Po Shanu Cham Towers

  • Great view of the towers
  • The vase site
  • The tower roof
  • Sea view from the site
  • The Ruin Site of the towers
  • The Prince's Castle
  • The Prince Castle Site
  • The mountains view
  • The lady making the Vietnam hand made clothes
  • The backside design
  • Po Shanu Information Board and Map
  • Po Shanu Cham Towers
  • Inside the tower
  • Information board for Victory Monument
  • Cato at the site
  • Sea view from the site
Cato at the site

Cato at the site

Dating from the 9th century, the Po Shanu Cham Towers is a complex consisting of the ruins of 3 towers, all of which are not in very good shape. Still, it makes for a nice little excursion out of Mui Ne. And because it sits on top of a hill near to Phan Thiet, you’ll get some very nice views of the town. There’s also an interesting sight of the cemetery just opposite the Cham Towers with their candy like tombstones. So it’s definitely worth a trip.

Mui Ne’s Po Shanu Cham Towers is about 5 km out of Mui Ne, on the road towards Phan Thiet. Very easy for a DIY bike trip.

First, we start from the Hai Au Resort (circled in red), or the Seagull Hotel, which is at the 18.2km mark or 32 Huynh Thuc Khang Street. From here, just ride straight up towards the direction of Phan Thiet Town.

Po Shanu Information Board and Map

Po Shanu Information Board and Map

The mysterious Po Shanu Cham Towers in Mui Ne, Vietnam, are one of the several heritage left by great Hindu empire. According to history, the towers were build by the Cham Kingdom and its well known Cham-pa people. Cham people traditionally came from India and China, and during their migrations happening somewhere in between the 7th and the 18th centuries, this ethnic group travelled extensively to Southeast Asia, mainly coming to inhabit Vietnam, Cambodia, France and even Malaysia. They brought together their religion: Hinduism.

Cham people built the Po Shanu Cham Towers somewhere around the 9th century. The tower are three altogether; one was reduced to ruins due to war, but was later restored back to its splendor between 1994 and 2000. Located about 5 km south of Mui Ne, on the road towards Phan Thiet, these unique towers can easily be reached by motorbike.

Inside the tower

Inside the tower

When I visited the place this year, I found out that these amazing towers, two pointed ones and a more simple one adjoined, are incredibly decorative constructions that serve as temples for the Hindu followers. In fact, each tower has the appearance of a different deity: the first and tallest at 15 meters high is dedicated to the worship of the God Shiva, while the other two are devoted to the fire deity Agni and to the buffalo deity Nandi.

I found the Po Shanu Cham Towers to be very impressive and a symbol of a successful civilization, greatly preserved for the future generations. Po Shanu Cham Towers have only been ranked as a Vietnamese national relic in August 1991, while the temple ruins were discovered during archaeological excavations between 1992 and 1994. I found disappointing if a bit mysterious that the amount of information about them on site is very limited.

I could say that Po Shanu Cham Towers is very impressive and a successful civilization. A fact of history that shouldn’t be abolish, yet must be preserve for future generation.  Hence, I feel it is a bit mysterious as there is only a few information shared in the exact location.  For your information, Po Shanu Cham Towers has been ranked as a national relic in August 1991.  Meanwhile, the ruins of temple be discovered during archaeological excavations from 1992 to 1994. There’s also an interesting sight of the cemetery just opposite the Cham Towers with their candy like tombstones.

The Prince Castle Site

The Prince Castle Site

Next to Po Shanu Cham Towers I was dazzled by the sight of the Prince’s Castle ruins. Located right at the hilltop, this castle is a spectacular scenic spot that reminded me of an English palace in a traditional British movie. From there, the ravishing view offered is of the entire Mui Ne city, of endlessly stretching mountains and of the blue sea with its undulating waves rolling into the white shore.

History tells that the castle was built by Duke De Montpensier, whom he used it as a based for his hunting trips to the top of Ba Nai Hill. The story tells that when he stopped to enjoy the scenery there, he was so stunned that he decided to build a residence from where to relax and enjoy the sightseeing. Its real name has never been known, hence the locals call it Prince’s Castle in memory of that French very rich man. I must say that this sight will be loved even more at sunset, sunrise or moonlight. I have heard that Han Mac Tu, one of the most famous Vietnamese poets, has often praised the moon upon this castle.

If you are around Mui Ne, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Po Shanu Cham Towers and the Prince’s Castle. On site are also a pagoda and gift shop. Admission is inexpensive at 5000 Vietnamese Dong, and the towers are open in the morning and in the afternoon, with a break for lunch: 7,30 to 11,30 and 13,30 to 16,30

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About the author

Cato is a young woman from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Cato gained a Bachelor Degree with honours in Social Science majoring in Communication Studies at the University Malaysia Sarawak - UNIMAS. After a long spell as a full-time reporter writing for TV and Radio news in Borneo and beyond, she is currently a Special Officer in the public relations field. She is also a regular and passionate contributor at Asian Itinerary. Cato is a dynamic woman with several interests and hobbies like travelling, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, kayaking and surfing the Internet. She is a young promise in the travel-writing world, and one of the main exponents of Asian Itinerary.

View all articles by Catohrinner Joyce Guri