Hidden in the Hills not far from Hoi An is this small but impressive collection of brick Hindu Temples, Mỹ Sơn, which was constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. Like many historic sites around the world, Mỹ Sơn was destroyed by time and wars and after lying neglected for a long time it was rediscovered and renovated by the French in 1898. Sadly the most recent war did great damage to the complex as the Americans bombed this area knowing that the Viet Cong used it as a hiding place, mistakenly thinking that the enemy would not touch a holy site.
We were picked up by coach with our guide from our hotel around 8 am reaching Mỹ Sơn about 9.15. Upon arrival, we took the shuttle bus from the entrance gate to the start of the path leading to the ruins. We then walked along this path about another 2 km in a very pleasant valley up to the temples. The walk to and from the site itself is lovely, through a tropical forest by a bubbling, sacred stream.
Overwhelmingly quiet, the site has a distinct feeling of history. Also a visual memory of how close during the war they could have lost this wonderful site.
As an attraction this is definitely something different and well worth taking the time to see. We were there for about 2 hours in the morning and it was hot. You will do a reasonable amount of walking and this is not a place I would recommend visiting during the heat of the day. The best time to visit is early in the morning before it gets too hot and when it is not too busy with loads of buses and tourists. It is a small site which is much more pleasant with few folks around. Sun hat, water, sun block, and sunglasses were necessary for us .
Mỹ Sơn is a fascinating, short and easy attraction. We were extremely impressed and highly recommend it.