From alluring historic cities to dazzling beaches, from rich and luminous national parks to the enchanting tea and coffee growing districts of the central highlands, central Vietnam is undoubtedly a richly rewarding part of the country. Best visited mid-January to late August, the area enjoys a different climate from the rest of Vietnam, making it a good stop for families in the school vacations.
Perched on the Perfume River, Hue (pronounced ‘Hway’), is one of Vietnam’s most engaging cities, particularly for history enthusiasts. It was the national capital between 1802 and 1945 and exudes a gracious air owed to its fine buildings, crumbling citadel walls and royal lifestyle that still drives local culture today. Further south you’ll find Hoi An; an essential stop in Vietnam.
Hoi An is UNESCO protected and has therefore fortunately escaped vigorous development found elsewhere in parts of Southeast Asia. The city enjoys a deft fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French architecture and its culinary scene ranks among the best in the country. It’s easily one of the most charming towns in Southeast Asia. Nearby Danang and its surroundings are glittering golden beaches and the base for some of the country’s finest resorts such as the Nam Hai and Fusion Maia.
A little further south you will find the central highlands that are home to many hill-tribe communities and the town of Dalat, the area was the base for Saigon’s elite during the French colonial era.
Last but not least is Nha Trang; home to some of Vietnam’s most exclusive hotels such as Amanoi and Six Sense Ninh Van Bay, this is a fantastic option for those in search of a remote and luxurious break.