My Son is one of the must-visit places in Hoi An. You can’t come to the city of lanterns without visiting this sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located west of Hoi An, in the midst of a lush valley surrounded by mountains and jungle, lies a group of Cham temple ruins, the My Son Sanctuary.

It’s a unique site in Vietnam, not only because it was once at the center of Champa power but also because its construction started in the 4th century—these structures date back eight hundred years before Angkor Wat!

This sanctuary was one of the most significant constructions of the Champa civilization. Therefore, since 1999, the My Son Sanctuary has been part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Nowadays, the sanctuary has become a popular day trip from Hoi An for those seeking a scenic and historical getaway.

Temple de My Son à Hoi An

History of the Temples at My Son

The My Son Sanctuary consists of a series of temple towers. These are the remnants of the unique Cham culture that existed on the central coast of Vietnam from the 4th to the 13th centuries.

The temples were continuously built over the following ten centuries. They were the political and religious capital of the Champa kingdom at that time, with spiritual origins based on Indian Hinduism. Many temples were built to worship Hindu deities such as Krishna and Vishnu. However, Shiva is most prominently featured in the reliefs found.

Temple de My Son à Hoi An vue du ciel

The temples of the My Son Sanctuary were built using an intriguing construction process where soft refractory bricks, hand-assembled, were rubbed into their final position.

Rediscovery of My Son Sanctuary in 1885

My Son was rediscovered by the Western world in 1885 when the French stumbled upon the site. The initial documentation, excavation, and cataloging work were conducted by Henri Parmentier and his colleagues over 12 months (1903-1904).

At that time, My Son consisted of 72 monuments classified into 13 groups. The groups classified the temples by estimated construction date, as well as unique features that differentiate the structures in the region, thus facilitating the recording and documentation of the temples.

Unfortunately, during the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong used the ruins as a base and consequently, the site was extensively bombed by the Americans. After that, this reduced the number of monuments to 17, now classified into eight different groups.

My Son Ticket Prices & Opening Hours (2024)

  • Ticket price for My Son Sanctuary: 150,000 VND per person ($6.50)
  • 75,000 VND for children aged 6 to 10 ($3.25)
  • Opening hours: 6:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • My Son Tour Guide: 100,000 VND
  • Cham Dance Showtimes: 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, and 2:30 PM
  • The Cham Sanctuary of My Son is located about 1 hour from Hoi An.
  • The average visit time at My Son is about 2.5 to 3 hours.

Visit to My Son Sanctuary

plan de My Son 3

The My Son Sanctuary is located on a 142-hectare property with the Cat Tooth Mountain in the background. Upon your arrival at My Son, a well-marked path takes you around the area and to the different groups.

The remaining temples today are categorized and labeled from A to H. The BCD group constitutes the largest group and features the best-preserved buildings. However, the details and decorations of the other groups are much smaller in comparison and fade due to age.

In recent years, there have been restorations of the temples.

The Museum of the My Son Sanctuary

Before heading to the temples, I recommend visiting the museum. It is located 100 meters behind the ticket office on the right side of the road. With a permanent and thematic exhibition, it provides historical, archaeological, and religious information about My Son and the Cham civilization.

Admission to the museum is free, and it is a good idea to visit it as it will help you better understand what you will see.

Across from the museum is the bridge and the road leading to the temple complex. While it is entirely possible to walk to the site, I suggest taking one of the free electric cars that frequently depart. This way, you can save your energy to stroll around the area and enjoy the temples.

Pont d'entrée à My Son à Hoi An

The bus drop-off point is also the start of the marked path that leads you through the site. There are also a few restaurants offering refreshments and an office where you can hire a private guide to accompany you.

Cham Dance Shows at My Son

If you want to spice up your visit to My Son, do not miss the Cham dance shows. There are Cham dance performances at My Son every morning and afternoon at 9:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 2:00 PM, and 3:30 PM.

How to Get from Hoi An to My Son?

Below you will find a number of different ways to get to the My Son Sanctuary. From self-transport to public and private tours, to biking for the more motivated among you, there are plenty of options.

My Son Public Tour

There are numerous tour operators in Hoi An that offer public tours to My Son. All generally offer the same package. It is possible to book some tours online.

Public tours offer two time options for departure from your hotel, typically around 7:30 AM or 1:30 PM. The tour lasts about four hours in total.

Simply ask your hotel to book you on a public tour.

Less expensive than a private tourLarge groups, sometimes very large
Crowded: You arrive at the same time as all other groups
Fixed schedules

My Son Private Tour

Choosing to take a private tour of the My Son Sanctuary is an excellent option if you’re looking for a more comfortable outing. You can choose the time you prefer to be picked up at your hotel, and you will enjoy the additional comfort of being driven in an air-conditioned vehicle.

