Central of Viet Nam
Central of Viet Nam
The geographic heart of the nation, central Vietnam is packed with historic sights and cultural interest, and blessed with ravishing beaches and outstanding national parks. Marvel at Hue and its imperial citadel, royal tombs and excellent street food. Savour the unique heritage grace of riverside jewel Hoi An, and tour the military sites of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).
Check out Danang, fast emerging as one of the nation’s most dynamic cities. Also emerging as a must-visit destination is the extraordinary Phong Nha region, home to three gargantuan cave systems (including the world’s largest cave), and a fascinating war history concealed amid stunning scenery. Enjoy well-earned downtime on the golden sands of An Bang beach or learn to cook central Vietnamese cuisine, the nation’s most complex. With improving highways, and upgraded international airports at Hue and Danang, access to this compelling and diverse part of Vietnam has never been easier.
Highlights of Central Vietnam
The Nguyen dynasty ruled from Hue for 143 years, leaving behind a substantial imperial city as well as a revered collection of tombs which dot the countryside along the fabled Perfume River. In contrast to the brief reign of the Nguyens, the Champa kingdom ruled most of central Vietnam from the seventh to the 15th century. Its most celebrated ancient red-brick temple-towers are found at My Son, but there are several other Champa sites scattered across the entire central coast. These ancient structures stand as silent testimony to the kingdom that flourished here before its absorption by the Vietnamese descending from the north.
Danang, Quang Ngai and Qui Nhon
Outside Hue, the narrow, central coastal provinces of Quang Tri and Dong Ha, positioned directly south of the DMZ, suffered immeasurably during the Vietnam War. The cities of Danang, Quang Ngai and Qui Nhon all had strong American presence throughout the war, but each now offers a chance to soak up the quiet local ambience of Vietnamese life. All three cities are in proximity to spectacular white-sand beaches backed by tall, jagged mountains. Danang is the central commercial hub of the country and boasts all of the modern conveniences of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in addition to a fine museum on the Cham civilisation.
The 15th-century town of Hoi An was once the biggest seaport and most important centre of trade in the country, when it was known to Europeans as Faifo. Its beautifully preserved assembly halls, merchant shops and family homes reflect the influence of the Chinese, Japanese and Westerners who settled in the region. Today, numerous tailor shops, cafés and restaurants jostle for space with an assortment of older buildings.
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