USEFUL INFORMATION

Plan Your Visit

When it comes to holiday destination in Southeast Asia,
there is simply no place like Central Coast Vietnam

 

Planning a trip to Central Vietnam is a cinch. Major airlines – both full service and budget carriers – offer affordable and convenient daily or weekly direct flights to Danang from international locations, and domestically in Vietnam. Within a comfortable 1.5 to 3 hour time zone to Danang (airport code DAD) are locations such as Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia; all of which have direct flights into Danang.

 

Domestic flights depart from various main airports in Vietnam. Carriers such as Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Vietjet Air also have frequent flights to Danang.

 

 

 

For citizens of ASEAN countries, no visa is required for entry into Vietnam, for a stay of up to 30 days. The exceptions are the Philippines, where no visa is required for stays of up to 21 days, and Brunei and Myanmar, where no visa is required for stays of up to 14 days.

 

For other countries such as Japan and South Korea, no visa is required for stays of up to 15 days, whereas for Kyrgyzstan, no visa is required for stays of up to 30 days.

 

In addition, as of July 01, 2015, visitors from Western countries, namely from these countries: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France*, Germany*, Italy*, Norway, Russia, Spain*, Sweden, and the United Kingdom* do not require a visa for stays of up to 15 days.

 

* For France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, this visa waiver is set to expire on June 30, 2017.

 

For passports holders of other countries not listed here, a visa on arrival can be obtained for a fee ranging from US$45 to US$95 depending on the duration of the visa requested, and if it is a single or multi entry visa.

 

Information about visa application procedure could be found at the website of Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs here or simply contact Vietnam Embassy / Consulate General in your country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORIC HOI AN

 

Day 1

Arrive at Danang International Airport and begin your transfer to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The journey, either by taxi or shuttle bus, should take under an hour.

 

Check into your hotel and begin your adventure in charming Hoi An Ancient Town. Stop by one the town’s most important historic landmarks, the Japanese Covered Bridge, which was built in the 1590s.

 

Take a leisurely walk around to check out the other famous sights in Hoi An too – they include the five enigmatic Chinese Assembly halls, built between the 17th to 19th centuries by Chinese immigrants of different dialect groups who made Hoi An home. The town’s merchant houses are another must visit for its curious Japanese, Chinese and French inspired architectural styles.

 

Numerous artisans have been plying their trade for generations here, so remember to get some shopping done – popular takeaways include bespoke outfits and suits, art prints, customized jewelry or beautifully crafted silk lanterns.

 

Come nightfall, take a walk by the streams in the Ancient Town to soak in Hoi An’s magical evening atmosphere. The warm glow of the silk lanterns, which hang from trees and line the streets, makes for an ethereal experience. Catch street vendors in action hawking anything from street food to handcrafted keepsakes.

 

For dinner, indulge in a feast of local Hoi An and Vietnamese specialties or Western favourites in the town’s numerous top quality restaurants. Wash it down with affordably-priced beer or cocktails as you soak in the mystical Hoi An night scene.

 

Day 2

Start your day bright and early at Hoi An Market, where cheap and mouthwatering Vietnamese street fare can be found. Alongside the locals who are busy getting their shopping done, explore the buzzing marketplace that sells fresh seafood, locally-grown produce, household items and dried goods – it is truly a feast for your senses.

 

If all that fresh produce has inspired your imagination, why not sign up for a food tour or cooking class to delve deeper into Hoi An’s delectable culinary landscape?

 

In the afternoon, hop onto a boat for an excursion to Cham Islands, where the sand is white, and the waters are turquoise. Here, take your pick from diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kayaking or just laze under the shady palm trees for an afternoon siesta.

 

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss My Son Sanctuary, about 35km out of Hoi An. This UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex, built between the 4th to 14th century, used to be the religious and political center of the Champa Kingdom.

 

After all that exploring, indulging in a massage may be a good idea. Take your pick of therapies from some of the most mind-blowingly luxurious spas, before retreating for a quiet dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF REGION

 

Day 1

Start your trip in Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city. The city is renowned for its picturesque beaches, so spend some time lazing around the sandy shores to get a tan, take a dip in the cool waters, or try out some sea sports if you’re game.

