Central Vietnam travel is an enchanting experience that combines breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and exquisite cuisine. Immerse yourself in the historic landmarks of Hoi An, indulge in the culinary delights of Hue, and unwind on the pristine beaches of Da Nang.

I recently had the opportunity to explore these three destinations during my recent trip. Follow the blog below to discover more fascinating details! Who knows, it might provide you with summer travel destination suggestions and some useful tips.

1. Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue: What Makes Them Special?

Immerse in the distinctive charm of three unrivaled cities: Hue, Hoi An, and Da Nang.

Discover awe-inspiring heritage in Hue—ancient tombs, UNESCO palaces—reliving a vibrant bygone era. Get captivated by Hoi An’s enchanting old town, with moss-covered, time-honored landmarks. Behold Da Nang, Vietnam’s livable gem, with sprawling bridges and breathtaking coastal vistas.

These destinations leave indelible impressions for scenic beauty, stunning beaches, and affordable luxury resorts. Devote a day to each city, fully immersing in captivating attractions they offer. Unravel the wonders of Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue, creating lasting travel memories in your heart.

Review Da Nang Hoi An Hue
Admiring the Beauty of Three Central Vietnam Cities

2. Hue – the dreamland of the romantic souls

Hue in Central Vietnam is a coastal province known for its beauty and historical significance. With its ancient capital, golden palaces, and royal tombs, Hue attracts visitors seeking to explore its rich cultural heritage. The province’s serene landscapes and historical sites hold great value for the Vietnamese people.

Hue Imperial City of Hue

The cuisine of Hue is equally captivating, with unique flavors and distinctive cooking techniques that showcase the essence of the local culture. Hue specialties offer a bold and spicy taste, characteristic of the Central region, yet possess an extraordinary allure of their own.

Hue Imperial City of Hue

What truly sets Hue apart is the warm and welcoming nature of its people. The locals are friendly, approachable, and always ready to lend a helping hand, creating a sense of belonging and familiarity that makes visitors feel right at home.

2.1. Hai Van Pass

At 7 a.m., the driver picked us up from Hue International Airport and took us to the hotel. In the pleasant afternoon, we embarked on a journey to Hai Van Pass.

Unlike Northwest mountainous roads like Ma Pi Leng and Pha Din in Ha Giang, which have terraced fields on one side, Hai Van Pass offers a scenic view of mountains and the sea. Descending along Bach Ma mountain range, we could see the beautiful Lang Co Bay. If time allows, I recommend stopping to admire the trains passing through the mountains, a unique experience at Hải Vân Pass.

Hai Van Pass Hue Viet Nam

The majestic Hai Van Gate is not only steeped in history but also showcases the grandeur of nature. Built during the Tran Dynasty and renovated during the Nguyen Dynasty, these gates face the Thua Thien Citadel. Known as the most prestigious gate in the country, it is said that King Le Thanh Tong bestowed this title during his military stopover in the 1470s. On the pass, you can also witness the beauty of wild sunflowers in bloom.

Hai Van Pass Hue Viet Nam

Formerly called Ai Van Pass or Cloud Pass, Hai Van Pass is often covered in mist and clouds. It attracts adventurers who seek the enchanting scenery of clouds drifting through the mountains, resembling cascading waterfalls. If fortunate, you may catch sight of clouds flowing through the peaks like majestic streams.

2.2. Lang Co Beach

Lang Co Beach, a precious gem of Lang Co Bay, offers an incredible experience in pristine nature. With its smooth white sands, clear turquoise water, and stunning sunrise, it creates a serene and romantic atmosphere. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers seeking tranquility amidst the bustling pace of modern life.

Lang Co Beach Hue Viet Nam

2.3. The Imperial City of Hue

If you love history and want to explore the ancient dynasties of Vietnam like me, Hue Imperial City is a destination not to be missed. It preserves many relics and architectural structures that bear the imprint of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Hue Imperial City of Hue  Viet Nam

At Ngu Phung Pavilion, I admired the intricate model of the Hue royal court and the grand bronze bell. The golden throne replica and symbolic seals evoked a sense of time travel. Next, I reached the Forbidden Purple City, exclusively for the king and queen, offering insights into the dynamics of the royal court.

