My Son Vietnam is home to a number of ancient ruins of a once great civilization that called the people of Angkor, Bagan and Ayutthaya as cousins.
They were called the Cham people and little is known of them.
The ruins here are a much later copy of what was at Angkor Wat at the time. It is still a significant achievement but undoubtedly an inferior version of the architectural work at Angkor Wat.
Expect to find pretty decent carvings in the same style of those found in Cambodia but of inferior copy. If you want to see the old Khmer architecture then there is no exception to the ruins at Angkor Wat.
Having said that, the area is naturally beautiful and it's a very cheap day ($5USD for bus and admission fees). If you take to the nearby lake in a rented kayak, it just might be one of the best days you'll ever have.
Where is My Son in Vietnam?
My Son is about 69KM Southwest of Danang. From Danang it will take you just over an hour by bus to get there.
Hoi an City is a bit closer to the My Son Sanctuary but there are fewer options for transport and it may end up taking longer and costing you more. But a trip to the My Son Holy Land Sanctuary can be done from either Danang or Hoi An equally well.
My Son Vietnam Map
How to Get to The My Son Holy Land
If you decide to make the trip to the My Son Ruins from the city of Hoi An, then you'll have the option of mounting a Jet ski for the 40KM ride to the riverbank closest to the My Son Ruins.
And if that is too much of a ride then jump on a jet ski for the shortened 10KM ride up the river. It is spectacular and pretty inexpensive compared to a trip of similar ilk in the Western world.
Jetski Tours handles everything and you can book a ticket with them in any of the million or so travel agencies in the Old Quarter of Hoi An. Shop around and get 'em cheap.
I'm talking the $20USD - $30USD cheap kind. Best money you'll ever spend.
This is the hassle free method of seeing the My Son Holy Land. It's about an hours journey from Hoi An or about an hour and a half from Danang city.
Not only is it hassle free but cheap as heck as well. Tickets from Hoi An shouldn't cost you more than $4USD from Hoi An and $5USD from Danang. But with ease comes some boredom.
Ask about the 'Non Boredom Trip'. That is a full day but they split the ride up into two halves. One half is in a bus, then you stop for lunch and proceed on the second leg of the trip by boat. It'll cost a few dollars more but well worth getting onto the river.
The bus will leave as early as 5am and as late as 9am so get that straight before you buy the tickets.
Can you say 'sore ass with benefits'? That pretty much sums up riding on the back of a motorbike for an hour and a half.
But I love the benefits. The ruins in My Son Vietnam are small scale so you can do it by foot. Therefore, you don't need a tour or a guide.
Just jump on the back of the sturdiest looking motorbike in Hoi An or even Danang and just say--"Take me to the ruins in My Son!"
It shouldn't cost more than $5USD from the centre of Hoi An city and you are free as a bird the entire way. If you love to be in the wind, tasting the gorgeous scenery, then the motorbike is for you.
I drove there on my own rented motorbike. We stopped 15 times along the way and took photos and drank the cold beer I had toted with me.
It was the time of our lives. I can't recommend anything more diligently than taking the motorbike to My Son, Vietnam.
Where To Stay
There's no decent accommodation available in My Son Vietnam.
What is available will make you regret not staying in Hoi An or Danang and making the hour-long trip to the site. There are many things to do and sights to see in both Danang and Hoi An so we recommend you stay there.
For more information on available hotels in Hoi An click here.
For more information on available hotels in Danang click here.
What To See And Do
The Champa museum is near the ticket office at the entrance. It's nothing to gawk at but a good warm-up before you start walking the ruins. It closes half an hour before everything else so better have a look on the way in than the way out.
They do some traditional dancing displays at different times throughout the day. It is mainly for the benefit of the tour groups but is cool to see for about 4 minutes. They dance on a stage just before you reach the ruins and just across from the souvenir shop.
All of the streams you see running though My Son Vietnam end up in a lake that is still and about 3KM in length. It is the perfect place to go kayaking and you'll hear lots about where to rent them on your way.
Just be aware that the lake is considered Holy water and you are thus not allowed to swim in it. I jumped in buck naked and never heard the end of it.
Admission Costs to My Son Vietnam Ruins
It will cost you 65,000 dong or about $5.50USD to get into the temples at My Son. Combine that with a $5USD bus ticket from Hoi An and the entire trip should cost less that $18USD.
One heck of a bargain!
This is a good video of the main ruins at My Son. The guide is tough to understand but the video stands alone as a good peek into what to expect if you go and see it all.
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