 

Danang is richly blessed with breathtaking natural scenery. Visit Marble Mountains, five hills formed from limestone and marble, to explore the caves, temples and tunnels that lie within. Nature-lovers must not miss Son Tra Peninsula, a nature reserve covered with dense rainforest, home to over 100 species of fauna, including the rare Red Shanked Douc, a primate that lives in the trees of the Son Tra Jungle.

 

If you want a swankier and more unique experience of exploring Danang, why not try a helicopter ride, offered by a handful of tour operators? Not only do you get the thrill of riding in a helicopter, the splendid, panoramic views of the city are also a real treat.

 

In the evening, make your way to visit Danang’s bridges, which locals consider their city’s icons. The three most famous are the Han River Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. Danang’s newest Dragon Bridge has a spectacular fire and water show at night that shouldn’t be missed.

 

Day 2

Spend the first half of your day at Ba Na Hills, where the journey is as interesting as the destination – ride in the world’s longest and highest cable car to get up and catch some of the grandest views of Danang. Founded by French colonialists in the 1920s, this cool, temperate mountain resort features a replica European castle, a French-style garden and Linh Ung Pagoda, together with its towering 27 metre-tall white Buddha statue.

 

In the afternoon, take in some culture by visiting some of Danang’s museums, stunning places of worship. If you’re game, go on a bicycle tour to explore off-the-beaten-track historical spots and the countryside, where small villages, farms and rice paddy fields are.

 

In the evening, go on a food tour for a unique and delicious way to explore Danang’s heritage and food scene. Come nightfall, wind down with a soothing, relaxing massage session at the numerous spas around town.

 

Day 3

Transit from the city of Danang into the charming UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An – hop onto a shuttle bus or taxi for the short 30 minute journey. When in Hoi An, be sure to stop by one the town’s most important historic landmarks, the Japanese Covered Bridge, which was built in the 1590s.

 

Take a leisurely walk around to check out the other famous sights in Hoi An too – they include the five enigmatic Chinese Assembly halls, built between the 17th to 19th centuries by Chinese immigrants of different dialect groups who made Hoi An home. The town’s merchant houses are another must visit for its curious Japanese, Chinese and French inspired architectural styles.

 

Numerous artisans have been plying their trade for generations here, so remember to get some shopping done – popular takeaways include bespoke outfits and suits, art prints, customized jewelry or beautifully crafted silk lanterns.

 

Come nightfall, take a walk by the streams in the Ancient Town to soak in Hoi An’s magical evening atmosphere. The warm glow of the silk lanterns, which hang from trees and line the streets, makes for an ethereal experience. Catch street vendors in action hawking anything from street food to handcrafted keepsakes.

 

For dinner, indulge in a feast of local Hoi An and Vietnamese specialties or Western favourites in the town’s numerous top quality restaurants. Wash it down with affordably-priced beer or cocktails as you soak in the mystical Hoi An night scene.

 

Day 4

Start your day bright and early at Hoi An Market, where cheap and mouthwatering Vietnamese street fare can be found. Alongside the locals who are busy getting their shopping done, explore the buzzing marketplace that sells fresh seafood, locally-grown produce, household items and dried goods – it is truly a feast for your senses.

 

If all that fresh produce has inspired your imagination, why not sign up for a food tour or cooking class to delve deeper into Hoi An’s delectable culinary landscape?

 

In the afternoon, hop onto a boat for an excursion to Cham Islands, where the sand is white, and the waters are turquoise. Here, take your pick from diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kayaking or just laze under the shady palm trees for an afternoon siesta.

 

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss My Son Sanctuary, about 35km out of Hoi An. This UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex, built between the 4th to 14th century, used to be the religious and political center of the Champa Kingdom.

