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Discover Ancient My Son Sanctuary through Vietnam and Cambodia Tours

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Quang Nam - Hoi An

Located nearly 70 kilometers from Da Nang city, Quang Nam province, My Son Sanctuary is a cluster of ancient Champa temples which impresses the visitors with extremely unique architecture. Being forgotten for a long time, it was not until 1885 that this location was discovered and in 1999 it was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO as the only demonstration of the disappearance of Asian civilization. What things have remained in My Son Sanctuary after the damages of the time and the wars? Discover its mysterious beauty and the unique architecture in your Vietnam Cambodia tour.

The Cham temple complex in My Son Sanctuary

The Cham's temples in My Son Sanctuary

History of My Son 

My Son was started being built in the 4th century. During many centuries later, this shrine was being added with large and small towers to become the main relic of Champa culture in Vietnam. According to several historical records, My Son was once a cultural and religious center of Champa’s Kingdom in Southern Asia and also the burial place for kings and monks. 

You will be amazed at this breathtaking place which is home to more than 70 temples and towers owning many different architectural and sculptural styles of each stage of the Dynasty of Champa and easily realize that architectural and sculptural through the temple layout and work here are influenced by Indian style. Each of the towers has a main tower, which is called “kalan” and many smaller sub-towers surrounding it. In My Son, Kalan often worship the Linga or Shiva. The temples worship Bhadrésvara - the king who found the first king of Amaravati in the late 4th century in association with the name Shiva, becoming the main belief worshipping gods, kings, and royal ancestors.

See more: Visit throughout Vietnam and Cambodia to hear the interesting history of Champa History and Culture.

The center temple worships Shiva

The center temple worships Shiva


My Son - A Masterpiece Ancient Architecture of Cham

It is very interesting that all the towers have the shapes of pyramids from low to high, symbolizing the residence of the gods - Mount Meru. The outer wall of the tower is often decorated with S-shaped leaf patterns connected to each other. A sculpture of Makara sandstone (mythical beast with fangs and long spout), Apsara, lion, elephant, Garuda, statue of prayers are also the ornaments for decoration. They are closely aligned with each other and until now there has been no research that can identify which adhesives were used. 
The highlight of Cham sculpture art is the capacity of showing the intense vitality of people with diverse inner emotions. Each historical period has its own mark with different architectural features. My Son Sanctuary not only shows the masterpiece of Champa architecture but also depicts the culture of Southeast Asia. This destination always an important part of tours to Vietnam Cambodia packages. 

An old temple still remains its ancient charm in My Son

An old temple in My Son still retains its ancient charm

Due to the erosion and war, the once-magnificent complex is now mostly in ruins. Many archaeologists had previously tried to protect this area. For example, in 1937, French scientists restored almost all the temples here. But after the bombing in 1969, the tower A area was almost destroyed - this is the main tower of this monument. However, the majority of small monuments in areas B, C and D still exist although many artifacts, large statues, and altars are taken away by the French during the war. Now, they have donated a large number of antiques to the Vietnam Museum of History and the Museum of Cham Sculpture. 

See more: Explore Nature and Culture with The Charming Heritages in Vietnam from North to South 


Activities and Festivals in My Son Sanctuary

Apsara dance

Enjoying the Apsara dance is another great thing to admire when visiting My Son. In all cultural events in Quang Nam in general or in My Son Sanctuary in particular, this magical dance depicts " the soul of rock" and enchants spectators by the ancient Cham culture through the smooth movements of girls with curved arms, round breasts, attractive curves in bright and sparkling costumes. Moreover, these motions are presented in the sound of the Paranung drum and Sarainai alpine, making every visitor stop and contemplate. 

The dance is inspired by the Apsara stone statues, transformed various poses of these statues into smooth, flexible dances that imply the perfect beauty of women.
This is a fantastic activity for anyone who loves exploring the Cham culture. Don’t forget to take stunning photos to keep these beautiful moments alive in your Vietnam Cambodia trip! 

The soul of rock is reconstituted with Apsara dancing

The soul of rock is reconstituted with Apsara dancing


Katé Festival is one of the most important folk festivals of the Cham community. It is usually held on July 1 according to the Cham calendar (often fall on September 25 to October 25) to remember ancestors and heroes. 
Katé Festival had been interrupted for a long time since the last Cham dynasty in the 17th century. Katé was only renovated in the 1960s and is progressed nowadays. 
Opening the festival, the religious leaders of the Cham people will perform rituals for peace. Besides, your memory in My Son will be filled with many specific traditional rituals such as palanquin procession, water procession, exciting cultural exchange time, enticing performances of Cham ethnic instruments and Cham dances, etc. 

See more: Get a Cultural Tour to My Son Sanctuary to enjoy Apsara dance


Some Useful Tips When Visiting My Son

-    Tickets price: 
The entrance fee is 100,000 VND for Vietnamese and 150,000 VND for foreigners. Children under 15 years of age are free of charge for sightseeing tickets (including trams fee to the monuments and cultural performances). 
-    Opening time: 6.30 – 17.00 every day
-    Art performances are always available every day (there will be special notification if there is no activity). 
•    Shows in specific area: 9h15, 10h45, 14h00, 15h30
•    Shows at the footage of the tower: 10h00 and 14h45
-    Put your trash into garbage and contribute to protecting ancient materials here by not touching them.

A traditional art performance at the footage of a temple in My Son

A traditional art performance at the footage of a temple in My Son

In your Vietnam Cambodia package tour, My Son Sanctuary marks new experiences among specific cultural areas of central and north Vietnam as well as the Champa culture and Viet culture and even among Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The values of the Champa Empire are preserved thanks to its existence and community efforts. Add My Son Sanctuary in your Vietnam Cambodia trip with the support of local expert Threeland via email [email protected] or What’s App: +84342620068 or call +842439262056. Drop-in on to see more Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar tours. 



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