Mysterious Cham towers in central Vietnam


Ninh Thuan is home to many old monuments of the Cham people, particularly Cham towers.

Among the mysterious towers are Hoa Lai, Poklong Garai and Porome; all recognised as historical architectural works by the the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Just a short trip from the south of Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province, to Ninh Thuan Province, you will see Hoa Lai Tower which is located next to National Highway 1A at Bon Thap Village, Tan Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District.

Built in the early 19th century, the tower is situated on a rectangle-shaped piece of land that’s about 200 metres long and 125 metres wide. In the past, it consisted of three small towers, but there are only two left today.

According to art historians, Hoa Lai Tower is among the most ancient and beautiful historic monuments of the Cham people, an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. The people are concentrated between the Kampong Cham Province in Cambodia and central Vietnam’s Phan Rang-Thap Cham, Phan Thiet, Ho Chi Minh City and An Giang areas.

In Phan Rang City, PoKlong Garai Tower is a must-see. It was built between the last half of the 13th century and early 14th century.

Currently, PoKlong Garai has three small towers built by the Cham. Cong Tower is 8.56 metres high, Lua is 9.31 meters high and Chinh stands at 21.59 metres. The latter was where King PoKlong Garai was worshipped.

The structure of each small tower is a special architectural work. Each floor and side is decorated with ceramics and stones in different shapes of humans, dragons and leafs, showing artistic and religious meaning of the Cham people.

Experiencing ups and downs, the sophisticated design on PoKlong Garai Tower is still preserved with door bells and pillars.

The tower is considered as the tourism symbol of the cactus region of Phan Rang.

Ninh Thuan is also known for Porome Tower which is seen as a version of PoKlong Garai Tower. Porome is built on a hill, 50 metres high in Hau Sanh Village, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District.

To date, Cham towers in Ninh Thuan remain a mysterious style.

Some photos of Cham towers in Ninh Thuan: