My Son Sanctuary Tours

The My Son Sanctuary became a designated UNESCO world heritage site in 1999. Today it continues to draw tourists from around the globe. With the rising tourist numbers a wide variety of tours to My Son have come into play within the past ten years. 

Located just over an hour west of Hoi An amongst jungle mountains; My Son was built as a Hindu temple of worship by the Champa people during the 4th Century. Predating its ancient cousin Angkor Wat the site offers historical richness unique to the Champa people who first settled this region.  While not as extensive as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, My Son boasts its own charm and glorious history.  It is the first inhabited site of Indian Hindu civilization in Southeast Asia

For the best experience of My Son, Hidden recommends taking a tour. The local tour guides are the experts on the history of My Son and happily draw you into the mystery of the sanctuary. Tour guides also streamline the process of entry keeping you from baking in the sun or being lost in the dark!

With the abundance of tours comes the headache of scouring the possibilities.  My Son tours are targeted around sunrise and sunset – each with their own pros and cons.  We’ve weighed these up and curated a list of the best options for you so that you can get on with your exploration.  For our complete guide to visiting the My Son Sanctuary click here.

My Son Tours english speaking tour guides
English speaking and very knowledgeable tour guides lead the way through My Son

Sunrise Tours of My Son – Pro’s and Con’s

Wondering if the sunrise tour is worth the effort? The sunrise tour option (despite the crack of dawn start), is a fantastic way of seeing the My Son Sanctuary slowly reveal itself with the first rays of the day. Most tours start with a pick up in Hoi An around 5:30 a.m., arriving at My Son at opening 6:30 a.m. Sunrise provides optimal opportunity for magnificent photographs without the crowds. This of course is weather dependent, so on a dreary or cloudy day the sunrise may not be as stunning or visible. 

Hidden Hint: Sunrise viewing is weather dependent so remember to check the weather forecast!

Many claim there is a spiritual feel at sunrise, described as transporting you back a millennium to the time of the Champa people. Additionally, the temperatures are much more bearable at this time, with the tour concluding before the heat of the day. My Son starts filling up quickly so an early start is worth it to experience the majestic temples while avoiding the larger crowds. 

the Sanctuary at sunrise
My Son Sanctuary Photo: Jennifer Harris

Sunset Tour of My Son  – Pro’s and Con’s

For those not keen on a dawn wake up call, a sunset tour may be more appealing. Sunset tours still provide the opportunity for stunning photographs. The canvas of the sky at this time is painted behind the ruins. Similar to the sunrise tour the number of other tourists and traffic has reduced. Due to the fact that many tour buses are on their way back to Hoi An. Therefore this allows the experience to be more intimate and relaxed. Additionally, as the sun starts to set the temperatures go down as well. This makes for a much more appealing option than traversing the ruins during the heat of the day. 

Hidden Hint: My Son closes at 5:30 p.m. so check on sunset times prior to avoid missing out!

However, this option may not be suitable for those who enjoy a leisurely experience. My Son Sanctuary closes at 5:30 p.m. So It is advisable to check on sunset times prior, for the sun may set later, eliminating this option at certain times of the year. Keep in mind a sunset tour will also include a dark ride back to Hoi An.  So depending on your method of travel and comfortability this may not be an ideal time to visit My Son. Conversely, some sunset tours offer a relaxing boat ride back down the Thu Bon River to Hoi An which is an idyllic way to conclude the experience. 

the Sanctuary at sunset
Visit the sanctuary at sunset or sunrise to avoid the heat of the day

Why Take a Tour to My Son 

With the large array of tour options to My Son, there are many options for everyone. Although a self-guided experience is always an option it just won’t come close to giving you the same experience. Tours provide you with an in-depth look at the rich history and culture of the Cham Kingdom from an English speaking and very knowledgeable guide.  You have the opportunity to mingle with other tourists and share travel stories. As well as having the stress of navigating yourself around alleviated. 

There are a multitude of tour options from Hoi An to My Son. For adventurous types take a cycling tour through the countryside or a rugged family-friendly jeep ride to the ruins. Perhaps a private tour followed by a romantic boat ride down the Thu Bon River. And if you’re a solo traveller on a budget, we have shared options for you too. In this article, Hidden breaks down the most popular tours to My Son to ensure your experience is tailored to suit your needs.

