My Lai Massacre Village (Son My Memorial Site) in Quang Ngai

The Vietnam war (or the American war) lasting from 1955 to 1975 was one of the darkest periods in the history. So many people lost from both sides, the North Vietnam and the South Vietnam which had the difference in politic. Nowadays, .

One of the best known unhappy memories about this disastrious war is the My Lai massacre (Vietnamese side: Son My massacre). Those who know about it are not only solders, veterans and historians, but also citizens in the United States and other countries. No other bad events about the Vietnam war is documented better than it.  

In this article, we outline what travelers need to know about My Lai massacre village. To have a deeper understandings, local guide is suggested in any trips to this site of memory.

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About My Lai Massacre Village

My Lai village (Vietnamese side: Son My village) is a village in Quang Ngai province, south of Vietnam. It’s known by the world after the massacre happened on 16th March 1968. This mass murder was committed by the United States army and caused the death of 504 innocent persons (mostly women, children, elders according to North Vietnam side). On the military map of the anti-communists, it’s titled ‘the Pink vilage’ because lots of Vietcong might be here. 

The photographs which revealed what happened in My Lai massacre are taken by Ronald L.Haeberle, an American combat photographer at that time. Before decided to be in the village, he felt that something  would occur. Following the publishment of his photos, peace lovers around the United States and the world shocked, and asked for the justice of killings. A court was organized and those who led the operation, were jailed. For that reason, My Lai massacre is the best known, best documented event in the Vietnam war. 

Eight years after the massacre and the Unification day of Vietnam in 1975, the My Lai massacre memorial (officially the Son My memorial) was established. On April 1979, it became a national historical monument, and one of the most important places about the American war. Its sister is the Hiroshima memorial park in Japan that was associated to world’s first nuclear bomb explosion.


The Son My Memorial in My Lai Massacre Village

Opening Hours

Son My memorial (Khu chung tich Son My in Vietnamese) opens from 7 am to 5 pm everyday. 


Adults will pay 20,000 VND for Son My memorial entrance fee.

What to See in the Son My Memorial

After buying the tickets, visitors will come to the Museum first. Here, the name of 504 persons killed are written on a wall. Many kids had no name yet, and many families had nobody left. Around the room, a map about the area where the village is located, photos taken by the American photographer – Ronald L.Haeberle, personal belonggings of the victims, and more are exhibited. 

Behind the museum, there is the memorial statue depecting 6 persons: a women holding a kid on one of her arms and the another rising to struggle, a lady embracing a men (husband or father), and a man covering a kid to protect him/her. Not far way, the Temple where all victims have been worshipping and a solemn commemoration takes places on every 16th March.

To the left of the memorial buildings, there are remains left from My Lai village after the massacre and the Vietnam war. To go from a place to another, visitors will walk on paths with footprints. The ones with boots (shoes) are American solders, and bare foots belong to people in the village. 

Around the preserved My Lai village, visitors can see a ditch where many villagers were pushed down and then shot, rice fields with farmer and buffalo, tombs, banana and pomelo gardens, a burnt Buddhist temple and reconstructed houses. Inside thatched roof houses, how the daily life of local people is shown. 

By the ticket booth, there is a store selling cold drinks and snacks.

How to Get to My Lai Massacre Village

Where is My Lai Massacre Village?

My Lai village (Son My village) today is in Tinh Khe commune, Quang Ngai city (formerly Son Tinh district). From 1955 to 1975, under the administation of the Republic of Vietnam, it’s in Son My commune, Son Tinh district. The distance from Quang Ngai city centre to My Lai village is 11 km.

From Hoi An to My Lai Village

The distance from Hoi An to My Lai village is 114 km (quite same to the distance from Hoi An to Hue city). For that reason, tourists usually have a private car to get there, and the price is from 1,500,000 VND for a roundtrip. It will be more expensive if go to My Lai village from Hoi An by Da Nang – Quang Ngai expressway. The drive is around 2,5 hours each way. Text us in whatsapp number +84968009827 to ask for more details and make a reservation. 

The best route for motorbike is the coastal road. Travelers have to come to Cua Dai bridge first, and then go across and keep riding straight ahead until Tam Ky city. Here, please find QL1A highway and follow it to Truong Quang Trong ward of Quang Ngai city. When see QL24B highway, turn left and it’s needed to ride for more 8 kilometers. The Son My memorial lies on the left hand side. 

From Da Nang to My Lai Village

From the Dragon bridge in the heart of Da Nang city to My Lai village, the drive is 155 km long. Traveling by a private car is the best option, and the cost starts from 1,700,000 VND for two ways. If prefer the expressway to common highways, this price will be more expensive a little bit. It takes travelers around 3 hours to get from the hotel in Da Nang to the village, and another 3 to return. Read our article Da Nang private car and driver to know our tips and advices. 

Places to Visit Near My Lai Massacre Village

My Khe Beach

My Khe beach of Quang Ngai is 2,5 km east of My Lai village. It’s a lengthy stretch of white sand between a peninsula and the estuary of Tra Khuc river.    

Truong Dinh Temple

Truong Dinh, the leader of an up-rising against French colonists, was borned in 1820 in a village close to My Lai massacre village.  A temple is built to commemorate him in 2007, with many artifacts, pictures and information.

Thien An Mountain

This mountain is symbolic to Quang Ngai city and the greater province, besides Tra Khuc river. At its top, 106 meters above sea level, there is Thien An pagoda built in late 17th century. In the surroundings, stupas where the monks are buried, stand around in the middle of shaded trees. 

Near the Buddhist temple, tomb of Huynh Thuc Khang was constructed in 1947. He was the acting president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1946, and previously, an anti-colonial activist and journalist. 

The road up to the temple is 7 km away from My Lai massacre memorial, towards the city.

My Lai Massacre Village on Google Maps

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