Champa Kingdom

vietnam’s third unesco site: my son sanctuary

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An hour drive out of Hoi An is My Son Sanctuary. It was a political and religious capital of the Champa Kingdom. The Cham people belonged to an ethnic group in South East Asia.We were told the Sanctuary was built around the 9th Century, with the dynasty lasting between the 4th Century to 13th Century.

Before exploring the site, visitors can enjoy a performance in the open theatre. The traditional Cham performance included folk music and dancing. It was all quite exquisite.


We were extremely fascinated with the Hindu-influenced temple ruins, the statues and the site itself. As we explored the remains, we could climb into some of the temples and were able to get close to the relics. It is mind-blowing admiring the architecture of the temples and workmanship of the statues.

Although, it was teeming with tourists at My Son, the overall feeling in the air was tranquil and leisurely. It was a shame though, to see some of the site damaged due to bombings that occurred during the Vietnam War (once again reminding us how destructive war can be).

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The walk out of the Sanctuary is a peaceful tree-lined path back to the car park. We had spent easily a couple of hours here.


Although we have never been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Bagan in Myanmar, we felt like this would be similar to what we would see there. It actually made us want to see those countries even more.


My Son Sanctuary was listed as a

UNESCO Heritage site in 1999.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited,

visit our unofficial bucket list