In this travel blog, we invite you to embark on a captivating journey to My Son Sanctuary. Nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Vietnam in Danang, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove of cultural and historical wonders. Let Indochina Voyages explore the highlights, delve into its rich history, and provide you with essential information for planning your visit.
What do you know about My Son Sanctuary?
- It is the remnants of an ancient era under an emperor of Champa that dominated during the centuries 4th to the 13th and used to worship Linga and Shiva.
- It used to be a religious center for the capital of Champa Kingdom. Until now, these archaeological remains are still of most importance to the Cham civilization.
- Coming here, you’ll marvel at the intricate stone sculptures, towering temples, and captivating architectural designs that reflect the Cham’s spiritual beliefs.
- My Son Sanctuary is regarded as one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam.
- It is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur of Java in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan of Myanmar, and Ayutthaya in Thailand.
- In 1999, UNESCO recognized My Son Cham as a World Heritage site.
Where is it?
Located nearly 70km from Danang city, My Son Sanctuary lies in a narrow valley with mountains surrounding it. To reach this remarkable site, you can go by road (It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours) and choose from various transportation options:
- By Bus: Bus route 06 departs from Da Nang to My Son Sanctuary between 5:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day and operates at regular intervals of approximately every 30 minutes. The price is cheap (about 8,000 VND – 30,000 VND) but the time is longer than the other transports.
- Private car: For the best private experience, you can choose this.
- Rent the motorbike: The way to get to My Son Sanctuary is quite easy to go, you can rent the motorbike to go it on your own and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere on the road.
- Take a taxi: This is the fastest and the most convenient way but going with that is the higher price.
Construction of the My Son Sanctuary began in the 4th century during the reign of King Pham Ho Dat. It is a place used to worship Linga and Shiva and was once the religious and political capital of the ancient Cham civilization.
Before, every time the Champa kings ascended the throne, they came here to perform ceremonies and organize worship. In addition, My Son Sanctuary is also the religious and cultural center of the Champa dynasty and the burial place of kings, princes, and powerful monks.
After the next two centuries from the 4th century, the temple burned down in a great fire. And in the 7th century, King Pham Phan Chi rebuilt the temples – relics that still exist today.
What to expect?
My Son Sanctuary holds immense historical and cultural significance. Making it a must-visit destination in Vietnam. There are plenty of valuable things to see and do in this wonderful place.
Discover Temple Complexes
My Son Sanctuary has more than 70 exquisitely carved temples with bricks used to build ancient towers. The bricks are fired and cut into blocks, then skillfully stacked on top of each other without using any adhesives. Over many centuries, My Son Sanctuary has not been weathered but only cracked a very small part.
To make it easier to explore its beauty, archaeologists have divided the constructions of My Son into 5 separate groups named after the letters of the alphabet, where the most important archaeological groups are groups B, C, and D. Each group was comprised of a main sanctuary (Kalan) surrounded by towers and tombs, which is also the most striking feature of architecture in My Son.
My Son temples’ architecture is influenced by Indian and Indonesian models, noticeable particularly in stone sculptures shaped by goddesses. Especially, the towers are topped with tiled, curved roofs and were stocked with the offerings and sacred objects of the pilgrims. Because Cham temples do not have windows, they are very dark inside.
Experience the Unique 8m Wide Ancient Road
One of the distinctive features of My Son Sanctuary is the ancient road, which stretches 8 meters wide. This road served as an essential artery connecting the various temple complexes within the site. Walking along this historic pathway, you can envision the vibrant life and bustling ceremonies that once took place here. Let your imagination transport you to a bygone era as you trace the footsteps of the Cham people.
Enjoy the Enchanting Apsara Dance
Witness the captivating Apsara dance, a traditional performance that brings the cultural heritage of the Cham people to life. Apsara, the celestial nymphs of Hindu mythology, are depicted through graceful movements and intricate costumes.
Be captivated by the dancers’ precise gestures, elegant postures, and colorful attire as they tell stories of ancient legends and spiritual beliefs. The Apsara dance is a visual feast that enables you to immerse yourself in the artistic traditions of the Cham civilization.
Immerse Yourself in the Traditional Kate Festival of the Cham People
If you have the opportunity to visit during the Kate festival (which takes place in July every year according to the Cham calendar), you’ll be treated to an extraordinary cultural celebration. The Kate festival is one of the most significant events for the Cham people, honoring their deities and praying for prosperity and good fortune.
Experience the vibrant atmosphere as locals gather to participate in traditional ceremonies, music performances, and captivating rituals. You’ll have the chance to witness traditional Cham costumes, hear enchanting music, and join in the joyful festivities that highlight the Cham people’s enduring cultural heritage.
Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of My Son Sanctuary through your lens. The intricate details of the structures and the serene natural surroundings make it a paradise for photography enthusiasts. My Son Sanctuary photos will be one of the most unforgettable memories of your trip!
How Long to Spend at My Son Sanctuary?
To fully appreciate the historical and architectural wonders of My Son Sanctuary, it is advisable to allocate at least half a day for your visit. This timeframe allows you to explore the temple complexes, attend cultural performances, and take in the tranquil ambiance of this ancient site.
What is the entrance fee for My Son Sanctuary?
The entrance fee to My Son Sanctuary is subject to change, so it’s recommended to check the official website or consult with your tour operator for the most up-to-date information.
Are guided tours available at My Son Sanctuary?
Yes, guided tours with knowledgeable guides are available at the site. They provide valuable insights into the history, architecture, and cultural significance of My Son Sanctuary, enhancing your overall experience.
Can I take photographs at My Son Sanctuary?
Photography is permitted at My Son Sanctuary. Feel free to capture the captivating structures and the captivating ambiance of the site. However, it’s important to respect any signage or instructions regarding photography restrictions.
Is My Son Sanctuary worth visiting?
Absolutely! My Son Sanctuary holds immense historical and cultural significance, making visiting it one of the best things to do in Danang and the best place to go in Vietnam. The site stores historical values and is worthwhile to watch. We highly recommend tourists visit the site when coming to Vietnam.
If you’d like to get more information, feel free to ask us!
From Indochina Voyages Team.
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