Private tourMore expensive than a public tour
Flexible schedules

The driver waits for you in the parking lot while you take your time exploring the ruins of My Son. It’s a convenient and enjoyable day if you’re willing to spend a little extra money. This allows for more freedom to come earlier and you are not in a group of 30 tourists.

One of the companies I highly recommend is Hoi An Transport Service (140 excellent reviews on TripAdvisor). They offer this trip starting at 800,000 VND (about $34.50) for a four-seater car and they respond quickly and in English.

My Son Sunrise Tour

Sanctuaire Cham de My Son à Hoi An vue du ciel

Choosing a sunrise tour to the My Son Sanctuary has the advantage of enjoying the ruins with soft, dreamy light compared to the harsh rays of the day. Additionally, the temperature will be more bearable.

For these reasons, sunrise tours are gaining popularity among visitors. Consequently, this has led to an increase in the number of tourists in the early morning hours among the temples.

If you choose to take a private car or taxi to My Son for the sunrise, make sure to clearly indicate this to your driver, as well as the time you wish to be there. Unfortunately, due to misunderstandings in some cases, the sun has already risen upon arrival.

Hoi An to My Son by Scooter

Temples de My Son à Hoi An

Renting a scooter in Hoi An and driving to My Son is one of the best means of transportation to reach the ruins. Scooters or motorcycles are relatively inexpensive to rent for a day, and prices vary depending on where you rent them. Various shops display scooter rental signs, with prices starting at 100,000 VND per day (approximately $4).

Google Maps will offer you two routes to get there. I suggest following the route described below to experience a much more local setting.

Moreover, it only takes five minutes longer than the alternative route initially suggested by Google. A parking area for two-wheelers at My Son is available across from the car parking area. It’s a shaded zone with a permanent attendant. The cost for motorcycle parking is 5,000 VND.

Route to Go There Yourself

visiter le sanctuaire cham my son hoi an

Being kind, I’ve created a complete article to guide you on how to get to My Son by scooter yourself, complete with photos so you don’t get lost. This is a new route, faster than the old one, and it’s much more local, especially for the first part of the journey.

Visiting My Son with a English-Speaking Guide

To visit My Son, I highly recommend hiring a English-speaking guide to avoid missing out on many aspects, especially regarding the history of this temple.

I’ve often met tourists who were disappointed by My Son simply because they visited the sanctuary alone and thus did not understand the significance of the place.

Prefer visiting at off-peak hours such as 6 AM or 3 PM when there are fewer tourists.

There’s no need for an introduction to Hoi An Sightseeing Tours. I believe it’s one of my favorite agencies in Hoi An. Their English-speaking guides are top-notch and know the region inside out.

English Audioguide

Touriste utilisant l'audioguide au sanctuaire de My Son à Hoi An

Since July 2023, English audioguides have been available on-site.

You will need to purchase a ticket for 50,000 VND (about €2) at the ticket office and add the ticket to the “My Son Monument” app on the App Store or Google Play (not usable outside the My Son Sanctuary).

You can listen to 40 stories corresponding to the 40 main attractions of the My Son Sanctuary on your phone. To do this, you must scan the QR code in front of each monument.

Tickets are valid for 8 hours.

While this does not replace a English-speaking guide, it allows you to discover the history of the place without breaking the bank.

Dress Code

Une partie d'un temple de My Son à Hoi An

Official regulations call for “civilized tourism” and ask visitors to remember that it is a religious site. I recommend saving swimsuits, bikinis, and similar attire for the beach.

Unlike other places like pagodas, there is no strict dress code.

Note that covering knees and shoulders is not strictly enforced. However, staying cool and protecting oneself from the sun is probably more important since the My Son valley retains the heat of the day.

My Opinion

Despite its small size compared to the temple of Angkor, the My Son Sanctuary remains one of the must-visit sites in Hoi An and should be on your travel list when you visit Hoi An.

Additionally, you can add the Cham Museum in Da Nang to further explore the history.

In 2011, I fell in love with Vietnam after traveling extensively across the country for a month. In 2012, I decided to settle in Hoi An. In 2014, I launched "Good Morning Hoi An," a tourist site that reflects my passion for this magical place. I dedicate myself to guiding visitors through authentic experiences, helping them discover the unique charm of Hoi An as well as Da Nang, from its exquisite cuisine to its age-old traditions. This is my story, that of a Frenchman who found his second home. My email:

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