Tourists explore the My Son Sanctuary
Tourists explore the sanctuary

My Son Cycling Tour

Tour: Grasshopper Adventures ½ day cycling tour to My Son Duration: 6.5 hours; 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Price: 1,600,000 VND (69 USD) Included: Entry ticket, English speaking guide, bicycle, bottled water, snacks, lunch, drinks shuttle van back to hotel. Booking: Grasshopper Adventures Cycling Tour to My Son  Email: cyclevietnam@grasshopperadventures.com

Grasshopper Adventures

Imagine experiencing Hoi An and the lush countryside of Vietnam by bicycle? Grasshopper Adventures offers an unforgettable opportunity for all skill levels to ride 25 kilometres through the countryside to the My Son Sanctuary. 

The tour starts at Grasshopper Adventures location in central Hoi An at 7:30 a.m. The ride begins along the historic riverfront before the town comes alive. After crossing the river, get a taste of day to Vietnamese life, passing through villages, rice fields, and family farms. The journey ventures down flat, rural paths open only to bicycles and motorbikes. Enjoying a quick stop for a snack of fruit and coffee or tea before entering the sanctuary. You’ll spend a couple of hours led by an expert guide around the ruins learning the rich history of the Cham Kingdom. After exploring the ruins there is a van waiting to take you back to Hoi An. Midway back to Hoi An, there’s a stop for a lunch of traditional Vietnamese noodles. You arrive back at your hotel around 2 p.m. 

Heaven and Earth

Heaven and Earth offers another cycling tour around My Son Sanctuary that is much more extensive. This tour starts with a mini bus ride, stopping near the ruins. The focus for this tour is primarily experiencing Vietnamese culture and the countryside by bicycle. The option to go to My Son is offered for an additional 184,000VND (8 USD) for entry, but it is not guided. It is a full day of adventure from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., pedalling a total of 54 kilometres. It costs 1,370,000 VND (59 USD) per person and includes a special Vietnamese lunch. 

My Son Jeep Tour

Tour: Local Buddy My Son Jeep Tours to My Son Duration of tour: 5 hours; Starting at 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. daily Price: 2 adults 1,840,000 VND (80 USD) per person. 3-4 adults 1,750,000 VND (76 USD) per person. 5-7 adults 1,655,000 VND (72 USD) per person. 8-10 adults 1,565,000 VND (68 USD) per person. Kids ages 7-12 1,290,000 VND (56 USD). Kids 6 and under are free. Booking: Local Buddy My Son Tour Info and Booking Email:: localbuddytours@gmail.com

Local Buddy Tours

A jeep tour to My Son is a great way for the whole family to tap into their adventurous side, yet still relax into the experience. With Local Buddy Tours you experience a very intimate journey through the back roads to My Son in a retro army jeep!  Enjoy panoramic views from the open topped jeeps while en route. The personal and small nature of these tours is great, stopping off whenever a photo opportunity strikes. All the while learning about the fascinating history of My Son and the local culture from knowledgeable English speaking local guides. 

Each jeep can support up to four people. There are multiple jeeps available for groups exceeding four and up to ten people, making this experience great for couples or large groups. If waking up at dawn is not your cup of tea they offer multiple tour start times daily; 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. The tour includes convenient pick up and drop off at your hotel, price of admission to My Son, a personal guide and a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch of Hoi An noodles. 

Vietnam Jeep Tour

A very similar tour is available through Vietnam Jeep Tour. The main difference being that this tour has just one start time at 8:30 a.m. This is a great option for couples or groups of two, as the US Army Jeeps used can hold no more than two people including a guide, three without a guide. Vietnam Jeep Tour concludes the tour with lunch served during a lovely boat ride down the Thu Bon River back to Hoi An’s Old Town. The cost is also slightly less; 1,700,000 VND (75 USD) including cost of admission to My Son, lunch, tour and guide.

The Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary Photo: Jennifer Harris

My Son Shuttle Bus Tour Options

Tour: The Sinh Tourist Shuttle Bus to My Son Duration: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 6 hours Price: 170,000 VND (7.50 USD) + cost of entry 150,000 VND (6.50 USD) Booking: In person at the  Hoi An Location or Book Here  Email: info@thesinhtourist.vn

Sinh Tourist

Solo travellers or those on a budget may feel more compelled to tour My Son as part of a group. A great value shuttle bus option is provided by The Sinh Tourist

Check ahead of time to see if hotel pick up is available in your location. Otherwise meet at the Sinh Tourist location in central Hoi An (address listed below) at 7:45 a.m. The bus makes several stops along the way so be prepared for a slightly longer journey. 

