Central Vietnam - Lonely Planet

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The cultural hub of the nation, central Vietnam is fully load- ed with historical sights and cultural interest, blessed with ravishing beaches and boasts nature ...

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Central Vietnam Why Go? Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) ............................ 158 Dong Ha ......................... 161 Hue ................................ 163 Bach Ma National Park ..178 Suoi Voi (Elephant Springs) .........................179 Lang Co Beach ...............179 Hai Van Pass ................. 180 Ba Na Hill Station ......... 180 Danang ........................... 181 Hoi An ............................ 190 My Son ........................... 211 Tra Kieu (Simhapura) ....213 Chien Dan.......................213

The cultural hub of the nation, central Vietnam is fully loaded with historical sights and cultural interest, blessed with ravishing beaches and boasts nature reserves so unchartered that scientists are still discovering new creatures in them. Even long-ignored Danang is chipping in and emerging as one of the nation’s most dynamic cities. Marvel at Hue, the former imperial capital with its incredible Citadel and royal tombs. Wonder at the unique grace and sublime riverside setting of Hoi An. Explore rural back roads, through shimmering rice paddies to remote Cham ruins. Enrol in a course to learn to cook central Vietnamese cuisine, the nation’s most complex. Then put it all into historical context by taking in the military sites of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). Enough? Invest in some welldeserved hammock time on the golden sands of An Bang beach or over on the idyllic Cham islands.

Best Places to Eat When to Go » Morning Glory Street Food Restaurant (p202) »

Cargo Club (p202)

»

Casa Verde (p203)

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Waterfront (p184)

Best Places to Stay »

Pilgrimage Village (p169)

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New Moon Hotel (p183)

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Ha An Hotel (p200)

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Violet Hotel (p162)

Hue °C/°F Temp

Rainfall inches/mm

40/104

32/800

30/86

24/600

20/68

16/400 8/200

10/50

0

0/32 J

F

M

Mar The cool winter monsoon winds fade, seas are calmer; a great time to visit the Cham islands.

A

M

J

J

A

Late Apr Danang’s riverfront explodes with colour for the annual fireworks competition.

S

O

N

D

Sep Sticky summer heat relents, peak crowds are a memory and sea temperatures are balmy.

1 57 History

The Vietnamese subdued Champa in the 15th century, while in subsequent centuries European, Japanese and Chinese traders established footholds in Hoi An. In 1802 Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, the Nguyens, set up court at Hue, which became the centre of political intrigue, intellectual excellence and spiritual guidance. Later emperors were subdued by expanding French ambitions in Vietnam, and by the

This region’s seen them all: kings and kingmakers, warriors and occupiers, Vietnamese forces and many non-Vietnamese contenders. The ancient kingdom of Champa began here in the 2nd century and flourished for more than a thousand years. It left its mark in the myriad towers and temples dotting the landscape; the most renowned are at My Son.

Vinh Moc Tunnels Ben Hai Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)

QUANG BINH

r

ive

R Ben Hai

0 0

50 km 30 miles

1 15

QUANG 9 TRI Lao Bao Huong Dansavanh Hoa

SOUTH CHINA SEA

Dong Ha Quang Tri

Huong Dien

14

LAOS

Vinh Tanh Hue Vinh Loc Huong Thuy Vinh Hien Phu Bai Airport Suoi Voi 1 Cau Hai THUA Lang Co Beach THIEN-HUÉ Son Tra Island Phu Bach Ma Hai Van Pass Loc Aluoi National Nui Son Tra Park DANANG Danang Cham Suoi Mo China Islands Ba Na Beach Vinh Dien Hill Station Dien Dai Loc Hoi An Hien Ban Duy Xuyen My Son Thang Binh Tra Giang Kieu 1

Tr

u

on

g

QUANG NAM

14

Que Son

Hiep Duc

Tam Ky

Tien Phuoc

Nui Thanh

So

a i ns o un t n M

Ban Phon

Phuoc Son

KON TUM

Tra My

Tra Bong

QUANG NGAI Son Ha

Central Vietnam Highlights 1 Travel back in time in the historic houses and quaint streets of Hoi An (p190)

2 Tread in the footsteps of

emperors from the Forbidden Purple City to the imperial tombs of Hue (p163)

3 Escape the mainland and search for that perfect

beach in the pristine Cham Islands (p210)

idyllic back roads of central Vietnam

4 Wonder while you

6 Go underground at the

5 Test your two-wheel

7 Learn a new culinary craft in a Vietnamese cooking class (p199)

wander amid the enigmatic Cham ruins at My Son (p211)

prowess on a motorbike tour (p208) around the

Vinh Moc Tunnels (p158) in the Demilitarised Zone

CENTR AL VIETNAM

Hamburger Hill

Thuan An Duong No