The term Champa refers to a collection of independent Cham polities that extended across the coast of what is today central and southern Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through 1832, before being conquered and annexed by Vietnam. The kingdom was known variously as nagara Campa in the Chamic and Cambodian inscriptions, Chăm Pa in Vietnamese and Zhànchéng in Chinese records.
The Cham people of modern Vietnam and Cambodia are the remnants of this former kingdom. They speak Chamic languages, a subfamily of Malayo-Polynesian closely related to the Malayic and Bali–Sasak languages.
Champa was preceded in the region by a kingdom called Linyi or Lâm Ấp (Vietnamese) that was in existence from 192 AD; the historical relationship between Linyi and Champa is not clear. Champa reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries. Thereafter, it began a gradual decline under pressure from Đại Việt, the Vietnamese polity centered in the region of modern Hanoi. In 1832, the Vietnamese emperor Minh Mạng annexed the remaining Cham territories.
Mỹ Sơn, a former religious center, and Hội An, one of Champa's main port cities, are now World Heritage Sites.