Danang, China Beach and the road to Hue
Danang (Da Nang) is not the most exciting city to visit in Vietnam. In fact there is a not a lot that will keep you here. Even though Da Nang is Vietnam's third largest city and a major sea port, it lacks the atmosphere of Hanoi or even Ho Chi Minh City.
However, there are plenty of excellent hotels, restaurants and if you are looking for it, nightclubs and bars. The reason why I stayed in Da Nang was the Cham Museum. The museum was founded in 1915 by the Ecole Française d'Extreme Orient.
It is a quite small but very relevant museum with a great collection of stone sculptures of the Cham civilization. Much of the displayed materials are found in My Son, the Cham complex near Hoi An
It takes an hour, maybe two to see what there is to see. Although the nearby ruins of My Son are maybe disappointing in some eyes, the art showed in the museum shows very well the high quality of the Champa civilization. I would strongly suggest to visit both the My Son complex and the Cham Museum in Da Nang to get a proper view of the Cham history in central Vietnam.
If you are in for a stroll through the city, you may enjoy a view in the harbor but the rest of the city is forgettable.
The road to Hue
Hue is your next stop after Da Nang. The distance from Hoi An to Da Nang is about 30 km while Dang - Hue is just over 100 km. There is not a lot to say about this road. Highway 1 follows the coast line and here and there you may see some of the Gulf of Tonkin.
A pleasant little stop might be Phu Loc, about half way. The road here follows a kind of lagoon, it's not unpleasant but certainly not spectacular until you reach Hue.
China Beach is probably the most famous of all beaches in Vietnam, This is because it was a recreational spot for the American soldiers to get away from the war. China Beach is a beautiful beach and if you have time, it's worth to have a stop here, and a nice cool swim. Some cyclists pitch their tent for a night instead of staying in Da Nang.
China Beach is located several kilometers south of Da Nang and easy accessible with a motorbike or bicycle.
Accommodation in Danang
Honestly, I can not remember where I stayed. I think it was somewhere near the railway station. In reality, many travelers do not stay in town because apart of the museum, I wasn't impressed. And remember Hoi An is nearby. But if you have to stay in town, check this:
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Hoi, World UNESCO heritage city, a must visit in central Vietnam
My Son Ruins
The My Son ruins nearby Hoi An are a beautiful example of the long gone Champa culture. Although many ruins could be better restored, it is worth the effort going there.
Hue is home to the Royal Forbidden City and many royal tombs. As a UNESCO World Heritage City, Hue is certainly worth a visit.
Just north of the city you can visit the infamous DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone
Bicycle tours in Vietnam