How to Get to My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary is a popular day trip from Hoi An for those looking for a historical outing and picturesque scenery.  Due to the rise in popularity, the question of how to get to My Son has never been easier to answer. Conveniently located just a one hour drive west of Hoi An through the stunning countryside of Vietnam.  The roads to My Son thread through nearby farmland on Hoi An’s outskirts. It’s a beautiful ride that takes you past corn and sunflower fields, rice paddies and stunning mountain peaks. If you’re lucky you’ll catch farmers tending their crops and get a glimpse into their daily life. 

As of 1999, My Son Sanctuary became part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Taking you back a millennia into the culture of the Champa people. With a cluster of ancient Hindu structures predating Angkor Wat by 800 years, My Son is a unique experience not to be missed. Remnants of the destruction from the American war are evident here as well, with a double dose of history in one place. 

Within this article Hidden shares how to get to My Son from Hoi An. Be it a self guided trip or through a tour. We discuss the prices associated with each, making it easy for you to decide the best option for your visit.  For our full guide to visiting the My Son Sanctuary click here.

One of the temples of My Son Sanctuary
Temples of My Son

How Long Does it Take to Get to My Son from Hoi An

Getting to My Son Sanctuary takes approximately one hour headed west from Hoi An. Well paved roads lead the way effectively making the journey by motorbike a solid option. If you choose to take a car to approach My Son travel time will vary with traffic. Being 43km north of My Son, departing from Da Nang is still a viable choice but expect city traffic. 

Self Guided Trip Vs Tours

Do you prefer the freedom of cruising at your own leisure or sharing the experience with other like minded individuals? Hidden looks at the pros and cons of each.

Going yourself comes with the possibility of a fluid itinerary. Stay and stare as long as you want and take a break where you please. However with the pleasures comes the responsibility of renting a motorbike, then trusting you know how to get to My Son. There are many backroads that although lead to My Son are still tricky to navigate. Once you’re in and still wish to share in the history of the site keep an eye out for on-site tour guides. If they haven’t approached you first they’re often piecing together tours of their own so you don’t have to miss out. For more information on routes to My Son Sanctuary check out this article.

Going with a tour allows all the necessary preparations to be done for you. So there’s no worrying about how to navigate getting to My Son. This includes the transport to and from the site, ticket to enter, a knowledgeable guide, and often even a meal. While you won’t get lost, managing a group of tourists means that an itinerary is crucial. Therefore following the crowd as you shuffle from landmark to landmark isn’t for everybody.  Read our full article about available tours to My Son here.

Hidden Hint: Sometimes the group size promised turns out to double.  If you’re not keen on travelling in large groups then choose another option.

booking office at My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary Guide Booking Office

Options for Getting to My Son Sanctuary

Options to get to My Son range from daily shuttle buses to motorbike or scooter. If you appreciate the slower pace of the countryside perhaps a bicycle tour is a good fit for you. Even hiring a taxi proves a viable option if you’re looking for more of an individual experience.  

Self Drive Route to My Son Sanctuary

Driving yourself to My Son?  Then with the exception of the tricky back road route most routes are the same. We provide you with the simplest course to take. There aren’t too many blind corners or unmaintained roads. If you’re comfortable on a scooter the trip won’t be treacherous.

Hidden Hint: It’s a good idea to download the route on Google Maps before departure.

Driving Directions

Leaving from the center of Hoi An (The Hoi An Museum) head west on Tran Hung Dao and stay on the same road for 11km.  It does change name along the way but is easy to follow. Turn north on the QL1A highway when you reach the town of Vinh Dien. You only need to stay on the highway for a few hundred metres before making a left onto Tran Quy Cap as soon as you cross the bridge. Merge with confidence, slow and deliberate movements pave the way on hectic Vietnamese streets. 

Follow this stretch of road southwest taking in the sights of farmers at work in rice paddies. The route passes through several small towns with dozens of coffee shops lining the road if you need a caffeine fix. The road changes name from Tran Quy Cap to Hung Vuong as you pass under the new north-south mega highway. 

Towards the end of Hung Vuong Road take a left onto Quang Trung (if you reach the Yen River Bridge then you have gone too far!) This road leads directly to My Son, crossing a bridge with a great view of the Thu Bon River. The road gets fairly narrow as you approach My Son so watch for oncoming tour buses. The final stretch is well signposted straight up to My Son Sanctuary where you will find ample parking. Official parking costs 5,000 VND (0.20 USD)

Hidden Hint: The bathrooms outside the main entrance cost money while those within are absolutely free.

garden at the Sanctuary
A spot of gardening amongst the ruins

Getting to My Son Sanctuary by Taxi or Private Car

Hiring a private car or taxi is also a viable option to get to My Son Sanctuary. The general rule of thumb is where taxis are more numerous and require less planning they are also more expensive. Private transfer services usually need 24 hour notice and normally only accept longer rides. This is a good idea for those prone to pit stops whether it be to stretch your legs, use a restroom, or grab a quick refreshment. Prices vary but on average a private transfer costs you about 880,000 VND (38 USD) for a 4-seater car round trip. Check out Hidden’s full article on the benefits of private transfers here

The taxi option costs about 640,000 dong (28 USD) just one way. Booking is easy, just arrange it with your hotel reception, however there’s likely a small added booking fee. If you choose to book direct there are many online options available with hotel pickup. Reliable taxi and ride-hailing options include Mai Linh and Fast Go. Both options do their bookings via a downloadable app.

Hidden Hint: Booking private cars guarantees a ride all day.  Your driver will wait for you. Taxi and ride-hails are only one way unless you prearrange and ask them to wait.

My Son Sanctuary located west of Hoi An
My Son – located west of Hoi An in the middle of a lush valley surrounded by jungle mountains

Tours to My Son Sanctuary

There’s more than just a shuttle bus option to get you to My Son Sanctuary.  Consider the fresh-air feel of a retro open-topped jeep or motorbike tour for the adventurous. For those that can go the distance Grasshopper Adventure Tours offer a 24km cycling excursion to My Son. This includes a shuttle back so you can relax into your well-earned respite after exploring the site. 

Enjoy the romantic side of Vietnam and take the boat back down the Thu Bon River to Hoi An offered during the bus ride to My Son through The Sinh Tourist.  It costs 70,000 VND (3 USD) in addition to  the initial tour cost of 190,000 VND (8 USD). NB: This is a large group experience not to be confused with the private tour. The bus takes you from My Son to the boat docks. Plan this with the night of the full moon festival for extraordinary photos returning to Hoi An. For more information on all the available tour options along with details and pricing read our full article here.

Hidden Hint: For those who are wary of cramped spaces we advise against shuttle vans and buses. These are often filled to maximum capacity with up to 50 people. Consider a private tour option instead.

Tourists explore the My Son Sanctuary
Tourists explore the ruins of My Son with an experienced guide

Hidden’s Thoughts

Whether you’re an experienced traveller exploring preserved UNESCO sites across Vietnam or sight seeing while on holiday, My Son deserves a share of the spotlight. For groups and families with small children Hidden recommends taking the retro jeep tour as the bus tour notoriously becomes packed. There’s also the alternative of opting for a private transfer. Experienced riders should definitely consider the self-drive motorbike route as this part of Vietnam is beautiful to navigate through. 

The local culture of Hoi An derived from the Champa people who ruled over this land over 1,000 years still lingers. You see it in the architecture of these ancient temples as well as in the minds of local guides who express their own wonder of this historic compound. My Son is worth the visit and no matter how you get there you’ll be sure to leave feeling the same sense of enchantment. 

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