In recent years people have begun to realise that the beaches of Vietnam are a match for any in the world. There are beautiful white sands, often palm-lined with clear blue seas. Many of these beaches are in the South Centralpart of Vietnam. It has become inevitable that Vietnam family tours include the beaches in the region between Quang Ngai in the north down to Phan Thiet in the south.
This region was within the Champa Kingdom many years ago and there are Cham Temples near Phan Rang Thap Cham and Phan Thiet. More recently the South Central region of Vietnam played an important role in the Vietnam War. Today the attractions are the beaches, typified by one of the most famous, Mui Ne, and the lively nightlife of places such as Nha Trang.
How to get there
Highway One in Vietnam includes a portion running parallel to the coast through this region. It makes travel by road from the north and the country’s capital Hanoi one way to see the region. Danang has an airport that takes some international flights but it is mostly known for its domestic routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the south. Likewise there is a rail system running north to south in Vietnam running parallel to the coast.
Best time to visit
The driest months are from May to August until the monsoon rains start. Those on holiday in Vietnam simply to enjoy these beaches should pick those monsoons. However there is a great deal of climatic variation so comprehensive Vietnam tour packages will do well to avoid rain completely. If you want to make this area you base for a honeymoon in Vietnamthen pick those dry months.
Danang is an important part of the South Central region and indeed the country as a whole. There are many historical and cultural things to see; temples, the museum, the beaches as well as the Marble Mountains.
Quang Nam was once the centre of the Cham kingdom and an important trading port, Hoi An, flourished here. Conflict with the Vietnamese meant Quang Nam’s importance declined. It is a largely forested area with high mountains only in the extreme west.
Quang Ngai was the site of a massacre of Vietnamese peasants by American soldiers in 1968. It was a Viet Cong stronghold during the war. The City of the same name has 40% of the provincial population.
Binh Dinh is a largely mountainous province but it is also a province that has developed its economy and the overall infrastructure is well-developed as a consequence.
Phu Yen in contrast is still largely a province where the locals are involved in fishing, agriculture and forestry.
Ninh Thuan is one of the driest provinces in Vietnam despite there being a number of mountains.
Binh Thuan is similarly fairly dry and is known for its lovely beaches.
Khanh Hoa is mostly mountainous and largely unsuitable for agriculture. Industry is fairly well developed which more than compensates.
Those on organised Vietnam travel packages will have all their arrangements made for them. If you prefer independent Vietnam travel you will find plenty of accommodation alternatives as you spend time in the region. It will not be 5 Star but then few independent travellers want or need that.