This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage is the ruined stronghold of an ancient Vietnamese kingdom. The My Son Sanctuary is the former religious center of the Champa kingdom. Pirates and traders, the Cham people ruled much of the Vietnamese coastline from the 7th century AD to the 15th century, dealing in spices, ivory and aloe. They were frequently at war with their neighbors, the Khmer people of Cambodia and the Viet of Vietnam.
The Champa kingdom was Hindu, and for centuries, Champa rulers built temples in the sheltered valley of My Son. Centuries worth of weather and heavy bombing of the area during the Vietnam War has taken its toll on the ancient temples, but the ruins are still quite impressive. Stick to the designated paths if you visit; land mines and unexploded ordnance remain a problem in the surrounding area.
UNESCO calls the My Son sanctuary “an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with the introduction the Hindu architecture of the Indian sub-continent into South-East Asia.”
To visit Vietnam and see the temples, you will need a Vietnamese visa. Vietnam doesn’t do visas on arrival, so you must apply in advance and have your Vietnamese visa with you when you get to the airport.
To get a Vietnamese tourist visa, you need the following documents:
- Your US passport
- A completed Vietnamese visa application
- A recent passport photo, taken within the past 6 months.
Also, depending on your itinerary, you may need to apply for a multiple-entry visa rather than the single-entry Vietnamese visa that is typically issued. If you plan to travel to Laos after Vietnam, you’ll need a Vietnamese visa that is permanently attached to your passport. Detachable visas are removed as you exit Vietnam, but not having a Vietnamese visa in your passport can cause you to be denied entry to Laos.
RushMyTravelVisa can make getting a Vietnamese visa fast and hassle-free. Your visa specialist will answer your questions, help you with the paperwork and submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.
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