 

After all that exploring, indulging in a massage may be a good idea. Take your pick of therapies from some of the most mind-blowingly luxurious spas, before retreating for a quiet dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

BEST OF THE CENTRAL COAST (DANANG, HOI AN & HUE)

 

Day 1

Start your trip in Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city. The city is renowned for its picturesque beaches, so spend some time lazing around the sandy shores to get a tan, take a dip in the cool waters, or try out some sea sports if you’re game.

 

Danang is richly blessed with breathtaking natural scenery. Visit Marble Mountains, five hills formed from limestone and marble, to explore the caves, temples and tunnels that lie within. Nature-lovers must not miss Son Tra Peninsula, a nature reserve covered with dense rainforest, home to over 100 species of fauna, including the rare Red Shanked Douc, a primate that lives in the trees of the Son Tra Jungle.

 

If you want a swankier and more unique experience of exploring Danang, why not try a helicopter ride, offered by a handful of tour operators? Not only do you get the thrill of riding in a helicopter, the splendid, panoramic views of the city are also a real treat.

 

In the evening, make your way to visit Danang’s bridges, which locals consider their city’s icons. The three most famous are the Han River Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge and the Dragon Bridge.Danang’s newest Dragon Bridge has a spectacular fire and water show at night that shouldn’t be missed.

 

Day 2

Spend the first half of your day at Ba Na Hills, where the journey is as interesting as the destination – ride in the world’s longest and highest cable car to get up and catch some of the grandest views of Danang. Founded by French colonialists in the 1920s, this cool, temperate mountain resort features a replica European castle, a French-style garden and Linh Ung Pagoda, together with its towering 27 metre-tall white Buddha statue.

 

In the afternoon, take in some culture by visiting some of Danang’s museums, stunning places of worship. If you’re game, go on a bicycle tour to explore off-the-beaten-track historical spots and the countryside, where small villages, farms and rice paddy fields are.

 

In the evening, go on a food tour for a unique and delicious way to explore Danang’s heritage and food scene. Come nightfall, wind down with a soothing, relaxing massage session at the numerous spas around town.

 

Day 3

Transit from the city of Danang into the charming UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An – hop onto a shuttle bus or taxi for the short 30 minute journey. When in Hoi An, be sure to stop by one the town’s most important historic landmarks, the Japanese Covered Bridge, which was built in the 1590s.

 

Take a leisurely walk around to check out the other famous sights in Hoi An too – they include the five enigmatic Chinese Assembly halls, built between the 17th to 19th centuries by Chinese immigrants of different dialect groups who made Hoi An home. The town’s merchant houses are another must visit for its curious Japanese, Chinese and French inspired architectural styles.

 

Numerous artisans have been plying their trade for generations here, so remember to get some shopping done – popular takeaways include bespoke outfits and suits, art prints, customized jewelry or beautifully crafted silk lanterns.

 

At nightfall, take a walk by the streams in the Ancient Town to soak in Hoi An’s magical evening atmosphere. The warm glow of the silk lanterns, which hang from trees and line the streets, makes for an ethereal experience. Catch street vendors in action hawking anything from street food to handcrafted keepsakes.

 

For dinner, indulge in a feast of local Hoi An and Vietnamese specialties or Western favourites in the town’s numerous top quality restaurants. Wash it down with affordably-priced beer or cocktails as you soak in the mystical Hoi An night scene.

 

Day 4

Kick start your day at Hoi An Market, where cheap and mouthwatering Vietnamese street fare can be found. Alongside the locals who are busy getting their shopping done, explore the buzzing marketplace that sells fresh seafood, locally-grown produce, household items and dried goods – it is truly a feast for your senses.

 

If all that fresh produce has inspired your imagination, why not sign up for a food tour or cooking class to delve deeper into Hoi An’s delectable culinary landscape?

 

In the afternoon, hop onto a boat for an excursion to Cham Islands, where the sand is white, and the waters are turquoise. Here, take your pick from diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kayaking or just laze under the shady palm trees for an afternoon siesta.

 

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss My Son Sanctuary, about 35km out of Hoi An. This UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex, built between the 4th to 14th century, used to be the religious and political center of the Champa Kingdom.

