The Quest To Avoid Tourists In Vietnam Continues

Friday, September 17, 2010

If you basically draw a line between the northern and southern tips of Vietnam, then mark the exact middle, you’ll find Da Nang, the former U.S. stronghold during the Vietnam (or American, depending on which country you were living in) War, and now an increasingly popular destination for travelers looking for a getaway in the South Central Coast of the country.

But as the SMH recently explained, this wasn’t always the case. “See, Da Nang never used to be a tourist destination. It was merely a beachside speed bump between two of Vietnam’s big hitters: the ancient capital of Hue, to the north, and the quaint, heritage-listed Hoi An to the south . . . Da Nang doesn’t have the history of Hue, nor the charm of Hoi An. What it does have are pristine beaches, cool mountain hideaways and the relaxation that comes with being away from most other tourists — and most of the people whose job it is to bug the other tourists — as well as beachside restaurants.” Sounds good for now, but how long will the un-touristy vibe last?

And there’s not just sun and eating to be had in Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, the city has some worthwhile museums as well, perfect for the rainy season. A visit to The Museum of the Fifth Military Zone Danang offers travelers a chance to see some relics of the French and American Wars, and the Cham Museum is home to hundreds of works of art from the 12th to 15th centuries, relics of the once mighty Champa Kingdom.

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