Vietnam’s Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary: A Must For History Lovers
My Son Sanctuary, located in central Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a rich history and mesmerising beauty. If you’re looking for a cultural and historical experience, this is a must-visit destination.
A MUST FOR HISTORY LOVERS
If, like me, you’re into history and ancient architecture, you’re gonna love it. The sanctuary was built between the 4th and 14th centuries AD by the Champa civilisation, which ruled over the central region of Vietnam for over 1,500 years. Walking through the site felt like being in an Indiana Jones movie. The complex consists of more than 70 temples and shrines dedicated to the worship of Hindu gods and goddesses.
I really loved how peaceful and serene the My Son Sanctuary was. The site is surrounded by lush forests and the air is fresh and clean. It’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam and just take a breath.
Upon arrival, I was struck by the sheer size of the complex and the intricate details of the buildings. Walking through the ruins, I was transported back in time, imagining what life was like during the Champa dynasty. The ancient architecture and carvings are a testament to the skills and craftsmanship of the people who built them.
THE CENTRAL TOWER
One of the most impressive structures is the central tower, which stands at a height of over 21 meters. It’s over 21 meters tall and is believed to have been the main place of worship for the Champa people. The tower’s design is an excellent example of the unique blend of Hindu and Cham art styles, with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. It’s unique blend of cultures really shows how diverse Vietnam’s history is.
The temples were used as part of a base area for the People’s Army of Vietnam and Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Consequently, many of the historical buildings were destroyed when United States aircraft bombed the region in August 1969. Large bomb craters, measuring around 8 metres across and 4 metres deep, can be seen as you wander around the temples. Sadly only 17 out of 71 structures survived the bombing and the surrounding area is still rendered dangerous through the presence of unexploded land mines.
As I explored the sanctuary, I learned about the fascinating history of the Champa civilisation and its interactions with other cultures in Southeast Asia. It was interesting to see how the Champa people were able to blend their indigenous culture with Indian culture, resulting in a unique and distinct cultural identity.
If you get the chance, try to catch a traditional Cham dance performance while you’re there. The costumes and movements are beautiful and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture’s rich history and traditions. The performance also gave a some insight into life during the time of the Champa civilisation.
My Son Sanctuary is a must do for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture. It’s a great spot to learn about Vietnam’s history, appreciate some seriously impressive architecture, and just relax in a beautiful setting. Add it to your Vietnam itinerary for an awesome journey back in time.