Hue Imperial City of Hue  Viet Nam

Hue Imperial City goes beyond being a museum; it brings Vietnam’s history and cultural heritage to life. Uncovering ancient dynasty secrets and immersing in the opulence of the Nguyen Dynasty is truly incredible.

2.4. Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu Pagoda, is located on Ha Khe Hill, along the banks of the Perfume River, about 5 km west of the city center of Hue. The pagoda was established in 1601 during the reign of Lord Nguyen Hoang, the first ruler of the Nguyen dynasty.

Thiên Mu Pagoda features a 21-meter-high Phuoc Duyen Tower with 7 floors, built in 1841. Additionally, there are relics of Venerable Thich Quang Duc and an ancient tomb of a former abbess, both holding significant stories.

Thien Mu Pagoda Hue Viet Nam

With a rich history and cultural significance, Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Thien Mu Mountain, holds a special place in the hearts of many. Legends surrounding its origin, including the tale of Lord Nguyen Hoang and a mystical prophecy, add to its mystique. This revered pagoda stands as a testament to a heritage that spans generations.

If you visit the pagoda on a sunny morning, like me, you will surely breathe in the fresh air and experience a refreshing and serene atmosphere it offers. The events and stories of ancient times seem as if they happened just yesterday when you gaze at the moss-covered gate and the walls, bearing the marks of time.

2.5. Most memorable aspect of Hue cuisine

Hue cuisine not only carries the distinctive characteristics of the former imperial capital but also reflects the influences of various cultures. Hue dishes hold a special place in the hearts of Vietnamese people. Exploring Hue cuisine is a colorful and traditional journey that offers both myself and visitors delightful and enjoyable experiences in the culinary kingdom of Central Vietnam.

2.5.1. Com Hen Hoa Dong

Com Hen Hoa Dong is a restaurant that has been open for almost 40 years and is known for its warm hospitality and genuine smiles from the owner. The affordable price of a bowl of Com Hen, ranging from 10.000-20.000 Vietnamese dong, makes it accessible to everyone.

This dish offers a unique taste with a combination of tangy mango, spicy chili, sweet clams, crunchy peanuts, and savory pork skin, resulting in a delightful and flavorful experience. It can be enjoyed with rice or noodles, accompanied by a bowl of fragrant clam broth.

2.5.2. Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue, a renowned Vietnamese dish, has a rich history starting from Mother Keo’s humble stall and spanning over 60 years. This delightful creation showcases small rice vermicelli, tender pork belly, raw beef, savory blood pudding, aromatic herbs, and a touch of spicy fish sauce. The broth, infused with the fragrant essence of lemongrass and the distinct flavor of Hue’s shrimp paste, adds a remarkable depth to the dish.

Each bite is elevated by the succulent slices of pork belly and perfectly blanched beef. Whether enjoyed for breakfast or dinner, a visit to Mother Keo’s shop is best scheduled for the early morning hours. With prices ranging from 20.000-25.000 Vietnamese dong per bowl, Bun Bo Hue offers an affordable and unforgettable culinary experience.

3. Da Nang – Embrace Romance in its Pristine Beauty

Returning to Da Nang for the second time, I am impressed by its rapid development. However, what I truly love about this city is the tranquility of its landscapes and the friendliness of the locals. Here, you don’t have to worry about being overcharged and can enjoy delicious food at affordable prices.

3.1. Love Bridge

After checking in at the hotel, I headed to the Love Bridge to take some photos. The sight of thousands of love locks attached to the bridge will surely surprise you. The bridge is located between the Han River and the Dragon Bridge, making it easy to find.

Another famous symbol of Da Nang is the carp turning into a dragon, representing the power of luck and success. Moving forward, you’ll reach the Love Locks Bridge, a popular spot for couples. The locks symbolize enduring and everlasting love. You can also bring your loved one here to attach a lock, with engraving services available for around 20,000 VND.

