Po Ro Me Cham Tower

Phan Rang & Thap Cham

Po Ro Me is one of the most atmospheric of Vietnam’s Cham towers, thanks in part to its isolated setting on top of a craggy hill with sweeping views over the cactus-strewn landscape. The temple honours the last ruler of an independent Champa, King Po Ro Me (r 1629–51); his image and those of his family are found on the external decorations. It's 18km southwest of Phan Rang.

The temple is still in active use, with ceremonies taking place twice a year. The rest of the time it’s locked up, but the caretakers at the foot of the hill will open the sanctuary for you. Consider leaving a small donation with them, and don’t forget to remove your shoes.

The occupants of the temple aren’t used to having their rest disturbed, and it can be a little creepy when the bats start chattering and swooping overhead in the confined dark space. Through the gloom you’ll be able to make out a blood-red and black centrepiece – a bas-relief representing the deified king in the form of Shiva. Behind the main deity and to the left is one of his queens, Thanh Chanh. Look out for the inscriptions on the doorposts and a stone statue of the bull Nandin.

Note the flame motif repeated around the arches, a symbol of purity, cleansing visitors of any residual bad karma.

The best way to reach the site is with your own motorbike or by xe om. The route is quite tricky. Take Hwy 1 south from Phan Rang for 10.5km. Then turn right (heading southwest) at the turn-off to the dusty village of Hau Sanh, where you take another right turn (southwest again) to Po Ro Me, a further 2km away.

Nearby Phan Rang & Thap Cham attractions

1. Cham Cultural Centre


This large modern structure is dedicated to Cham culture. There's some superb photography of Cham people, village life and customs exhibited here, as well…

2. Po Klong Garai Cham Towers

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3. Bau Truc Village


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4. Quang Cong Pagoda

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