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My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary: The Champa architectural masterpiece in Quang Nam

24/03/2023 3445 views

My Son Sanctuary was discovered in 1885 and recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1999. This is a particularly important national relic and an attractive tourist destination in Quang Nam.

My Son Sanctuary is among the top well-known destination of Quang Nam Province

My Son Sanctuary is among the top well-known destination of Quang Nam Province (Source: Collected)

My Son Sanctuary is one of the most stunning and majestic Cham complexes in Vietnam. Every temple here has a distinctive structural design that depicts the various Champa kingdoms’ historical eras. Therefore, it will definitely be an ideal place for you to explore the special highlight of the Cham culture. For more information about My Son Sanctuary and its highlights, read this article thoroughly!

1. About My Son Sanctuary Vietnam

My Son Sanctuary is a mysterious and unique architectural complex with more than 70 Champa temples. Therefore, it has become one of the most well-known destinations that tourists should visit once in the journey to the Central of Vietnam. Details about this place are as follows:

1.1. Where is My Son Sanctuary located? How to get there?

My Son Sanctuary is located in Duy Phu Village, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province. It nestles in a valley with a diameter of about 2 kilometers, surrounded by a wide range of majestic mountains. The distance from Da Nang and Hoi An Ancient Town to this place is respectively 69 kilometers and 45 kilometers. Therefore, you can easily go to My Son Sanctuary from both cities by many means of transportation like cars, buses, motorbikes, etc.

My Son Sanctuary

The two best ways to go to My Son Sanctuary are from Hoi An and from Da Nang (Source: Collected)

If you depart from Hoi An, you should travel by car or motorbike through the following route: Tran Hung Dao Street – Cam Kim Bridge – Duy Phuoc Bridge – Truong Sa Street – Hung Vuong Street – Provincial Road 610. When you come to Duy Phu, you will see the road turning to the sanctuary. With this itinerary, the total travel time will be around 1 hour.

In case you start your trip from Da Nang, you need to go along Nguyen Huu Tho Street – Le Dai Hanh Street – Truong Chinh Street, then turn right onto Road 605, keep going through Hung Vuong Street – Do Dang Tuyen Street – Provincial Street 610. After that, you turn left to enter the road leading to My Son and continue driving about 3.9 kilometers. The total route is 42.4 kilometers long with a travel time of 1 hour and 8 minutes.

In addition, you can also choose to take a bus from Da Nang to My Son Sanctuary, departing from the bus station in the city center. The bus operates from 5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily with a frequency of 30 minutes/trip. The ticket price is commonly from VND8,000 (US$0,34) to VND30,000 (US$1,29) for a trip.

My Son Sanctuary

The route of My Son Sanctuary tour from Hoi An City (Source: Collected)

1.2. What time is My Son Sanctuary open daily? How much is the ticket?

My Son Sanctuary is open daily from 6:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m, including holidays and Tet. Due to its large-scale area with up to 1,158 hectares, it will take you hours to explore all of the highlights there. Therefore, you should make a suitable plan for your trip to optimize your travel time.

The My Son Sanctuary entrance fee is VND150,000 (US$6,43) per person. It includes admission costs to the sanctuary and the Champa Museum, the 2-kilometer-long tramcar ride, and the ticket price to watch cultural performances. You can buy tickets directly at the entrance of the sanctuary.

My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary is open daily regardless of holidays (Source: Collected)

1.3. What to learn about the history of My Son Sanctuary?

My Son Sanctuary was built in the 4th century by King Bhadravarman and completed in the late 13th and early 14th centuries under the reign of King Jaya Simhavarman III. This is a complex with more than 70 temples and towers with unique architecture, symbolizing each historical period of the Champa kingdom. This complex was built with the purpose of worshiping the god Shiva.

However, the temples were abandoned due to the invasion of the Ancient Kingdom – Dai Viet. Until 1898, a group of French explorers came to visit Vietnam and afterwards they carried out the archaeological excavations in this place. They divided the architectural works in My Son into 10 main groups to name each building according to the style, combining letters and numbers.

Due to the destruction of the war, by 1975, the temple complex had only 32 towers left, and 20 of them are still intact as the original. Through many historical events, My Son Sanctuary is still a relic imbued with artistic and cultural values ​​that crystallize the wisdom and quintessence of many generations. On December 1, 1999, the relic was officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.

