Among the most eulogised of Vietnam’s star components is its central region. The area encompasses some of Vietnam’s best stretches of coastline. In addition, it boasts world-class heritage attractions and leisure options that range from golf courses to cooking classes and bicycle rides around the bucolic countryside. With Danang as its chief hub, the region is also easily accessible by air, adding to its allure.
In fact, the country’s narrow waist packs in a broad concentration of must-see attractions including a wealth of historical and natural draws. For culture the region’s three UNESCO World Heritage sites stand out. These encompass the imperial capital Hue, the ancient port of Hoi An and the Cham ruins of My Son. More recent history can be witnessed in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the old border between North and South Vietnam that witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the Vietnam War.
The region is just as effective as a leisure destination. My Khe Beach, which runs continuously from Danang to Hoi An is fully deserving of its fame while the hotels fronting the sand are among Vietnam’s best. For many tourists, Hoi An is the highlight of Central Vietnam. A one time trading port, the town has some of Vietnam’s best-preserved architecture, tremendous shopping and a lively restaurant scene.
WHEN TO GO & WEATHER
Central Vietnam is best visited between March and August when the climate is at its driest, though the most pleasant temperatures are found in February and March.
Discover Central Vietnam’s treasure trove of wonders. Follow in the footsteps of emperors at Hue’s historic Imperial Citadel, then drive along the coast to discover charming fishing villages and spectacular coastal landscapes. Wander amid My Son’s ancient ruins and explore Hoi An’s atmospheric old town.
- Explore historic Hue. Take a guided tour of Hue’s main sites including the UNESCO-heritage Imperial Citadel, emperors’ tombs and Thien Mu pagoda.
- Travel Central Vietnam’s coast. Drive from Hue to Hoi An, stopping at Danang’s Cham Museum, a fishing village and over scenic Hai Van Pass.
- See the best of Hoi An. Walk past historic merchant houses in Hoi An’s atmospheric old town and explore My Son’s crumbling Cham ruins.
Escape from the tourist trail with a scenic bike ride through Hue’s outskirts. Pedal through vibrant rice paddies admiring distant mountains and meandering waterways. Discover charming villages untouched by time and unusual tombs with elaborate decorations, stopping often for photos and to chat with friendly locals.
Support a good cause while creating unique, handmade souvenirs. Spend a morning at the Reaching Out Workshop, meeting with “special artisans” who are teaching traditional arts in order to improve their lives. Join a crafting workshop and a tea ceremony session while gaining a better understanding of local culture and disabilities’ life.
See a different side of Nha Trang with a memorable sunset boat trip. Visit a rural riverside village, board a private boat and cruise along the tranquil Cai River. Enjoy panoramic views of the distant mountains, colorful boats and local villages as the sun sets low in the sky.
Delve deeper into Hue’s rich culture with a hands-on cooking class. After shopping for ingredients at a fresh market, join a local chef at her family’s traditional garden house. Learn the secrets behind Hue’s ‘Royal Cuisine’ and discover ancient heritage while preparing a delectable lunch.