HANOI, August 8, 2017 – There is much history in Central Vietnam. Most recently it was an area that saw a great deal of conflict during the Vietnam War but those who book a Vietnam travel package in order to see places that were important years before are certain to want to include two cities in particular, Hue, the Imperial Capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, and Hoi An, an important trading port during the Champa Kingdom as early as the 7th Century.
If you are restricting your Vietnam holiday to these central parts of the country, you may well decide to fly into Danang. You can do that on a domestic flight from either Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City, but Danang has quite a large timetable of direct international flights as well. It is the place where the Americans first landed and indeed, its beach, nicknamed ‘’China Beach’’ is a lovely stretch of sand where the troops often headed during their leave. There is more to Danang than the beach and the Cham Museum has many exhibits from the centuries when the Champa Kingdom existed here.
The distance between the Coast and the Laos border means that you can easily travel the ‘’width’’ of Vietnam at this point.
It is an interesting region in general; simply travelling around the region with its small farming villages and rice paddy fields is fun but here are some highlights to consider for inclusion in your Vietnam tours.
Hue is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Nguyen Dynasty ruled from here, for much of the time under French control, from the beginning of the 19th Century until the departure of the French a century and a half later. The Imperial Palace, the tombs of the Emperors, often palatial themselves, and the temples are all worth some of your time.
The port of Hoi An traded with neighbouring countries and hence the influence of foreign ‘’powers’’ began early in Vietnam’s life. Chinese merchants settled here and that resulted in a real Chinese ‘’feel’’ to the place that still remains today, long after the importance of Hoi An dwindled.
My Son is described by many as Vietnam’s answer to Angkor. The ruins are a site of real archaeological importance and a great addition to any travel itinerary. They were Hindu structures, built over many centuries from the 4th Century onwards.
While Central Vietnam is known for its coastline, the Highlands towards the Laos border are equally appealing. This natural area is great for walking and exploration; forests, streams, waterfalls and caves as well as the indigenous people whose lives have changed little for generations.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park near the Laos border contains two of the world’s largest known caves, Sơn Đoòng and Phong Nha. You can sail in a boat on the river within these caves though they may not be accessible during the height of the rainy season. It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, a limestone plateau, with great diversity of flora and fauna.