On March 16th, 1963 there was a massacre at the small village of My Lai. 504 people were killed by American soldiers in only 5 hours, including women and children. This was an absolute tragedy for the local people as they had no idea why the Americans committed this atrocity. Your local guide will tell you the story of this tragedy and even now, they cry as if it only happened yesterday.
Essentials: It takes 2.5 hours non-stop drive via the National Highway No. 1 to arrive at the My Lai (Son My) Memorial. It is located at the Quang Ngai Province, about 130km south from Hoi An.
Admission fees: 20,000 dong. This is nominal compared to the touristy Cu Chi Tunnels where admission is now 80,000 dong.
Opening hours: 7am – 5pm
Note that the memorial is now opened every day and it does not close during lunch time. The information panel below provide some useful information for touring the memorial.
Suggested Duration: If you are a true war history buff, allow 2 hours to take in the exhibits at the Museum and the Peace Memorial Park. (After all, you had travelled 2.5 hours to get there. So make full use of your time.)
What To Expect: The My Lai Massacre took place on 16th March 1968. A total of 504 civilians were killed by the US GIs. Of these, 170 died in Son My where the Memorial is now housed.
The Memorial consisted of an excellent museum depicting the killers, the victims and the items recovered on site. It gave an account of the incident and the pictures told a compelling story. This museum reminded me of the War Remnants in HCMC. I guess if you like the War Remnants Museum, chances are, you would appreciate My Lai even more for its captivating displays.
The Verdict: Go for it if you are truly interested in War History and would like to take a breather from the touristy Hoi An. It’s certainly a real pity that this wonderful memorial is very seldom visited in Vietnam. There are no organised tours to My Lai from Hoi An. Visiting My Lai is an opportunity for education and deep reflection.