Remnants of the My Son Sanctuary (pronounced “me-sun”) stand in the jungle of Quang Nam province in Vietnam, a region once known as the Amaravati Champa Kingdom. This site was once the spiritual center of worship for the Champa people from the 2nd-15th century.
The My Son Sanctuary was a hindu temple, mostly devoted to the worship of the God-King Srisanabhadresvara and the god of destruction, Shiva. The temple grounds fell out of use the 15th century and sat forgotten in the jungle until the French uncovered it in the late 1800s and began the temple’s excavation and restoration.
The complex consists of over 70 monuments and temples, covering 142 hectares (350 acres) in central Vietnam, not far from the city of Hoi An. Most structures have deteriorated due to old age and bombing during the Vietnam war but today, 20 structures still stand and are open to visitors daily.
My Son temple ruins were declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1999.
We booked our tour through our hotel (the Moon Homestay) and $8 (CAD) covered our ride to and from the site as well as the entrance fee to the grounds. Although these ruins show only a fracture of what it once was, the power of this majestic site can still be felt. Standing on these grounds was a once in a lifetime experience I’ll never forget and despite the heat and insane amount of tour groups, I recommend a visit if you find yourself in Hoi An with a few hours to spare.
Our tour guide in particular wasn’t very good, but then again we were spoiled by Kevin on the Halong Bay cruise. Other guides (who we eavesdropped on) did a much better job of informing the visitors of this magnificent landmark, so if you get a shoddy guide, just stalk another group!