The South Central Coast of Vietnam has the country’s best beaches, from Quang Ngai up north to Phan Thiet.
The region has played its part in Vietnam’s history. Temples located near Phan Thiet and Phan Rang Thap show that this part of the country was central to the Champa Kingdom. My Lai is the site of an infamous act of atrocity; it was here that US soldiers slaughtered unarmed Vietnamese peasants in 1968.
More than its historic sites, South Central Coast has beaches: Mui Ne beach popular for kite surfing, Ca Na beach good for reenergizing, and Cam Ranh Bay which offers some quiet. There is also the peaceful fishing town of Qui Nhon.
South Central Coast has the highest percentage of desertification. Of the 9.3 million hectares of wasteland in Vietnam, over 3 million are in this region. Villages and fields of crops in the area are constantly being threatened by droughts, strong winds and sand storms.
The former fishing village of Da Nang in the South Central Coast of Vietnam is now one of the most important port cities in the country. It is an industrial zone and the fourth largest city in terms of population. It has been the most important seaport in the region since the 19th century, and continued to flourish under the French and the Americans.
As Da Nang was once the site of the ancient Champa Kingdom, a museum housed in a French colonial villa is dedicated to Cham art and artefacts. My Son, the capital of the ancient kingdom, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sanctuary’s tower-temples are impressive examples of Hindu architecture.
Da Nang has other tourist attractions, such as the Marble Mountains, five peaks of marble and limestone. Some of its caves house Buddha statues. Many areas of the mountains are used as Buddhist sanctuaries in the past. There is only one beach in Da Nang, the beautiful Non Nuoc Beach. The beach is backed with shady casuarinas and has pure white sand, gentle waves, and blue waters. It is perfect for swimming or simply relaxing. There are many five-star hotels here accommodating local and international tourists. The beach has a number of restaurants, cafés, and souvenir stands.
The highest pass in Vietnam, the Hai Van Pass, stretches between Da Nang City and Thua Thien Hu Province. Its name means “Sea Clouds” and it extends from the mountains to the sea. It is a dangerous route with a breathtaking view.
One of the first and biggest building complexes in Da Nang is the Indochina Riverside Towers facing the Han River. It boasts luxury condominium apartments, first-class office spaces, chic retail shops, gourmet restaurants and cafés, the country’s most advanced city infrastructure and environment-friendly water supply and drainage systems.
The two-tower Vinh Trung Plaza at the heart of Da Nang has residential, commercial, and office spaces. It has serviced apartments and hotels on the upper storeys, and shops, entertainment and supermarkets in its 4-storey base.
A number of mixed-use complexes are under construction in Da Nang, such as the Golden Square Towers, Foodinco Plaza, and Viendong Meridian Towers, which has 5-star hotels and trade and office spaces.
The prime land areas in the centre of Da Nang City have already been fully occupied, and developers now eye the coastal areas. The luxurious Furama Resort Da Nang is planned to expand and build hotels, apartments and shopping centres. The 6-storey Olalani Resort and Condotel and the Raffles resorts and apartments will soon rise alongside Furama.
Hai Chau is the administrative, commercial, and cultural heart of Da Nang City. Here one finds the City Hall, agencies and offices, theatre, and main market.