A small tip for capturing beautiful memories is to visit in the morning. Despite the slightly sunny weather, you’ll have stunning Instagram-worthy photos. If you prefer a leisurely stroll and admire the surrounding scenery, the evening is an ideal choice due to the cool atmosphere.

3.2. Ba Na Hills

Ba Na Hills is a former French-built and constructed location that still preserves the architecture of ancient French villages. Here, you can admire the Golden Bridge with two hands supporting the bridge like a silk ribbon stretched across. Enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers at Le Jardin D’Amour flower garden and indulge in a buffet lunch at the restaurant.

There are also exciting indoor and outdoor activities such as high-speed slides, free-fall towers, and a dinosaur park. If you’re a wine enthusiast, you can visit the Debay wine cellar nestled inside the mountain, where the wines are kept at a constant temperature of 16-20 degrees Celsius, ensuring their original aroma and quality.

3.3. Bun Mam

The Central region of Vietnam offers a delightful culinary specialty known for its unique blend of flavors and textures. This dish combines roast meat, sour fermented pork, fresh vegetables, boiled jackfruit, and a touch of chili sauce. However, what truly distinguishes this dish is the meticulously prepared fish sauce. Using fresh fish like snakehead fish, rice fish, or marinated fish with salt, the fish sauce lends a rich, dark brown color and an irresistible aroma to the dish.

To enjoy Bun Mam, all the ingredients are mixed together, allowing the fish sauce to evenly coat everything and enhance the overall taste. If you’re in Da Nang and unsure of what to eat, head over to 66 Do Quang Street for an authentic and satisfying bun mam experience. With its affordable price and high-quality ingredients, it’s a must-try dish that captures the essence of Central Vietnamese cuisine.

3.4. Bun Thit Nuong

Try Hong Nguyet’s restaurant for their grilled pork noodle. Address: 115 Hoang Dieu Street, Phuoc Ninh, Hai Chau, Da Nang. Locals love it! Price: 30,000 dong. Comes with cucumber, pickled veggies, grilled pork, herbs. Special soybean sauce marinade poured over the dish, no separate dipping sauce. Served with a crispy shrimp cracker. Grilled pork is seasoned with lemongrass and spices, paired with flavorful soybean sauce. Experience the authentic taste of Central Vietnamese cuisine.

4. Hoi An

4.1. Hoai River Cruise

Hoi An, Vietnam, offers visitors an exciting experience with its night market and boat ride on the Hoai River. In the evening, the ancient town of Hoi An becomes lively with its night market and specialty food stalls. Travelers can enjoy delicious local dishes and explore the vibrant and colorful market. Next, a boat ride on the Hoai River takes visitors to a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

The boats are adorned with sparkling lanterns, creating a romantic and unique ambiance. From the boat, tourists can admire the breathtaking sunset from the famous bridges across the river. Additionally, the Hoi An night market is a perfect place for shopping with its variety of unique items such as jewelry, paper fans, and lanterns.

Don’t forget to try the fragrant and delicious local specialty, banana cake. For photography enthusiasts, Hoi An offers numerous beautiful photo spots with its romantic scenery and the radiant glow of lanterns.

4.2. Rung Dua Bay Mau

Rừng Dừa Bảy Mẫu, a popular tourist spot near Hội An and Đà Nẵng in Vietnam, offers a delightful experience. Visit from February to April or September to October for pleasant weather. Explore independently or join a tour for 80,000 VND per person. Enjoy boat rides and capture memorable moments with the help of friendly local rowers. Watch traditional performances and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. A must-visit destination with picturesque landscapes and warm hospitality.

4.3. Nuoc Mot

Nước Mót, a special beverage in Hoi An, has a unique and distinctive flavor. The taste of Nước Mót is a perfect blend of natural ingredients, creating a wonderful harmony. The main highlight of this flavor is its refreshing and cool sensation, quenching the thirst on hot summer days.

With a delightful combination of ingredients like lemongrass, pomelo leaves, sugarcane, lime essential oil, and fresh coconut water, Nước Mót brings a natural and pure aroma. The slight tanginess from lemongrass and pomelo leaves is perfectly balanced with the gentle sweetness of sugarcane, creating a harmonious flavor on the palate.