Hidden Hint: Shuttle bus tours save money but keep in mind these groups can be rather large, with up to 45 people per group.

Before arriving to the My Son, the guide issues your entry ticket for 150,000 VND (6.50 USD). You arrive at My Son around 10 a.m. Consider purchasing a cool beverage or snack before being led by an experienced guide through the temples. The local English speaking guide is very knowledgable and utilises a microphone, making him clearly audible despite the group size. Enjoy the sanctuary while learning the history of the Cham people for two hours before boarding the bus back to Hoi An at 12:45 p.m.  Arriving back at The Sinh Tourist in central Hoi An at 2 p.m. 

Return by Boat

The Sinh Tourist also offers the option to return with the group to Hoi An by boat at 2:30 p.m. for an additional 70,000 VND (3 USD). This is offered by the guide on the bus ride to My Son.

For those desiring a sunrise tour, The Sinh Tourist has you covered as well. Departing from central Hoi An at 5:30 a.m. and returning at 11:30 a.m. The cost is slightly more than the day tour at 260,000 VND (11 USD). For additional information on the sunrise option click here

Hidden highly recommends purchasing tickets directly at the Sinh Tourist location in central Hoi An. Not only will it save you money on the processing fee, you are issued a hard copy of your ticket immediately. If tickets are purchased online and you happen to be eligible for hotel pick up, you are still be responsible for obtaining a hard copy of your ticket before departure!

Hidden Hint: The Sinh Tourist also offers a competitively priced private car for up to three people for 700,000 VND (30 USD). Departing at 7:30 a.m. from select hotels or office in Hoi An. Arriving back in Hoi An at 11:30 a.m. Tour guide and price of admission not included.  

Bus and Boat Tours

Tour: Golden Rooster Luxury Group Tour to My Son Duration: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 6 hours Price: Adult 850,000 (37 USD), Kids ages 4-9 650,000 VND (28 USD), Kids under 4 are free Includes: Transportation, entrance fee, bottled water, English speaking tour guide, lunch, boat ride Booking: Golden Rooster Travel Hoi An Email: goldenroostertravel@gmail.com

Golden Rooster Travel

Interested in a luxurious boat ride back to Hoi An after visiting My Son Sanctuary? Golden Rooster Travel offers both a group and private tour which includes a boat ride down the historic Thu Bon River. The Luxury Group Tour departs from your hotel between 7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. On arrival, you are led to a traditional Champa performance at 9:30 a.m. You spend two hours exploring My Son with an experienced English speaking guide. After visiting the sanctuary you board a van and drive to the home of a local family who host a rice paper making workshop. From there you are taken to enjoy a wonderful lunch at another local home. The tour concludes with a relaxing boat ride down the Thu Bon River to Hoi An. Transport awaits to take you back to your hotel. 

Private Tour

Group tours certainly are not for everyone. Golden Rooster offers a similar private tour to My Son for those wanting a more personalised experience. This tour offers flexible departure times, leaving the departure up to you. Freeing you up to schedule your trip to coincide with the sunrise or to catch the sunset on the boat ride back to Hoi An. Unlike the Luxury Group Tour, lunch is not included with the private tour. Instead a bánh mì is provided on the boat.  This tour is on the more expensive side with prices starting at 690,000 VND (30 USD) per person for groups of five.  Going up to 2,325,000 VND (100 USD) for a solo tour. For specifics on pricing for the Private Tour and booking click here

A very similar experience can be had with My Son Private Tour. This private tour, enables you to schedule the start time at your leisure. The tour is 4.5 hours, starting at 930,000 VND (40 USD) per person for groups of two. Larger groups with up to nine people cost less per person at 810,000 VND (35 USD). A private boat ride down the Thu Bon River is also offered with this tour at an additional charge of 465,000 VND (20 USD) per person. 

a tour group at the Sanctuary
Tour Group at My Son Sanctuary Photo: Jennifer Harris

