Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An

Lain diagonally along Vietnam’s central coastline, Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An form a captivating cultural corridor that weaves together the best of Vietnam’s intriguing history, natural landscapes and centuries-old traditions.

Hue, the northernmost of the three, was the former seat of the powerful Nguyen Dynasty and Vietnam’s capital between 1802 and 1945. Now a modern city splayed across both banks of the Perfume River, along whose lustrous waters leering dragon boats gently drift, Hue also bears important relics from Vietnam’s rich dynastic past. The formidable-looking Imperial City, with its ornate pagoda roofs and impenetrable, moat-encircled stone walls, dates to the 19th century. Within its perimeter are a number of elaborately designed shrines and temples along with the Forbidden Purple City, which once housed the emperor. 

Approximately 100km south of Hue lies Da Nang, a coastal city clustered around the dramatic Marble Mountains. Known for its French colonial port, stunning nearby beaches and magnificent pagodas, Da Nang is a portal between the past and present, located near the Ba Na Hills and the spectacular Golden Bridge, which stands just inland amid Central Vietnam’s rolling interior landscapes.

Further south you’ll find Hoi An, another charming colonial port crisscrossed with canals. Here, an immaculately preserved Ancient Town bustles with civilian life, its lantern-lined streets flaunting a mix of wooden Chinese shophouses and temples plus French colonial buildings and Vietnamese tube houses. With their tightly crammed façades clad in peeling yellow paint, 844 of ancient Hoi An’s buildings are UNESCO-listed for their historical import. 

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