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The Holy Land of My Son – The Complex of Ancient Champa Temple Architecture

My Son Sanctuary is a famous historical site in Quang Nam province, Vietnam, with a unique architectural complex consisting of numerous Cham Pa temples and towers. The archaeological site was discovered in 1885 and was recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1995.

My Son Sanctuary is nestled deep in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains. In ancient times, this place was used for worship and the placement of tombs for the ancient Cham Pa kings.

1. Where is the My Son Sanctuary located? My Son Sanctuary ticket price.

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  • Address: Duy Phu, Duy Xuyen, Quang Nam.
  • Ticket prices for My Son Sanctuary:  Foreigners: 150,000 VND; Vietnamese: 100,000 VND.
  • Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM from Monday to Sunday.

Where is the My Son Sanctuary located? The My Son Sanctuary is an architectural heritage complex of the ancient Cham Pa people, located in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province. This area has a wide diameter of about 2km with over 70 different temples and towers, showcasing distinctive architectural features representing each period of Cham Pa’s development.

The My Son Sanctuary dates back to the 4th century during the reign of King Pham Ho Dat, where it was used for worshiping the Linga and Shiva deities. After two centuries, the temple was burned down in a major fire. It was not until the 7th century, during the reign of King Pham Phan Chi, that the temples were rebuilt, and the remaining relics exist to this day.

2. What attracts international tourists to the My Son Sanctuary?

The unique and exquisite architecture of the My Son Sanctuary is divided into six characteristic styles: ancient, Hoa Lai, My Son, Ponagar, Dong Duong, and the style of the people of Binh Dinh. When visiting the My Son Sanctuary, tourists will notice the characteristics of this architectural form, such as stone carvings, statues of the deity Siva, and sculptures of dancing maidens in the Cham Pa style.

Over time, the archaeological site has also been partially damaged by bombings carried out by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, there are still many intact towers and captivating unique architectural features that attract visitors.

2.1. Explore the panoramic view of My Son Sanctuary

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My Son Sanctuary is adorned with over 70 intricately carved temples, featuring significant inscriptions in both Sanskrit and Cham languages. This archaeological site remained forgotten until 1898 when a Frenchman and his colleagues discovered the hidden ruins within the forest, nestled in the heart of a valley surrounded by two majestic mountains.

Furthermore, another remarkable feature that makes My Son Sanctuary famous is the brickwork used to construct the ancient towers. The bricks were fired and cut into blocks, then skillfully stacked without any adhesive materials. Over the centuries, the structures of My Son Sanctuary have not been plastered but only experienced minor cracks.

2.2. Experience the unique ancient road, measuring up to 8m wide

This is the ancient road leading to the core area of the My Son Sanctuary, discovered by an Indian expert during the restoration of the central towers. The ancient road has a width of up to 8m, with two parallel walls buried 1m deep in the ground.

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According to historical records, this road leads directly to the central area of the heritage site, where the grand gateway towers used for worshiping were only accessible to kings, nobles, and esteemed dignitaries of the ancient Cham Pa. The walls on both sides of the road are finely and skillfully carved. This significant discovery contributes to the enduring historical value that My Son Sanctuary holds.

2.3. Enjoy the enchanting Apsara dance

What does My Son Sanctuary have to offer? Here, you can witness the Apsara dance inspired by the stone sculptures of Apsaras. This dance is known for its smooth and graceful movements, titled “The Soul of Stone,” aiming to celebrate the elegant curves of femininity.

This dance is currently performed in important art programs of Quang Nam province as well as for tourist groups visiting My Son Sanctuary. You will feel as if you have stepped into the ancient land of Cham Pa, with images of girls with slender fingers, well-rounded chests, and alluring curves dressed in shimmering, vibrant costumes. The accompanying sounds of Paranung drums and Saranai horns will captivate every visitor.

2.4. Immerse yourself in the traditional Kati festival of the Cham people

The Kati festival is one of the important festivals of the Cham people, typically held in July according to the Cham calendar. If your travel itinerary coincides with the Kati festival, you will not only have the opportunity to explore the unique heritage but also immerse yourself in the rituals, including offering ceremonies, processions of traditional costumes and Kati symbols, and water processions. The festival features a variety of outstanding cultural performances combined with traditional props and graceful dances by artists that will mesmerize you and make it difficult to take your eyes off.

3. Tips for visiting the My Son Sanctuary archaeological site

3.1. Getting to My Son Sanctuary

3.1.1. Route from Da Nang to My Son Sanctuary

To reach My Son Sanctuary, which is not too far away, there are several common transportation options available, including buses, cars, and motorcycles.

  • Bus from Da Nang to My Son: Route 06 from Da Nang to My Son departs from the central bus station in Da Nang and covers a distance of approximately 60km.
  • Operating hours: From 5:30 am to 5:00 pm daily, with a frequency of approximately 30 minutes per trip. Ticket price: Depending on the route, ticket prices range from 8,000 to 30,000 Vietnamese Dong per one-way trip.
  • Private vehicles: If you have a car or motorcycle, you can follow National Highway 1 to Nam Phuoc town, which is about 39km away. From there, head west on Road 537 for another 9km until you reach Tra Kieu. From Tra Kieu, continue for approximately 12km until you reach a three-way intersection, then turn left and follow the signs for another 9km to reach My Son. To reach the My Son Sanctuary heritage site, you will need to travel an additional 5 minutes along a mountain road, and then proceed on foot along a stone path to reach the destination.

3.1.2. Route from Hoi An to My Son Sanctuary How far is My Son Sanctuary from Hoi An?

The distance from Hoi An to My Son Sanctuary is about 50km. You can travel from Hung Vuong Road straight on National Highway 1A to reach My Son. For many adventurous travelers who enjoy exploring and motorbike touring, this route is an ideal option to test their skills, taking approximately 2 hours to reach the destination.

The rental price for a motorbike here is around 150,000 – 200,000 Vietnamese Dong per day. It is recommended to fill up the gas tank and check the weather conditions before setting off on your journey.

3.2. Best time to visit My Son Sanctuary

Quang Nam province has two seasons: the rainy season (from September to December) and the dry season (from February to August). Typically, the best time to visit My Son Sanctuary is from February to April. During this time, the weather is pleasantly cool and not too hot, so it is recommended to bring an umbrella, a light jacket, and sunscreen.

4. Where to stay when visiting My Son Sanctuary?

Due to the operating hours of My Son Sanctuary, which are usually from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM, many travelers choose to make a day trip from Da Nang or Hoi An in order to fully explore the “Heritage Path of Central Vietnam” on subsequent days. It is advisable to select a quality hotel that is conveniently located, allowing easy access to famous tourist destinations in the area.

Ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure to Da Nang and My Son Sanctuary? Take the first step towards an amazing journey by booking your Hoi An tour package with Origin Travel today! Discover the hidden gems, immerse yourself in rich history, and make the most of your trip while keeping it budget-friendly. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity! Start planning your dream exploration now!

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