My Son Sanctuary
My Son was once home to around 70 temples, plus additional structures. American bombing during the Vietnam War, when Viet Cong forces used the area as a base, damaged many temples, and the sanctuary is still riddled with craters.
Besides My Son, the largest temple and the site’s namesake, there’s an informative museum, a range of temple groups, and freestanding lingam (phallic symbols representing the god Shiva). If you’re into history, consider hiring a private guide, as many budget tours include stops for shopping and relatively little time on site. If you’re visiting from Da Nang, add a stop at Hoi An Old Town and its vibrant food scene. Photographers can opt for a tour that includes a Hoi An river trip at sunset.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Entrance tickets include transportation on a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the ruins.
Demining groups have cleared the immediate area of unexploded ordnance from the Vietnam War, but it’s still advised to stay on the marked paths for safety.
Rough terrain, narrow paths, and stairs make My Son Sanctuary a challenge for travelers who use wheelchairs or strollers.
How to Get There
The My Son ruins sit in central Vietnam, about 25 miles (41 kilometers) east of Hoi An and around 27 miles (43 kilometers) south of Da Nang. There’s no public transportation, and Vietnamese traffic is not for the faint-hearted, so the easiest way to travel is on a tour or with a private driver.
When to Get There
The My Son Sanctuary is open from early morning until late afternoon, seven days a week. To beat the summer heat and crowds, arrive early. As with all Vietnamese tourist attractions, My Son is best avoided around the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday in late January or early February.
Cham Kingdom Sites in Vietnam
My Son Sanctuary is the best known of Vietnam’s Champa relics—the remains of a kingdom that once sprawled across much of south and central Vietnam. Other Cham Kingdom sites include the Po Nagar Cham Towers outside Nha Trang, still used for worship today; the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture; and, further south, the 13th-century Po Klong Garai Cham Towers.
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