Vietnam is a culturally rich and diverse country counting numerous sites classified by the UNESCO in the World Heritage of Humanity. Vietnam has some of the world’s most famous ruins site to visit. As a handy list to keep for the use of these professionals and the viewing pleasure of all, here are list of beautiful ancient ruins to see during your stay in Vietnam.
- My Son Temples
My Son Temple is Just 10 kilometers away from historic Tra Kieu and an hour and a half drive from Hoi An ancient town stands one of Vietnam’s largest collections of Cham ruins. Built between the 4th and 14th centuries by the ancient kings of Champa, these temples were constructed in dedication to the Hindu god Shiva, known locally as Bhadresvara. What used to be an area of over 70 temples suffered some of the worst destruction during the war, with many of its structures destroyed by carpet bombing during a single week.
- Po Klong Garai Temple
The legend of the god king is one of the most enduring tales in Cham culture, and follows the legend of the king who rose from poverty to eventually defend the Cham Kingdom from invading Khmer forces. After his reign as a king of astounding wisdom and power, King Po Klaung Garai is believed to have ascended to godhood as a protector of the people. Constructed toward the end of the 13th century, the Po Klong Garai temples are still in relatively good structural shape in comparison to many Cham ruins, and continue to be an important religious centre for locals.
- My Son – Hoi An
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 due to its historical and culture significance, the Champa city of My Son Vietnam was an important complex that was occupied from the 4th to the 13th centuries. The source of the sacred Thu Bon River lies right in the heart of the basin and flows out to the South China Sea, through the town of Hoi An. This made it a strategically defensible location and is the main reason why it became the dominant city for the Cham people. The Champa Kingdom was established in 192 AD, with an agricultural-based economy.
- Po Shanu Temple
Po Shanu Temples are one of the smallest collections, and have seen more destruction than many of their architectural cousins. Although the structure itself is not as arresting as its counterparts, the journey to Po Shanu Temple is worth it for the panoramic views of Phan Thiet and the East Sea. The temple itself dates back to the 9th century, and is dedicated to the princess Po Shanu, daughter of King Para Chanh and famous for her talent and virtue.
- Cham Do Dam
Cham Po Dam Temple complex used to have six standing structures. Now, three of these structures have collapsed, leaving three still standing that are an important relic to local history. Cham Po Dam temple complex was built in the 8th and 9th centuries in dedication to King Po Dam, who ruled over ancient Champa from 1433 to 1460 and built the famous irrigation systems that surround the city.