My Son sanctuary city near Hoi An and Danang, in central Vietnam. Information, schedules, ticket price, transport buses to My Son, Champa ruins in Quang Nam province

My Son sanctuary and the ruins of My Son

In the vicinity of Hoi An and Danang we have My Son sanctuary (Mỹ Sơn). It is the remains of an ancient imperial of the Kingdom of Champa city that flourished during the centuries 4th to the 13th, these archaeological remains, the most important of the Cham civilization, they have been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Information about My Son

My Son was used as a spiritual Center during the reign of the Champa. These ruins consist of 70 temples and other buildings located in the valle Hon Quap, along the River, in the jungle of the Quang Nam province in the center of Vietnam (40 km to the southwest of Hoi An).

70 Buildings of My Son are distributed in 5 different points covering a total of 142 hectares. Archaeologists have divided the constructions of My Son in 10 separate groups named with the letters of the alphabet, where the most important archaeological groups are groups B, C and D.

The passage of time and the bombing during the Vietnam War have deteriorated part of the structures that make My Son, fortunately 20 buildings have great condition.

My Son is a Hindu shrine of similar style temples Borobudur (Java, Indonesia), Pagan (Burma), Angkor (Cambodia) and Ayutthaya (Thailand), used to make sacred sacrificos Cham and also as a place of eternal rest of Kings and princesses Cham. The Cham reign before succumbing, My Son was buried and forgotten for centuries, until the year 1885 where it was discovered by the French.

My Son Temples in Hoi An
My Son Temples around Hoi An

Map of My Son

This is a plan of the Sanctuary of My Son (Vietnam) where you can see the different locations of the archaeological sites of the ancient city of My Son Champa.

Plan of the Sanctuary of My Son
Plan of the Sanctuary of My Son
Map of My Son in Hoi An (Vietnam)
Map of My Son

Sightseeing tour of My Son

My Son is open daily at 6:30 to 16:30 hours, the visit to My Son is not free, being the price of admission to My are 60. 000VND (less than 3€), this price includes transport by archaeological groups My Son inside.

To move through the interior of the complex which is My Son well can walk either take one of the jeeps / vans waiting just outside the archaeological groups of My Son to take us to the next. Walk usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes travel from an archeological site to the next, the road is almost level with the exception of a small slope.

There are many tourists in My Son, especially to first thing in the morning since from Hoi An tours usually begin at the 8: 30, we recommend to visit My Son around 14:00, where the influx of people is less.

The buildings and ruins of My Son

My Son constructions include temples, towers, tombs and reddish brick structures that are linking the various buildings. You can visit Champa remains elsewhere in Vietnam, for example in Mui Ne and in Nha Trang.

My Son temples have Indian and Indonesian influences, noticeable particularly in stone sculptures shaped goddesses, reminding by its style to the apsaras of Temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
But the most striking buildings are the Cham towers. These towers are divided into three zones: the base (representing the earth), the center (representing the spiritual world) and the top of the tower (represents the realm between heaven and earth).

Stone sculptures - My Son
Stone sculptures - My Son (Vietnam)

Architecture of My Son

The architecture and construction techniques of My Son are mainly red brick with a similar component to the mortar used as a glue the pieces together, and just a temple of the archaeological Group B was held in stone. Sculptures and also all of the decoration were directly sculpted on the brick. Details of Champa building techniques, yet do not know for example today it is believed that the bricks hardened using fire.

Archaeological Group A of My Son

This part of the complex of My Son was destroyed almost in its entirety by American bombing. Today can still see the craters from bombs and bullet holes on the pile of bricks which is what remains of the archeological site of My Son.

Remains of the temple at My Son Sambhubhadresvara
Remains of the temple Sambhubhadresvara
Archaeological group type of My Son
Archaeological Group A

The archaeological Group A of My Son contained the great temple dedicated to the God Sambhubhadresvara known as Tower A1. This tower, which reached 24 meters in height, has had a tragic past: was first devastated by a fire in the 7th century due to the Chinese invasion, later rebuilt to finally be completely devastated by the Americans during the Vietnam war in the 20th century.

The only visible remains of this great tower is a stack of red bricks surrounded by weeds. Inside the My Son Cham museum you can see some plans and drawings by Vietnamese students and a picture of the early twentieth century.

My Son Cham Museum
My Son Cham Museum

Archaeological groups B, C and D of My Son

Groups presenting better conservation status of My Son, these temples and buildings are located in the center of the complex of My Son and serve to get an idea of the majestic here hundreds of years ago.

