Cau Rong--or the dragon bridge--in Danang, Vietnam - By Aaron Joel Santos
Central Vietnam is home to a microcosm of vibrant cultural destinations. Though the country’s central region may not be as well-known as its neighbours to the north and south, the area is home to not only a wealth of age-old traditions and fascinating history, but also unique local cuisine and stunning natural landscapes.
Stroll down the narrow, cobbled streets of Hoi An’s charming old town, where hundred-year-old wooden structures present a living history of the former trading post, or acquaint yourself with the final days of imperial Vietnam in Hue, home to the Nguyen dynasty’s royal citadel. In between, the ever-modernizing Danang combines a pristine beach with its sleek urban surroundings, offering visitors the best of both worlds. For those answering the call of the wild, Phong Nha has become the latest frontier for nature enthusiasts. Home to a number of superlatives, including the oldest limestone karsts in all of Asia and the largest cave system in the world, the recently made public Han Son Doong boasts its own localised climate.
Beyond the city limits, a wealth of breathtaking coastline and untouched countryside provide plenty of excitement and adventure for outdoorsy travelers. Wherever you go, there’s no shortage of culture, history and nature to discover in central Vietnam.