If you are looking to visit a South East Asian country, look no further than Vietnam. Vietnam is fast positioning itself to be the tourist capital in this region.
A country visited by China, Japan, France and United States, Vietnam is rich culturally and historically. What a better trip than to appreciate the mix of dazzling beaches, historical monuments, local culture and wonderful local cuisine?
The trio-cities of Danang, Hoi An and Hue in central Vietnam will provide a quick sampling of the wonders that are available in Vietnam. You will be able to immerse yourself in the teeming vibrancy and hopefulness that is Vietnam today.
Apart from that, you will also appreciate the finer historical events that have shaped this country. You will also enjoy the beauty of the natural environment as well as partake in the daily activities of the common folk.
Here are the top 13 attractions to visit in Danang, Hoi An & Hue in just five nights.
1. Royal Citadel, Imperial Forbidden city – Hue
You will be impressed with the prominent Imperial city at Hue which is the imperial capital of the Vietnam. Its construction in 1789 marked the start of the Nguyen Dynasty which ended only in 1945.
The Imperial palace is located within a walled citadel. This citadel is ringed by a moat which measures some 10 km long!
Within this majestic monument are located many beautiful pavilions, courtyards, ponds, gardens and palaces.
Although it has suffered deterioration in the sometimes turbulent times, the remaining key structures are still very impressive.
2. Khai Dinh Royal Tomb – Hue
Built by Emperor Khai Dinh to be monument to his own greatness, you will be overcome by its splendor and pomposity. The mausoleum which is built in the side of a mountain even has dragons guarding its entrance.
Further up the entrance, stands rows of imperial generals, ministers and court officials lining the path to the imperial throne. The walls and ceilings of the inner sanctum are lavishly decorated with beautiful and priceless tiles and artifacts which were mostly sourced from outside the country.
Such is the grandiosity of the monument which in retrospect may be regarded as excessive consumption on an imperial scale.
Which is what it is! A testament of Imperial Vietnam.
3. Thien Mu Pagoda (Pagoda of the Celestial Lady) – Hue
This 7-storey Pagoda built in 1601 located on the bank of the Perfume River is an important relic of Ancient Vietnam. The pagoda was built to fulfil the prophecy of prosperity which is foretold by the Celestial lady who appeared on the site.
Since then, succeeding Emperors had added their own temples on the site. Truly worth visiting.
This pagoda is also the site of historical relics pertaining to the bloody days of the Buddhist protest in the turbulent past.
4. Hoi An Ancient Town
UNESCO recognized Hoi An as a world heritage site. Hoi An is regarded as a “well preserved example of a small scale trading port which is active in the 15th century”. This town imbues both local and foreign cultures that makes Hoi An truly unique.
With a grid of narrow streets located near the bank of a river, lined on both sides by a thousand of timber buildings. these buildings provide an exciting array of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes as well as traditional abodes.
5. Hoi An Night Market
The ancient city provides the scene of a vibrant and thriving night market where all manner of goods are sold and all forms of entertainment and drinking places.
Overhead are strung long lines of colorful lanterns which is now a symbol of the town itself. If you are in town during the first or fifteen day of the lunar calendar, be ready of a sight which is truly spectacular and colorful.
You could really spend the entire night here and not fully explore the full extent of this market.
6. Duc An Ancient House – Hoi An
If you are curious about the living conditions of merchants 200 years ago, this old house will provide a wonderful opportunity. This building is an unadulterated 5-generation house in the old part of Hoi An.
The columns come complete with water marks from flooding from the river. It includes living spaces, courtyard flanked by big ornate timber furniture pieces and filled with antiques and other memorabilia.
7. Japanese Covered Bridge – Hoi An
Probably the most famous Japanese built bridge in the whole of South East Asia, it is constructed in the 1600s. It is a firm testament of the Japanese influence in this Chinese dominated town.
It was built to improve relations between the Chinese and Japanese communities which are living on opposite banks of the canal.
You may, as some tourist have testified, find the sense of calm and peace just by crossing or being on the bridge.
8. Tra Que Vegetable Village – Hoi An
Located in Hoi An, Tra Que is an place to experience the living and working life of the local agriculture community. The restaurant serves excellent Vietnamese cuisine which are freshly harvested greens from the lush and fertile green fields.
The center here also provides cooking demonstrations and cooking classes for those keen on learning local dishes. It’s a good place to escape from the urban noise and bustle.
9. Bamboo Boat Rides – Hoi An
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have fun time with bamboo boat rides. These boats are unique circular boats which offer great fun.
You may be amazed with the skills displayed by the boatman to make souvenirs from the leaves.
Be enthralled when your group is given the boat spinning adventure.
10. My Son Sanctuary – Hoi An
Travel back in time to the Champa Kingdom of 4th to 13th century at My Son Sanctuary. This World Heritage Site contains the historical relics that owes its spiritual origins to Hinduism.
It houses the tower temples which is the site of the capital of the Champa Kingdom.
Be amazed with the quality of the bricks and the intricacy of the design of this architectural wonder.
11. Bana Hills, Golden Bridge – Danang
With Bana Hills, you will experience thrills within a marvelous French village on top of a mountain. Truly spectacular.
To reach it, you have to ride the world’s longest and highest cable car. You will be able to enjoy French cuisine, architecture, castles and indeed French style all round.
You may actually feel like you are in the French Alps. Enjoy the thrilling theme park rides, visit museums or simply stroll through the village. Be ready to take Instagrammable pictures everywhere.
You should not miss the exhilarating walk on the Golden Bridge which is on the way back.
Experience walking the bridge which is as if you are caressed within Buddha’s palm and protective fingers. Take spectacular pictures while walking on the bridge.
12. Ling Ung Pagoda – Danang
Ling Ung Pagoda is an absolute must for those visiting Danang. Located on a hill, blessed with spectacular views, it comprises of the iconic Lady Buddha statue, temples and pagoda within beautiful courtyards.
The Lady Buddha statue at 67m is the tallest in the whole of Vietnam. It could be seen as far as from the town.
13. Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach
Hai Van Pass is the highest pass across a mountain range in Vietnam. Visit the old French built fort that was also used by the South Vietnamese and American troops in the past.
Enjoy the impressive landscape view of the verdant green mountains, blue seas and beautiful clear skies as well as an impressive view of Danang Bay.
You can enjoy fantastic views at Lang Co Beach while you stroll along the banks covered with white sands.
This article was written by Richard.