Archaeological groups B, C and D of My Son
Archaeological groups B, C and D
Ruins of My Son
Ruins of My Son

Archaeologists believe that group B was the spiritual epicenter of My Son. One of the most striking buildings is a Kalan or sanctuary called C1 Tower dedicated to the goddess Shiva (to the left of the picture) decorated with stone figures of Javanese influence, representing goddesses and other heavenly elements.
Opposite this Kalan, have the Tower B5, very striking for its boat-shaped roof (to the right of the photo), whose main function was to keep the relics and treasures of temples.

Between both towers, on the central promenade of Group B, we have the stone Lingam, a phallic symbol associated with the creation and the goddess Shiva. In the Middle we can see the limestone remains of the brick walls surrounding the temples.

Field of My Son Champa
From left to right: C1 Tower and Tower B5
Lingam stone temple with My Son
Lingam stone

The eastern part of the central complex consists of 2 halls belonging to the archaeological Group D. During the reign of Champa these places were used for meditation, but have now been converted in an Museum and Exhibition Hall. To protect the parts of the inclemencies of the time, these structures of My Son have been refurbished and equipped with an artificial ceiling.

Temple sanctuary of My Son
Temple sanctuary of My Son
Cham towers of My Son
Cham towers of My Son

Champa Museum of My Son

Archaeological Group D, in the center of the complex of My Son, houses a small Museum Champa and also an exhibition hall / exhibition. East Museum My Son Champa is not big deal, just a few sculptures and part of the decoration of the temples that were recovered after the American bombing.

For travelers interested in culture Cham and his footprint in Vietnam recommend the Museum of civilization Cham in Da Nang.

Directions to My Son

The ruins of My Son is 40 km from Hoi An and 55 km from Danang, is easier to navigate to My Son from Hoi An. As alternatives to transport to My Son have the motorcycle, car (with driver), taxi, bus and tourist mini-buses and a boat.

Buses from Hoi An to My Son

The visit to My Son is one of tourist excursions by excellence of Hoi An. The price of the tourist bus round the 3€ per person ticket of roundtrip from Hoi An to My Son, but does not include the price of the entrance to the archaeological complex of My Son.
The bus usually stop at Tra Kieu (Simhapura), the first capital of the Champa Kingdom, halfway to My Son.

Tourist bus is cheaper to move to My Son option, but the bad thing is that we will be stopping at half of hotels in Hoi An collecting more and more tourists, running the risk of spending more time on the bus to the sanctuary of My Son.

Bus Schedule for My Son

Timetables of the bus from Hoi An to My Son even if they are not fixed, usually out of Hoi An at 8:30 in the morning and turns around 13:30, there is no bus station as such, but the bus / minibus tour will pass by our hotel to pick me up.

Motorbike from Hoi An to My Son

For a price of 4€ can rent a bike all day in Hoi An and move us to the ruins of My Son on our own. To go by road from Hoi An to My Son it is relatively simple, we must use the carretera comarcal TL-610 and the Highway 1, which is caught from the large bridge over the River on the outskirts of Hoi An.

The ship of Hoi An to My Son

Some tourist agencies offer an excursion by boat from My Son, it is important to reacalcar that there is no river nearby to My Son and therefore any excursion by boat from Hoi An until My Son will leave at least 10 miles from the ruins, where it will have to take other means of transport to move us to the sanctuary of My Son.

Boat from Hoi An to My Son
Boat from Hoi An to My Son

We do not recommend this transportation option unless you have interest in navigating the River, since the vast majority of the boats end their tour on the outskirts of Hoi An (6 miles away), having to take the remaining 35 miles to My Son in bus.

Displacement ride to My Son

The taxi from Hoi An to My are it can cost around 25€ each way, taking 30 minutes to get to the sanctuary of My. It is the most expensive transport option but the more comfortable, can be compensated if you are travelling in a group of 4 people.

As an alternative we can negotiate the price of a car with driver in any local Hoi An travel agency, or at the same hotel where us town in Hoi An / Danang (remember that foreigners cannot lead car in Vietnam, the Vietnamese driving licence is required).

Advice for My Son

During the Vietnam War, My Son was used as a base for the Vietcong and therefore, the entire area of My Son was mined. Although the entire area has been cleaned, we recommend not to leave the paths defined and established areas. My Son Being located in the middle of the jungle, you should bring water and sunscreen.

Related My Son

  • The Temples of Angkor the largest religious building in the world, located in Cambodia
  • Hoi An the city of Hoi An, crossed by the river with its beautiful Japanese covered bridge
  • Marble Mountains mountain group that stands between Danang and Hoi An, Marble Mountain