 

Day 5

From Hoi An, make your way to Hue, another UNESCO World Heritage site, via a shuttle service or private car, both which can be booked in advance. This is the most convenient way to travel, and also allows for flexibility to stop and catch the sights along the picturesque drive. The journey should take under 3 hours, with stops in between.

 

The scenic route via the Hai Van Pass takes you through an elevation of 496m. Often shrouded in sea mist, Hai Van Pass’ most spectacular section spans 21km and comprises a series of hairpin turns, steep inclines and breathtaking vistas. On a sunny day, it offers some of the most panoramic views of Danang City, Son Tra Peninsula, Tien Sa Port and endless white-sand beaches.

 

Another good spot to stop along the way to Hue is at Lang Co Beach. More than just a pit stop between Danang and Hue, Lang Co Beach is a destination in its own right, with a magnificent shoreline stretching over 10km, framed by mountains in the distance.

 

Upon arrival in Hue, stop by the famous and soulful Perfume River, so named because of the scented plants that the river flows through, bringing with it a fresh fragrance. The best way to get up close to the river and its surrounding landmarks is to go on a boat trip. Nearby Perfume River is a hidden gem, the unassuming Vong Canh Hill – it has some of the best views of the Perfume River and of Hue’s royal tombs.

 

For dinner, there are Vietnamese or European options to choose from, but you may want to make a beeline for restaurants serving up Hue’s famous royal cuisine – dishes that used to be served to the imperial family – or try the city’s well-loved and widely eaten vegetarian food.

 

Day 6

In Hue, you cannot miss the Complex of Hue Monuments, Vietnam’s first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site. Until these days, a large majority of Nguyen's royal sights can be easily accessible. They include the Citadel, the former private residence of the Nguyen emperors, lavish gardens and pagodas.

 

Next, visit Hue’s intricately built royal mausoleums – the Tu Duc Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb and Khai Dinh Tomb – all offer fantastic photo opportunities with their lovely architecture. Also make a beeline for the places of worship like the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s oldest and most beautiful religious complexes.

 

In the afternoon, eco-lovers should visit the majestic Bach Ma National Park, about an hour’s drive away. Known for its beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, and mountains, an amazing number of living species call Bach Ma’s varied habitats home.

 

Alternatively, the galleries in Hue that carry work by local artists will also interest art buffs. Check out the Royal Fine Arts Museum, Le Ba Dang Art Museum, Diem Phung Thi Museum, or Nguyen Dynasty Porcelains Museum. History lovers can choose between the General Museum Complex and Ho Chi Minh Museum.

 

End off your evening with a feast fit for a king – visit one of the many beautiful, ancient garden houses in Hue which are tranquil and zen-like sanctuaries that dish out authentic, exquisite Hue-style fare.

 

 

There are numerous convenient and affordable options to get around Vietnam’s central coast region.

 

TAXI

The most ubiquitous mode of transport is by taxi. Both the Vinasun and Mai Linh brands of taxis are preferred, and both use a meter.

 

MOTORBIKE & BICYCLE

Alternatively, motorbikes and bicycles, which are the di rigueur mode of transport for most Vietnamese, are also available to tourists for rental. Motorbikes and bicycles are a great and fast way of getting from one point to another, with the flexibility to also stop and explore something that may catch your eye on the way. However, do be careful of traffic and always be sure to wear protective gear. 

 

SHUTTLE SERVICE

Shuttle services are a hassle free and affordable option to travel within Central Vietnam. These mini air-conditioned buses run regularly throughout the day and should be pre-booked. One of the most popular land transportation shuttle service companies is the Hoi An Express (timetable here).

 

HELICOPTER

Helicopter tours are fast gaining popularity as a swanky way to travel within the Central Coast region. There are a handful of travel operators that offer this service. Besides giving guests a bird’s eye view of Central Vietnam like none other, being in a helicopter is also an experience in itself. Popular US-based transportation company, Uber, has also jumped on the bandwagon with their UberChopper service in Danang, where guests can “request” for a helicopter to take them around the city’s main sights.