You are here: Home » Destinations » Asia » The Champa Ruins of My Son in Vietnam

The Champa Ruins of My Son in Vietnam

by Dean Wickham on July 10, 2013

in Asia, Destinations, Featured, Vietnam

Many centuries ago, the country of Vietnam was largely divided, and Central Vietnam was ruled by the Champa Kingdom, whose religion was actually Hindu. In a hidden valley surrounded by mountains, they built their most holy site – a large temple complex known as My Son.

The architecturally brilliant temples were built to worship their god, Shiva and around 70 different religious buildings were built here between the 4th and 14th centuries. The cultural and religious heart of the Champa Kingdom, My Son is also the burial site of the Champa Kings. After this, the kingdom fell and the Cham people were pushed south to where they can still be found around the Mekong Delta, but My Son and their Hindu heritage was lost. It wasn’t until the very late 19th century that My Son was rediscovered by the French and was put back on the map.

Unfortunately, during the Vietnam War the Viet Cong used My Son as a base, and the resulting carpet bombing by the US all but destroyed this important historical site. Of the 70 buildings, only a few remain in decent condition, but they are definitely worth checking out.

My Son is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so the remaining temples are being carefully preserved, and some of those that were destroyed are being restored as well. We visited the ruins of My Son as a day trip from Hoi An.

Temple ruins in My Son, Vietnam

The ruins of My Son

A temple in My Son, Vietnam

One of the temples still standing at My Son

A fallen pillar at My Son in Vietnam

A fallen pillar

Temple at My Son in Vietnam

Ancient temple walls

 

A Carving at My Son in Vietnam

Detail on one of the temple walls

A dog at My Son in Vietnam

This dog jumped out of the building behind it to say hello

Beautiful carving at My Son in Vietnam

A beautiful carving on the wall of a temple

A linga in the ruins of My Son, Vietnam

A “linga” next to the ruins of a building

Ancient scripture at My Son in Vietnam

Ancient scripture. I’m not sure if this is Sanskrit or Cham

A destroyed temple at My Son in Vietnam

Little remains of this temple after the bombing

An alter at My Son in Vietnam

A huge alter

Bomb crater at My Son in Vietnam

One of the bomb craters in My Son

A temple being restored at My Son in Vietnam

A temple in the process of restoration

If you love history and visiting ancient ruins when you travel, My Son is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are heading to Hoi An on your way through Vietnam.

How to visit My Son

We took a tour from Hoi An that cost $8 per person and included a bus to the ruins, an English speaking guide, lunch and a boat back to Hoi An with a stop on an island where they build boats and make local handicrafts/wood carvings. Entrance to the ruins of My Son costs an extra 100,000 Dong ($5).

You might also like:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan July 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

Looks amazing. Its a shame that so much of it was destroyed in the war
Dan recently posted..South Australia HighlightsMy Profile

Reply

Dean Wickham July 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hey Dan, it is a real shame. It must have been an amazing site before it was destroyed.

Reply

Kristy July 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Aww, too bad that majority of the ruins was destroyed.

Reply

Dean Wickham July 27, 2013 at 12:02 am

Hi Kristy. It is a real shame, but the past can’t be changed I’m afraid. At least what is left is now protected.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: