Despite its narrow landscape, the central coast of Vietnam is packed full of natural and cultural must-sees that had been points of contention for thousands of years before the American war. 100 kms (62 mi) north of Hue, the Ben Hai River and the DMZ marked the border between North and South Vietnam until Vietnam's reunification in 1975; some people say the difference between the two is still noticeable today.

Many tours will skip the northern coast line in favor of fast tracking cyclists to the more action-packed central coast. 19th century capital city Hue is a major stopover with a plethora of temples, mausoleums, and Nguyen Dynasty architecture. Hue is a known center for its culinary prowess and is also a center for arts and culture. Book a day tour for cycling around Hue and discovering all the city has to offer.

Hue is also the main hub for exploring the famed DMZ (de-militarized zone) as most organized tours to the tunnels of Vinh Moc and other sites are booked in Hue. The two provinces on either side of the DMZ were the most heavily bombed during the American war in Vietnam and one could spend their entire trip exploring the history and the legacy of the American war, so make sure you plan plenty of time in and around Hue.

Da Nang is the largest city in the central coast and is the closest airport and train station to charming Hoi An. Da Nang is an emerging cosmopolitan city where you can find most modern amenities and comforts, and it features many trendy cafés and bars. The old French presence can still be felt in Da Nang in its layout and China Beach is becoming an increasingly popular stretch of white sand beach that stretches all the way down to the resort center of Nha Trang.

Book a trip from Da Nang to Hoi An and experience the white sand beaches and the marble mountains that separate the two. Hoi An is a quintessential Vietnamese city filled with old world charm and a culinary scene that challenges any other in Asia. The dilapidated ruins of My Son are an easy 40 km (25 mi) cycle from Hoi An and make for a fantastic day trip through the villages and farmlands surrounding Hoi An. Hue receives the most rainfall in all of Vietnam during the monsoon season so you want to time your trip to the central coast to avoid the seasonal rain.

Best Seasons:Oct-Apr
Popular Locations:Hoi An, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park


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