Within the area inside Vietnam, the Central region is where I spend most of my time exploring. If you are about to count how many types of experience you can be offered across this land, it may last a lifetime. Unique cuisine, special accent, pristine beaches, hidden islands, traditional festivals, tribal communities and a lot more. Hence, if you are traveling to Vietnam in the next few months, this guideline is for you.
Huế – Ancient capital
Best time to visit Central Vietnam
As a big part of the region is lied further towards the South, which results in the climate formation. When talking about Central Vietnam, you can choose to visit the Central Highlands in the West or the coastal cities in the East. While Central Highland region owns two distinctive seasons, rainy and dry, partially similar to Southern Vietnam, the Eastern side can be little more complicated in terms of weather, with regular storms and protracted rains, especially when summer comes. Hence, in order to have the best time here, you may consider to come over between December and March. New Year also nourishes spring blossoms, significantly Mexican sunflowers in the Central Highlands.
What to do in Central Vietnam?
There are various Vietnam tailor-made tours that offer plenty of routes across the region. The most popular Vietnam tours you can consider are to follow the heritage road crossing Quảng Nam, Huế, Danang and Quảng Bình, pay a visit to 5 highlands provinces with Dalat as a highlight, or to connect both the East and West such as selecting two most iconic cities Nha Trang and Dalat.
On one hand, talking about the heritage road, the basic concept of this route is to show the best cultural beauty besides the long lasting history of these four cities. Each of them has its own unique features and characteristics that you cannot find somewhere else. Quảng Nam and Danang will show you the harmony of Vietnamese and Champa cultures, one of which strongly reveals the symbolic East Asian concept, while the other one represents its Indian-dominant culture, especially through architecture, such as ancient Cham towers and Cham ethnic communities still existing.
Hoian Old Quarter is hands down the best climax in Quảng Nam Province. Spending 2 days and a night sneaking through both hidden alleys and main attractions in this town may be enough if you tend to combine it with various destinations till the rest of the trip. A cooking class, Cao Lầu, tailor-made dresses, An Bàng Beach are the basic keywords when Hoian comes to my mind. Obviously, you can expand your travel radiant to the outskirt of the city if time allows.
Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary
Danang, meanwhile, though just a small city, still well plays its role as the biggest metropolis in Central Vietnam. This municipality sees an absolute integration of Western and domestic vibes. Pure beaches, interesting aqua-related activities, local food, sky bars, modern streets and job opportunities are what you can find here.
Main attractions of the cities are widely listed on Internet, yet what I do recommend you not to miss are to watch the Dragon Bridge breath fire and water at 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday, and to witness Han River Bridge swing on its axis from 11 pm to 12 am on the same weekends. Last but not least, Quảng Bình leads to the massive systems of natural caves, not to mention the World’s largest cave recorded Sơn Đòong. Phong Nha – Kẻ Bàng National Park is a must-visit you are not allowed to skip.
Wet Cave in Phong Nha
Han River Bridge
On the other hand, Dalat is the metropolis out of all of the Central Highland provinces. Over here, you can sense the native tribal atmosphere latent behind the gigantic French-influenced buildings. What I like most about this city is the perfect weather and people it has. If you are wondering how friendly Vietnamese are, Dalat has your answer. This is a hundred percent accurate as I am even a local Vietnamese and personally, the best smiley people I have met across the country come from Dalat and Mekong Delta.
XQ Embroidery Center, Bảo Đại I Palace, Dalat night market and Mê Linh highland coffee are my favorite of all time. If you want to get all of these in one package, hit up with a local Vietnam tailor-made tour. Beyond, as mentioned above, you can choose to connect both the East and West such as Dalat and Nha Trang in one trip. However, Nha Trang can be a little touristy in my opinion, so for replacement, try heading to some lesser-known beaches, islands, and bays around Nha Trang City.
XQ Embroidery Center
Central Vietnam is where you can feel both the chilly coldness and tropical heat. While the best time to travel in Vietnam is roughly all year round, winter and spring will make you have the best memories in the region.