect to each other with complicated red brick design, which create unique decoration. The main material of Champ towers is brick but people cannot explain for how to make brick together as well as construction methods until now.
Watch local performance
Sometime, visitors might surprise dance and music performance at My Son Sanctuary. If you are lucky, you will have an opportunity to enjoy local people, who wear unique customs and sing songs with traditional instrumental accompaniment. You also can watch Apsara dance performance, water dance, saranai…
Most of ruin is destroyed so you should spend much time in first group, where is best preserved. Take nice picture of architecture and dance performance as well for unforgettable memories at My Son Sanctuary.
Advices to visit My Son
Transportation from Hoi An to My Son
If you want to visit My Son Holly Land while you are wandering in Hoian Ancient Town, there are many ways to go to My Son Valley. Just about 40 km from Hoian so the easiest and most comfortable way is to rent or hire a car or motorbike. You can also take My Son Hoian Tour to visit My Son, which provide you excellent tour guide to explain to you everything.
When you should go to My Son
We advise you to visit My Son early morning about 5:00 am. It is the best time to you to have a chance to admire the beautiful sunrise, enjoy the fresh air and avoid high temperatures in the mid-day. Join My Son Sunrise Tour to get wonderful moment. But you also keep in mind that a lot of tourists come from Hoi An to see sunrise so it may be dense. Therefore, you do not want to get up so early and avoid crowds, you also visit in the early afternoon when most of people finish their trips.
The ticket of My Son Holly Land is 150,000 VND (~ 7 usd) for foreigners. It opens every day from 6:30am to 5pm. Near the ticker office is Champa Museum, showing many of the artifacts and the history of the site. You should visit museum before temples because it closes early so you may not be able to see on the way out. Then, you pass through Champa-style Bridge to explore ruins.
Getting around My Son
After visiting My Son Sanctuary, you have one more option to come back to Hoian. Instead of bus, car, you can transfer back to Hoian by motorized boat. Along the Thu Bon River, you can stop in Kim Bong Village to see artisans work on furniture and houses, and then be back to Hoian. Besides, you can drive to Bang An Tower- very well-preserved Champa tower in Hoian area. Local people still use this temple for worship today. You can visit Tra Kieu village- ancient capital of Champa, just be far 10 km from My Son Complex.