Remote Duy Phu ward, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province Published on: 17-06-2016
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Why My Son Sanctuary is special ?
The Cham Kingdom had two sanctuaries belonging to two main opposing clans. My Son of the Dua Clan, ruled over the north of the kingdom and was the place for the worship of God Srisana Bhadresvara. The Cau Clan, who reigned over the south had Po Nagar Sanctuary, dedicated to Goddess Po Nagar. Nevertheless, My Son was considered as the sanctuary of the Cham Kingdom.
The first constructions date back to the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and rebaptized Sambhu-Bhadresvara. Each new monarch came to My Son after his accession to the throne, for the ceremony of purification and to present offerings and erect new monuments, which explains why My Son is the only place where Cham art flourished without interruption from the 7th to the 13th century.
What to explore at My Son Sanctuary?
The temples in My Son were built into groups that basically followed the same model. Each group was comprised of a main sanctuary (kalan), surrounded by towers and auxiliary monuments. The kalan, which is a symbol of Meru Mountain (centre of the universe, where the gods live) is dedicated to Shiva. The small temples are devoted to the spirits of the eight compass points. In the towers, topped with tiled, curved roofs, were stocked the offerings and sacred objects of the pilgrims. Cham temples do not have windows, so they are very dark inside. Windows are only found on the towers.
The temples are really ruins; only at the first part of the complex (groups B and C) they are standing upright though also heavily damaged. The damage comes from bombing during the Vietnam War (you can still see the craters), but also from age. Most of the interior decorations and sculptures have been taken from here to the Champa museum in Da Nang. Only a couple of them are on show now here, at temples D1 and D2. From these sparse remains one can only guess how they might have looked like in their heydays.
How to get to My Son Sanctuary?
In a small valley in Duy Tan Commune, Duy Xuyen District of Quang Nam Province (about 70km southwest of Danang and 40km from Hoi An)
- “Great place to visit”
- “My Son Holyland - What an experience”
- “Beautiful Lost City!”
- “A must-visit place when in Da Nang”
- “Excellentlly restored temple, very nice little museum”
Duy Phu ward, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province
Tips for you
Don't miss this place! 72 temples in a holy hidden valley in the middle of the forest. Magic atmosphere...
Uno de los últimos vestigios de la civilización de Champa que es hoy en día una magnífica reliquia histórica, declarada Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO. No duces en visitarlo
If doing a tour - do the early morning one from 5 am - 9:30ish. Beats the heat and the crowds
It seems all the tourist busses arrive around 9:30~10am, the place gets super crowded. Be patient and wait until after 11am, when everyone has left and you have the place to yourself.
UNESCO site. Worth the trip. Shame the filthy Yanks bombed the shit out of the place during the war
Please if you want to visit this wonderful place read before about it. Lonely Planet has a very good story about the history. You will see so much more.I did it with a bus tour and the place was full of tourist like me. We all wanted to see this place once 70 tempels for 70 kings and now ruins.
These ruins are spectacular (even compared to Angkor Wat, though not on same scale of course), but you MUST be there as early as possible! We arrived around 7:00 just after it opened and had the whole complex nearly to ourselves for a while. Wandering through the empty ruins in the early morning light was something special... but just before 9:00 the first tour busses begin to arrive, and the place gets CROWDED! It's a fairly small complex so when a few tour busses roll in at once it can be totally overwhelming... Once it got crowded we sat in the shade for a while and like clockwork around noon the crowds cleared again and we got to have a last look and wander around the once-again nearly deserted ruins.
First off, the temples themselves are nice, though if you've already visited Angkor or Bagan I wouldn't bother.Problem is: the place is absolutely swamped with cheap bus-tours. Hordes of South Korean tourists armed with selfie-sticks and loads of huge groups tramping around.We actually made the mistake of booking this one through our hotel, and got stuck in one of the tourgroups because of that. That means 50 people to a guide, lots of waiting around combined with -strangely- a very rushed experience. If your even moderately interested in archeology, you need at least three hours. Oh, and forget about the (supposedly) very good museum near the entrance, with art and artifacts from the sites. Your tour won't go there.Finally, some tours offer a return by boat to Hoi An. Avoid this one, it's a complete farce. You''ll be bussed back to within 40 minutes boating from Hoi An. They'll happily oversell the tickets, so that the boat is dangerously crowded (not a floatation device in sight anywhere). And I do mean dangerously. At one point the guide came along asking people to spread out and not stand all on one side, since we were in danger of tipping over.Oh, and when it's full up, you'll just be made to sit on the roof in the blistering sun. The 'small lunch' that's included is plain filthy, and when you are finally in sight of Hoi An, and are hoping for the ordeal to end, you're forced to make a 'shopping-stop' on some island.This sort of thing is what gives Vietnam a bad name, and it's a totall rip-off.My advice:- Avoid the tours, rent your own car and guide. It's worth the extra money- Avoid the boat at all costs- Take a full day, and include the museum
A MUST DO on your trip to Vietnam. Outdoors with an amazing history. What a legacy. Being declared a World Heritage site is so important. It is such a pitty that war also impacted this wonderful site and destroyed such ancient history. When you go make sure you are there in time for the dancers - the short entertainment just adds to the mystery of the place. What a peaceful environment of water and forest. The trip to My Son and back was also interesting. Our guide stopped at a home business where a lady makes rice products. My wife even baked a rice pancake. The overall experience of driving to My Son and back, seeing how people live and also experiencing aspects thereof and then visiting this majestic place of incredible history was absolutely great. Amasing craftsmanship at the time of its construction.
Don't miss this place! 72 temples in a holy hidden valley in the middle of the forest. Magic atmosphere.