Central Coast of Vietnam
central area divides into two – the narrow coastal strip,
and the Truong Son (Annamite) mountain range backing on
to the borders with Laos and Cambodia to the west. It’s
by far the longest region (about 1,400km from Phat Diem
in the north to Phan Thiet in the south) and the least populated.
Central Coast is the most awkward area in Indochina as far
as weather is concerned – it’s complicated topography creates
a range of micro-climates.
Hue, for example, has a deserved reputation for miserable
weather, but a short drive south crossing the Hai Van Pass
to Danang usually sees the clouds clear and the mercury rise.
of the coastal strip is one long beach backed by a ribbon
of land carrying Highway 1 and the railway. Where the strip
widens, towns have developed.
Central Coast of Vietnam is an obvious choice for anyone looking
for a beach holiday. Almost the total length of the Central
Coast is lined with deserted soft sand beaches.
the Central Area has much more to attract visitors.
the coast, Hue is a centre for three World Heritage areas,
and Quang Tri province, where most of the fiercest battles
took place during the American War. Further south, Qui Nhon
and Nha Trang are resort areas. The later is well established
and commercialised, while Qui Nhon is in its infancy.
Central Coast can also boast two of Vietnam’s best National
Parks – Bach Ma, near Hue, and Phong Nha, now Vietnam’s fifth
World Heritage Area, in the northern section.
the main centres of Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet,
tourism infrastructure is well developed and cultural and
beach holidays are fully established.
the long stretches between them, there are plenty of deserted
beaches, but few restaurants or places to stay. Access is
either by road or rail.
majority of the many beaches and villages along the coast
are little affected by tourism – if you can put up with basic
accommodation and local food, you could spend a leisurely
week or two wandering from place to place as you wish.