Not only delicious, but Nước Mót also carries the distinctive taste of Hoi An. Blending local specialties and sophisticated processing techniques, this flavor reflects the culinary culture of the city. It is an exciting experience to discover and enjoy this unique and flavorful drink in the beautiful setting of Hoi An’s ancient town.

Whether you prefer tangy, sweet, or natural aromas, Nước Mót is worth a try. Its unique and enticing flavor is an essential part of your culinary journey in Hoi An.

4.4. Banh Mi Phuong

With its long queues of eager customers, reminiscent of famous spots in Ho Chi Minh City, Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An has gained a reputation as a renowned and highly-rated banh mi shop. Hoi An, known for its stunning landscapes and adventurous activities, is not only a tourist hotspot but also a destination for unique culinary experiences.

Banh Mi Phuong offers a diverse range of enticing banh mi sandwiches, and I had the pleasure of trying both the number three and number eight options. The number three sandwich combines crispy pork, stir-fried noodles, and a medley of flavorful ingredients. In my personal evaluation, I would give this sandwich a rating of 8.7 out of 10. The number eight sandwich, on the other hand, features succulent chicken, Laughing Cow cheese, and a touch of chili-infused fat, resulting in a delicious and praiseworthy combination.

What sets Banh Mi Phuong apart is not only its exceptional flavors but also its lively atmosphere and widespread popularity. Visitors to Hoi An should not miss the opportunity to indulge in these extraordinary banh mi sandwiches and experience the distinctive ambiance at Banh Mi Phuong.

5. Exploring Central Vietnam: Transportation Options and Tips

5.1. Motorbike Purchase and Rental

For a truly independent travel experience, consider purchasing or renting a motorbike in Central Vietnam. Having your own bike allows you the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, be aware of the risks involved, especially if you’re not an experienced rider. Take your time to choose a reliable bike or rental service.


  • Always wear a helmet and drive defensively.
  • Familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and road conditions.
  • Inspect the bike thoroughly before renting or purchasing to ensure it’s in good working condition.

5.2. Easy Riders

If you prefer a guided experience, hiring an easy rider can be a great option. These local tour guides are available in abundance in Hue, Danang, and Hoi An. They offer flexibility in their itineraries and can provide valuable insights into the local culture and attractions.


  • Research and read reviews to find reputable and reliable easy riders.
  • Discuss your preferred itinerary and interests with the easy rider beforehand.
  • Establish clear expectations regarding pricing, duration, and stops along the way.

5.3. Private Transport Hire

If you’re traveling with a group or prefer the comfort of private transportation, there are various options available. Cars, vans, jeeps, and people carriers can be hired to cater to your specific needs. This option provides convenience and allows you to customize your itinerary.


  • Book private transport in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Clearly communicate your desired route and any specific stops or attractions you wish to visit.
  • Ensure the vehicle is in good condition and has sufficient space for your group and luggage.

5.4. Train

While the train in Central Vietnam offers limited coverage, it can still be a scenic and convenient option for certain routes. The train journey between Danang and Hue, in particular, offers beautiful views as it passes through the Hai Van Pass.


  • Check the train schedules in advance and arrive at the station early to secure tickets.
  • Consider booking a seat with a window view to fully enjoy the picturesque landscapes.
  • Plan for alternative transportation if your destination is not directly accessible by train.

5.5. VIP Bus

If you prefer a comfortable and hassle-free journey between Danang and Hue, consider the VIP bus service provided by HAV Travel. These shuttle buses operate between 6 am and 6 pm and offer reclining seats and onboard Wi-Fi for a pleasant travel experience.


  • Make a reservation in advance to secure your seat, especially during peak travel periods.
  • Be aware that the bus route bypasses certain scenic spots, such as the Hai Van Pass.
  • Check the bus schedule to ensure it aligns with your travel plans.

Remember to prioritize safety and choose the transportation option that best suits your preferences and comfort level. Enjoy your exploration of Central Vietnam!