Crossing Travel
DESTINATIONS Hoi An Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My Son Sanctuary in Hoi An

My Son Sanctuary is an interesting destination for visitors when travelling in Hoi An.

My Son Sanctuary is set in a small valley belonging to Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, about 70km southwest of Danang City and 40km from Hoi An City. Of the 225 Cham vestiges that are founded in Viet Nam, My Son possesses 71 monuments and 32 epitaphs, the content of which is still being studied.

My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary

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. 

 
My Son Sanctuary
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, 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. 

My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary
More information:
Entrance fee: 60.000 – 100.000vnd/person
Opening hours: daily opening
Summer: 06:00 – 17:00
Winter: 06:30 – 17:00
How to get there: You can book a tour anywhere in town that costs US$4-5, departs at 08:00 and returns at 13:00. This price doesn't include entry which is a whopping 120,000 VND.  A bus-boat combo is also available for an extra US$1, or take a sunrise tour that starts at 05:00.  To get here on your own, head out of town on Hung Vuong and fork left towards Da Nang where the road splits. It's a total of 10 kilometres to the town of Vinh Dien, where you'll find Highway 1A — take a left. After 6 or 7 kilometres, there's a sign at the junction in the town of Duy Xuyen pointing to My Son, 30 kilometres away along Route 610 — take a right where the sign indicates.  As you approach My Son the signage is really clear. You can get up to two kilometres from the entrance, then you'll have to park your bike, unless you're with a Vietnamese tour guide/driver, who is allowed to take you the remaining distance on his motorbike.  If for any crazy reason you get stuck for the night in My Son, there is a small guesthouse about five kilometres from the entrance.
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