Relic of one of the great empires
Published/Last edited or updated: 22nd December, 2020
Dating back to the 7th and 12th century, the Po Nagar Cham Towers are the best remaining Cham ruins in Vietnam (the other famous ruin is the temple city of My Son near Hoi An).
It’s a good idea to read up on the history, how Hindu and Islam became blended in with traditional beliefs and the current Cham ethnic minority population that remains in Vietnam and Cambodia or else you will probably not understand why you are visiting a pile of red bricks. Try Champa Ancient Towers: Reality & Legend by Ngo Van Doanh.
The temple is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of the country. Four east-facing towers remain. The temple is still considered sacred and used for worship by Cham people but their language, practices, handicraft and religion are at risk of dying out due to government suppression.
Po Nagar Cham Towers is located on a hill north of the downtown core, directly across Bong bridge. There’s a great view of the water, decent toilets and of course, cold coconut water and souvenirs for sale. You can get there by bicycle, taxi or take the white and blue city bus #4 (Hon Xen–Vinpearl) headed north, 7,000 VND per ride. Grab the bus from the tourist centre along Nguyen Thien Thuat and let the fare collector know where you are going. You’ll be getting off at the first stop after the bridge, a few 100 metres east along Thap ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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