My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary used to serve as the political and religious capital of the Champa Kingdom (Source: Collected)

2. The top unmissable things to do in My Son Sanctuary Hoi An

My Son Sanctuary not only impresses tourists with its unique and sophisticated architecture but also has many other exciting things to explore.

2.1. Admire the unique architecture of the sanctuary

The architecture of My Son Sanctuary is influenced by Hinduism. The temples here are built of brick and stone, mainly facing the East – the direction of the rising sun and also the residence of the gods. The structure of the temple and tower is divided into 3 parts, namely: the base, the body and the top.

A temple or tower worships a different god or a dynasty. For that reason, each work is like a piece of a puzzle, recreating the historical flow of the Champa Kingdom. Regarding the structure, the relic is divided into 3 main areas including:

  • Area A: This is the place where visitors can see the entire temple complex. Most of the buildings in this area are in the process of being restored.
  • Area B: At this area, there is 1 main tower and 3 auxiliary towers. This area is located on the Western hill of the complex.
  • Area C: Located on the Southern hill, this place gathers many temples, towers, inscriptions, reliefs and sculptural works of My Son Sanctuary.
My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary has the beauty of the ancient Champa architecture (Source: Collected)

2.2. Join the Kate Festival of the Cham people

Coming to My Son Sanctuary, visitors can not only admire the architecture of high artistic value, learn the meaning of the relic, but also have the opportunity to explore the cultural beauty of the Cham people through many activities. One of them is the Kate Festival.

Specifically, this is a traditional festival which is extremely important to the Cham people. It is held in July every year according to the Cham calendar and is an occasion for the Cham people to commemorate their ancestors, grandparents, and simultaneously pray for the proliferation of all things.

Besides, the Kate Festival is also the crystallization of cultural values ​​in the community life of the Cham people. Participating in the festival, visitors will have a chance to learn many traditional rituals of the people here such as praying for peace, water procession, palanquin procession, etc. and enjoy the performances with traditional musical instruments.

My Son Sanctuary

The Kate Festival is one of the highlights for your trip to My Son Sanctuary Complex (Source: Collected)

2.3. Watch the heartening Apsara dance

Referring to the Cham people, it is certainly impossible not to mention the Apsara dance. The dance is inspired by Apsara stone sculptures, which is one of the unique features of Champa music. This is a flexible dance with the name “The soul of the stone” to honor the awesome curves of women.

It can be said that Apsara is a harmonious combination between every skillful movement of hands and feet, and the elegant beauty of Cham dancers in the sound of Paranung drums and Saranai trumpets. All of them create an enchanting performance that makes visitors coming to My Son Sanctuary unable to take their eyes off.

My Son Sanctuary

Aspara is considered the legendary dance of the Cham people (Source: Collected)

2.4. Explore the ancient road leading to the holy site

This is an ancient road leading to the My Son holy site, which was discovered by an Indian expert during the restoration of the central towers of the relic. This important discovery has contributed to increasing the long-standing historical values ​​that My Son Sanctuary brings.

It has a width of 8 meters with 2 solid walls in parallel. The walls were delicately carved and buried in the ground at a depth of 1 meters. According to historical documents, only kings, members of the royal family or people with dignitaries can walk on this road. This is also the road leading to the large tower used to organize sacrifices of the ancient Cham people.

My Son Sanctuary

The ancient road makes many tourists eager to explore (Source: Collected)

3. Other attractive tourist destinations near My Son Sanctuary

In the excursion to My Son Sanctuary, you should combine visiting some attractive tourist attractions around this destination. Here are the 3 famous destinations, within a radius of 50 kilometers from the complex, that you can refer to:

3.1. VinWonders Nam Hoi An

  • Address: Vo Chi Cong Street, Binh Minh Commune, Thang Binh District, Quang Nam Province
  • Opening hours: 9:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m

VinWonders Nam Hoi An is located 15 kilometers away from the center of Hoi An Ancient Town. This is one of the most attractive Hoi An tourist destinations that you should not miss out on. It is an amusement park, which can bring you tons of cultural, architectural and artistic experiences in your trip to Hoi An.