My Son Motorbike Tour

Tour: Local Buddy My Son Motorbike Tour Duration: 5 hours; Starting at 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. daily Price: 2 adults 1,495,000 VND (65 USD) per person. 3-4 adults 1,400,000 VND (61 USD) per person. 5-7 adults 1,335,000 VND (58 USD) per person. 8-10 adults or teens 13-15 years old 1,265,000 VND (55 USD) per person. Kids ages 7-12 1,035,000 VND (45 USD). Kids 6 and under are free and ride with adult Booking: Local Buddy My Son Tour Info and Booking Email: localbuddytours@gmail.com

Local Buddy Tours

For those wanting to crank up the adventure a notch, a rugged motorbike tour to My Son Sanctuary could be perfect for you. Regardless of experience level Local Buddy Tours offers an unforgettable experience making the journey to My Son just as exciting as the destination. This highly rated company provides safe and comfortable motorbikes. All guests ride pillion (sitting behind) an experienced driver. Freeing you up to enjoy the scenery and not worrying about navigating or drivingLocal Buddy creates an intimate experience with impromptu excursions along back roads.  YOu have a great opportunity to glimpse local residents in their day to day life. With opportunities to stop for photographs whenever the desire hits. Learn about the Vietnamese culture and the history of My Son with knowledgeable, English speaking local guides. 

Local Buddy offers multiple tour start times daily; 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. The tour includes the My Son entry ticket, convenient pick up and drop off at your hotel, water, a personal https://www.careerchina.com/job/59b0f57b0cf2fc91312066faguide and a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch of Hoi An noodles. The trip concludes with a beautiful ride down a country highway along the Thu Bon River at sunset.

Hidden Hint: Local Buddy Tours offers 10% discount for early birds and for booking multiple tours.

Indochina Motorbike Tour

A similar tour is available through Indochina Motorbike Tour. More experienced drivers are given the opportunity to drive yourself on either a motorbike or semi-automatic scooter. They offer tandem rides as well for the less experienced rider. Tours begin between 8:30 a.m – 8:45 a.m. arriving back in Hoi An before 4:30 p.m. Prices start at 2,000,000 VND (90 USD). To book directly or for more information click here

If neither of these motorbike options sound appealing and are feeling more inclined to travel without a tour check out Hoi An Bike Rental for rentals and routes to My Son.

Hidden Hint: Wear appropriate footwear. Comfy, light clothes in summer that cover shoulders and knees. Wear warmer clothes and  bring a rain coat for winter/spring days.

My Son
My Son Sanctuary Photo: Jennifer Harris

Sunrise Tours to the Sanctuary

Sunrise tours of My Son are often the most desirable. Local Buddy Tours offer a jeep tour suitable for the whole family. Departing at 5:30 a.m. and ranging from 1,565,000 VND (68 USD) to 1,840,000 VND (80 USD) per person depending on group size. Local Buddy offers the same sunrise tour to My Son on motorbikes for a little extra adrenaline rush to start your day. Prices range from 1,265,000 VND (55 USD) to 1,495,000 VND (65 USD) per person depending on group size. Kids six years and under are free for both tours! 

Private tours are another option for a more personalised and tranquil sunrise tour of My Son. Golden Rooster offers pick up times starting at 5:30 a.m. from 690,000 VND (30 USD) per person for a group of five and up to 2,325,000 VND (100 USD) for a solo journey. 

Additionally, The Sinh Tourist offers a budget-friendly sunrise group tour option. Catch a bus from central Hoi An at 5:30 a.m. and return at 11:30 a.m. for only 260,000 VND (11 USD). 

electric shuttles to the sanctuary
Electric shuttles take you to the My Son Sanctuary entrance

Hidden’s Thoughts

Even if you’re short on time, with quick half day trips, the My Son Sanctuary is an essential cultural experience when visiting Hoi An. So all that’s needed now is for you to choose the best tour for you or your travel companions from the options Hidden’s provided above.

Grasshopper Adventures is the obvious choice for cyclists wanting to soak up the scenery and get in a good workout. While motorbike enthusiasts can set out along back roads at sunrise with Local Buddy Tours. Jeep Tours offered by Local Buddy are a fantastic option for young families seeking a thrill. With children aged six and under being free it certainly makes it one of the most family-friendly tours available. 

For those on a tight budget and still desiring an informative experience The Sinh Tourist has you covered. Last but not least, Golden Rooster gives you a taste of luxury with a small group or personalised private tour option.

Whichever tour you take, whether you go for sunrise or sunset, My Son Sanctuary is both a memorable and worthwhile experience not to be missed.

 

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