If you love architecture, then My Son Sanctuary DaNang becomes a must visit. Its a world cultural heritage site and if you are from India, you will find a great deal of joy in understanding how far & wide Hinduism and the Indian culture had spread even during those ancient times. The project is a joint undertaking of Vietnam government and ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
Recently, My Son Sanctuary DaNang was in the news for a 9th century BC Shivlingam, discovered here. It’s definitely not Angkor Wat, but if you like architecture and culture keep at least 2-3 hours to go around the site and explore it properly.
My Son Sanctuary DaNang – Getting there
We left our hostel at 4 PM and it took us around 1 hour and 15 mins to reach this place. Most of the folks were already done with their visit, by the time we reached. As per google it was still 1 hour and 15 mins till sunset, so we hurried up.
My Son Sanctuary DaNang – Ticket Cost
Entry ticket was $7.5/person which is a little steep as per Vietnamese standards. But it’s a small price to pay to see our evolved and advanced construction techniques from 4th-13th Century BC. I paid using my credit card and we quickly entered the premises.
Transport from the entrance to the excavation sites
There is an electric buggy (golf cart) that takes you from the entrance to the site of the temples. The temple complex is divided into 8 smaller groups and excavation is still in progress in some groups.
We had not hired a guide but there was an Australian family with us on the golf cart who had hired a guide. We shadowed them for the initial 5 mins to get a basic understanding of the place and then explored the place on our own.
History of My Son Sanctuary DaNang
The complex contains monuments built from 4th to 13th Century BC by the The Champa People. These temples are dedicated to Hindu Gods like Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu and others. You can see a lot of Shiv Lingams on display at this site. The speciality of this construction as I heard from the guide was
“The Champa people stacked bricks/stones over one another and constructed these magnificent temples. No cement like material was used as a filler between these bricks/stones. Once the construction was complete they would put fire to the temple so that the bricks would harden and the structure would become strong and resilient”.
Bricks are made in brick kilns (ovens) using the same technique, even today.
During the World War 2 and Indo-China wars, some parts of the temples were damaged. The team has restored most of these temples to their old glory. Even today, you can see the bomb craters next to some temples.
If you are an architecture and history geek, I would recommend reading – My Son Sanctuary DaNang, Wikipedia. This UNSECO article beautifully explains the cultural significance of this place – My Son Sanctuary DaNang, UNESCO.
We arrived late, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise as the light was perfect and there was hardly anyone around.
The journey back and surprise b’day celebrations
We left the temple complex around 6:30 PM. The ride back to the hostel was a little nervous and tiring because we it was dark, the oncoming traffic was all high beams. I had to take 2 breaks just for my butt (that had gone sore due to so much riding throughout the day). But luckily, we managed to reach the hostel safely without any incidents at all.
A surprise was in store for us as soon as we reached the hostel. The hostel staff had arranged a cake for her. It was a very nice and touching gesture which we will never forget. After the cake and some fun with the guys, we went out for dinner. Kshipra took me to a fancy restaurant called Secret Garden. The ambience was amazing and so was the food. It felt good to eat in a fine dining restaurant after eating street food for so many days.
You can checkout my full hostel review here – Tribee Bana Hoi An – Review
And tomorrow we fly to HCMC. Till then checkout this video from our time at My Son.