800-year-old tower worships fairy

The 12th century Nhan Tower in south-central Vietnam stands where legendary fairy Thien Y A Na taught locals farming and weaving.

The Nhan Tower in Tuy Hoa Town of coastal Phu Yen Province is one of the few Cham towers still intact in Vietnam.

The tower was built on the eastern slope of Nhan Mountain, situated 64 m above sea level, named after the many local swallows or chim nhan in Vietnamese that nest here.

The tower was erected in honor of legendary fairy Thien Y A Na who is said to have descended from heaven to instruct the Cham ethnic people in plowing and weaving.

The 24-meter-high tower consists of three parts: base, body and pinnacle.

The pinnacle has four corners that resemble lotus buds, while at the stands a monolithic rock symbolizing Linga, a male being symbolizing Shiva, one of three supreme Hindu deities.

After centuries, the tower is tinged with moss.

The Nhan Tower is built entirely of solid bricks, shown by research to be lightweight, durable, and more compressive than normal equivalents.

So far, it is still a mystery how the Cham people managed to hide the joints between bricks.

Both base and body are square, symbolizing the earth.

The body is 10.5 m wide and 9.3 m high, connecting the base and pinnacle to symbolizes the joining of heaven, earth and humans.

The tower has only one door, which is nearly two meters high and faces East.

The internal layout features an altar for the fairy. Visitors must remove their shoes before entry.

There is no light coming from the top of the tower.

The Nhan Tower overlooks Tuy Hoa Town, the coast, and Hung Vuong Bridge spanning the mouth of Da Rang River. The tower was ranked a Special National Monument in 2018.