If you’re heading to Central Vietnam then you won’t want to miss out on My Son Sanctuary! As one of the many great day trips from Da Nang or Hoi An, the My Son Temples are a must-see for any history lover. While there are other places like the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture that display select pieces, there’s nothing like seeing it up close at a real live Vietnam UNESCO site. Join us as we breakdown how to get to My Son Vietnam, what you’ll experience, and why it’s such an amazing place to visit!
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5 Things to Know Before Visiting My Son Sanctuary
1. How to Get to My Son Vietnam
The first thing to know about My Son Sanctuary is that it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere! This means you’ll have to arrange transportation to get to this incredible historical site.
Luckily, it’s still plenty close enough to get there from Da Nang and Hoi An which are the popular towns in the area. Below are the 3 best ways to get to My Son Vietnam.
→ 21 Amazing Things to Do in Hoi An Vietnam: Ancient Town & More!
Motorbike: Our favorite way to get anywhere in Vietnam is by motorbike, and that’s especially true here! It was about an hour ride from Hoi An through local villages, over bridges, and beautiful rice fields. If you’re planning a day trip from Da Nang it will take around 1.5 hours by motorbike.
Private Car or Taxi: Not much of a motorbike rider? Don’t worry! You can arrange a car to take you to the My Son Temples. We recommend having your hotel organize this. The driver will wait while you explore the park and also take you back.
Group Tour: The third option is to go on a group tour of My Son Sanctuary. This a great way to see this Vietnam UNESCO site as they will provide transportation and an informative guide to take you around My Son. One of the highlights is that on the way back to Hoi An they actually take you on a river boat ride!
2. Quick History of My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary is collection of ancient ruins left by the Champa Kingdom which ruled over Central and Southern Vietnam for hundreds of years. The Champa people were mostly of the Hindu religion, and the design of the structures at My Son Vietnam illustrates that.
If you’ve been to a Da Nang Museum or any around the country, you will have surely seen artifacts from the Champa Empire already.
It was amazing to find out the first My Son Temple was built here over 1,600 years ago. Between the 4th and 14th centuries, the Champa constructed around 7o structures here! My Son Sanctuary was a sacred place of worship and also where powerful religious and military leaders would meet.
3. Vietnam War & the My Son Temples
Unfortunately, parts of the My Son Sanctuary were destroyed during the Vietnam War. During the conflict, the United States relentlessly bombed these monuments as it was a former Viet Cong base. Even today walking around My Son Vietnam you will see the massive craters in the ground from bombs.
We have visited many museums around the country which display the history of this war. Yet, seeing the damage done up close was another reminder of this devastating conflict.
Sadly, out of the 70 original brick structures only around 18 remain standing. In 1999, My Son Sanctuary was named one of the eight Vietnam UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has since become a must-see destination for visitors from around the world.
4. Exploring My Son Sanctuary
At the time of our visit the entrance fee was just 150,000 VND. After you get your tickets, you’ll jump on a golf cart to get driven to the My Son Temples. Upon entering My Son Sanctuary, you’ll notice the area is quite large with many different sections to discover.
Take your time and wander through the moss covered brick buildings, and imagine what life must of been like hundreds of years ago! My Son Vietnam runs in a circle so you can walk the park either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Some of the temples you’re able to go inside, while others you’ll have to admire from the exterior. A few of the My Son Temples even have plaques explaining the significance of the design or sculpture. If you’re lucky, there may even be traditional dancing and music around the main buildings!
5. Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
For the true history fans, there’s also the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture to visit before or after My Son Sanctuary. The museum is home to many sculptures and artwork and is a fun place to go on a rainy day in the city.
Although this gives a great historical background to the Champa Kingdom, we actually found out that some of the artifacts are replica versions at the museum. Either way, make sure you go see the real thing at My Son in Vietnam!
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own fun tips for My Son Sanctuary? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Check out all our Vietnam articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from the best Vietnamese food to 50 travel tips & how to get around. You can also find our Northern Vietnam and Southern itineraries as well as an amazing 1 month route!
Popular Destinations: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Ha Giang – Tam Coc – Phong Nha-Ke Bang – Da Nang – Mui Ne – Da Lat – Ho Chi Minh – Phu Quoc
Where To Stay In Hoi An Vietnam
Ultra Luxury – Little Riverside Hoi An – Beautiful upscale hotel & spa located on the river just down the street from the central market. The highlight of the hotel is the outdoor pool facing the banks of the Thu Bon river.
Apartment – Quang Vinh Apartment and Hotel Hoi An – Our home away from home for every visit to Hoi An Vietnam. Bright rooms, a wonderful rooftop pool, and a quick walk to the Hoi An Night Market.
Fun Vacation – Hoi An Riverside Villas & Apartments – Just outside the craziness of Hoi An Old Town. Enjoy a stay overlooking the rice paddies while still being a quick bicycle ride away from everything.
Hostel Stay – Cheerful Hoi An Hostel – Cute local hostel that is super popular with backpackers visiting the area. Good option to meet other travelers and has a buffet breakfast included.
Vietnam Travel Planning
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Vietnam!
Flights: For cheap flight deals check out Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc for $20 USD and Vietnam to Thailand for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Get Your Guide is an amazing place to find fun activities all over Vietnam! There is everything from a Hanoi Cooking Class and market tour to a Mekong Delta Pagoda & rowing boat trip, and even the Phu Quoc Cable Car Ride with three island snorkeling tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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