My Son Sanctuary

Along with My Son Sanctuary, VinWonders Nam Hoi An is also a not-to-be-missed destination in Quang Nam

With 5 subdivisions in total, VinWonders Nam Hoi An offers a great deal of fantastic activities for tourists of all ages:

  • Harbor Corner: It is a place to recreate the scene and bustling atmosphere of the busy trading ports of the 16th – 17th centuries, helping visitors feel like going back to the past.
  • Island of Folk Culture: This is the convergence of cultural and architectural spaces from the North to the South. Here, tourists can experience many unique art forms and know more about Vietnamese culture.
  • River Safari: It is known as one of the largest wildlife conservation parks in Vietnam with more than 530 individuals of more than 50 species of animals. Some activities you should not miss when coming here are boating to visit the park, taking pictures with parrots or feeding elephants and giraffes.
  • Adventure Land: With more than 20 thrilling games, nearly 100 indoor games, this is an entertainment paradise to bring visitors many memorable moments. Especially, here, you can find an 85-meter free-fall tower, the highest of its kind in Vietnam.
  • Water World: This subdivision provides a collection of 11 exciting and passionate water games for children, families and groups of friends, such as Than Long slide, Super basin slide, Boomerang slide, etc.

My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary

A large number of exciting activities await you to explore in VinWonders Nam Hoi An

>>> Book tickets of VinWonders Nam Hoi An right away if you find the above things interesting!

3.2. Museum of Sa Huynh and Champa Culture

  • Address: No. 149 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province

The Museum of Sa Huynh and Champa Culture was built in 1994. This is the place to display more than 900 artifacts related to the ancient inhabitants of the Sa Huynh culture, some are stored in Bai Ong – Cu Lao Cham. Coming there, visitors will have a chance to learn more about the life and customs of the ancient people of Sa Huynh culture like aesthetic perception, burial customs, conception of life and death, etc.

My Son Sanctuary

Museum of Sa Huynh and Champa Culture displays many precious artifacts of the ancient Sa Huynh culture (Source: Collected)

3.3. Tra Kieu Church

  • Address: Kieu Chau Hamlet, Duy Son Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province

In your My Son Sanctuary tour, you should also take time to visit Tra Kieu Village once. It used to be the place where the Champa capital was located. This is also an area where many Catholics have lived and created a lot of famous works, notably Tra Kieu Church – a well-liked tourist attraction nowadays.

The church was built in European architecture with 2 floors: the upper floor is the cathedral and the lower floor is a place for religious activities. Next to the church is the grave of Bishop Peter Maria Pham Ngoc Chi. Many people coming to Hoi An also want to take a sightseeing tour to this place.

My Son Sanctuary

The impressive appearance with the pink color of Tra Kieu Church (Source: Collected)

4. Some notes for your trip to My Son Sanctuary Quang Nam

Below are the important things that you should know before having a trip to My Son Sanctuary:

  • To avoid the intense heat, the best time to visit My Son Vietnam is in the early morning, as soon as the gate opens, but be aware that more and more tourists are flocking here for dawn tours. Another choice is to go to the location in the afternoon, about 2 p.m, when all the visitors have left.
  • You should enter the museum first to locate wall posters outlining the history of My Son Sanctuary, which will assist you navigate the site without a guide, since there are no English boards around the temples.
  • My Son frequently experiences extremely hot weather so it is preferable to take the complimentary 10-minute electric shuttle to conserve as much energy as possible. Every 15 to 25 minutes, the shuttle leaves. It will transport you through verdant jungles before dropping you off close to the ruins, from where it will take you only a few minutes to walk.
  • Since there is still de-mining work being done in My Son Sanctuary, you should only go on the designated trails and avoid wandering off by yourself into the lush forest.
My Son Sanctuary

The My Son Sanctuary map is so useful for your trip (Source: Collected)

With the detailed information about My Son Sanctuary and travel tips summarized above, hopefully, you will have a complete and meaningful journey to this ancient architectural complex. If you travel to Hoi An or Da Nang, you should spend at least one day seeing these historic Cham ruins. Before visiting My Son Sanctuary, be sure to book tickets of VinWonders Nam Hoi An if you desire a trip with loads of excitement!

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