My Son Sanctuary is a cluster of ancient Hindu temples that were constructed in the emerald hills in the Duy Xuyen District, Hoi An between the 4th and the 14th century.
These restored temples are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s the most popular attraction in the region that draws in thousands of visitors every year.
I have put together this complete guide of My Son Sanctuary Vietnam including how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect when you arrive.
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WHERE IS THE MY SON SANCTUARY?
My Son Sanctuary is located 40km west of Hoi An, Vietnam.
The journey takes one hour from Hoi An.
HOW TO GET HERE
There are two options for reaching this UNESCO site which I have listed below.
Option 1: MY SON SANCTUARY TOUR
The My Son Temple Day Tour is the most top-rated tour with great reviews and thousands of bookings.
This tour covers the highlights of My Son Sanctuary UNESCO site plus a visit to Kim Bong Carpentry Village and a light lunch on a boat cruise down the river ending at Nguyen Hoang Pier.
All this for just $10 USD.
Book Now → My Son Sanctuary Tour
Option 2: DIY
If you wish to visit the temple DIY you can rent a scooter from Hoi An for just $5 a day.
I picked up a rental scooter from ‘Hoi An motorbike tours and rentals’ the day before heading out to the sanctuary. I left Hoi An at 5 am in order to be at the sanctuary for sunrise.
Entering the temple
WHAT TO EXPECT AT MY SON SANCTUARY HOI AN
The sanctuary is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm and the entrance fee is 150,000 VND.
As you enter the gates, there is a courtesy buggy that will transport you from the main gate of the park to the start of the walking trail.
The trail is very easy to navigate and it will lead you through the abandoned complex of the magnificent Hindu ruins. There are a total of 71 temple structures that are impressively older than the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
Book Now → My Son Temple Day Tour
Sunrise at the sanctuary
One of the 71 temple structures
MY SON SANCTUARY HISTORY
The words ‘My Son’ means ‘beautiful mountain’ in Vietnamese. The sanctuary was used by the Champa civilization as a political center and a royal burial ground. The temples were devoted to the Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Shiva, who was considered the protector of the Champa’s kings.
The sanctuary was originally constructed out of wood in the 4th century and then later destroyed by a fire in which the cause is still unknown. The complex was rebuilt by the subsequent kings out of red brick and limestone.
Unfortunately, during the most recent war, the Americans bombed the region knowing that the Viet Cong was using it as a hiding place. Thankfully, the majority of the temples survived the bombings and parts of the ruins have been restored.
Exploring the temples
An aerial perspective
Sunrise over the temple
WHERE TO STAY IN HOI AN
Hoi An has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Hoi An to suit budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: ANANTARA RESORT
MID RANGE: HA AN HOTEL
BUDGET: HAPPY MONKEY HOSTEL
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN HOI AN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
AIRBNB HOI AN
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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BEST VIETNAM TOURS
LONELY PLANET VIETNAM
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Guide!
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MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
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I hope you find this blog post useful and if you have any further questions, please drop me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.