Danang (20 kilometers north of Hoi An, 108 kilometers south of Hue across the Pass of Clouds) is Vietnam's forth largest city and its third largest port. Situated on the mouth of the Han River in the middle of Vietnam almost equidistant from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it has a long history of warfare. Spanish soldiers, according to Vietnamese sources, arrived here shooting in the 17th century, and so did the French, they say, in the 19th century. During the Vietnam War, it was a major command post for the American forces and the site of a large air base.

Industries include beverages, machinery, and textiles. The city is a transportation hub for central Vietnam. Roads and railways link Da Nang with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Cruise ships now stop in Danang. Worth checking out here are the Cham Museum, the former U.S. consulate (now a war crimes museum), a Caodai Temple, a small Ho Chi Minh museum, and tombs for Spanish and French soldiers. The coastline between Danang and Nha Trang is quite scenic

Reporting from Danang in 2011, Ian Timberlake of AFP wrote: The city "has progressed since 1997 when it broke away from a neighbouring province The city aims to reinforce its position as the hub of central Vietnam, focusing on high-tech industry while taking advantage of its natural beauty to boost tourism and services. Le Dang Doanh, a former government adviser, said Danang has already succeeded in becoming Vietnam's third economic pole and is "very much" competing with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. But the city still needs to show it can attract enough investors to fill its industrial parks and infrastructure, said a source who has done development work in the area and asked not to be named. "If Danang is going to be the success story that everybody hopes it's going to be, then that's got to start happening," he said. [Source: Ian Timberlake, Agence France-Presse, April 17, 2011]

Danang City covers 1,283.4 square kilometers and is home to 1.15 million people. Danang City is located in middle of Central Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, separated from Laos by the western Truong Son Mountains. It is surrounded by Thua Thien-Hue along the northern border and Quang Nam on the southern border. It is sided by the South China Sea with 150 kilometers of seacoast. The topography is rather complex. In the south is impressive Hai Van Pass with 1,708-meter-high Mang Mountain and 1,487-meter-high Ba Na Mountain. In the east is Son Tra Peninsula, with yellow sand beaches, historical sites and rare bird and animal species. To the south is the Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains). The Hoang Sa archipelago boast a large fishery. Administrative divisions: Districs: Hai Chau, Thanh Khe, Son Tra, Ngu Hanh Son, Lien Chieu, Cam Le; Rural Districts: Hoa Vang, Hoang Sa.

Travel Information for Danang

Climate: Danang is located in an area where where tropical monsoon and temperate climates meet. The city's weather is influenced by the north and the south climate with an inclination to the former. There are two seasons: the wet from August to December and the dry season from January to July. Cold waves occur but are generally short lasting. The city receives 1,355 millimeters of rainfall annually, concentrated in October. Average annually humidity is 83.4 percent.

Average temperature is about 26 degrees C, with the highest between 28 and 30 degrees C in June, July, August, the lowest, 18 to degrees C in December, January, February. On 1,500-meter-high Ba Na Mountain, the average temperature is 20 degrees C and the average rainfall is 2,505 millimeters per year with the highest rainfall in October and November.

Getting to Danang: Danang is 108 kilometers from Hue, 130 kilometers from Quang Ngai, 763 kilometers from Hanoi, and 947 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. There are buses to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and many other destinations. Bus Station: 33/35 Dien Bien Phu, Tel: (84 - 511) 382 2020. The Nhat Express train, which connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, stops in Danang. There are marine routes to international and domestic ports. Tien Sa and Han River ports serve various destinations.

The Danang International Airport is 2.5 kilometers southwest of the city center. There are domestic flights to some cities. There are direct flight from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Siem Riep, Taipei and Singapore to Danang City by Vietnam Airlines, PB Air, Siem Riep Air way, Far Transportasion and Sil Airway. Airport to City Transport: VND 4,000/ kilometers (Taxi); Vietnam Airlines' sales agents: 35 Tran Phu Street, Tel: 382 1130; Dong Hoi 84 - 52; Flights From Hanoi: 46 flights/ week, Vietnam Airlines, 377, 607, 01h15'; Flights From Ho Chi Minh City: 70 flights/ week, Vietnam Airlines, 375, 604, 01h10';

Central Vietnam Belt describes a belt of land only about 60 kilometers, or about 40 miles, wide, that acts as a divider between the north and the south and embraces Hue, Da Nang and the old fishing town of Hoi An. Amanda Hesser wrote in The New York Times, “Here in the center of the country, the mood is often less aggressive. Small vendors continue to sell bunches of temple incense gathered like colored brooms. Grooming is still done right on the street, with sidewalk salons for ear cleaning and facials that are conducted by running a thread over a customer's face in tiny strokes. And although motor scooters have taken over even in the villages, water buffaloes are never far from view. [Source: By Amanda Hesser, The New York Times, September 1, 2005]

Drive From Hue Via Danang to Hoi An takes most of one day and follows Route 1— sometimes referred to as the "route of the mandarins" — which runs through Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.Amanda Hesser wrote in The New York Times, “The route took us on a high-speed trip through the tiny theaters of Vietnamese daily life. As our car weaved around motor scooters and bicycles, we passed a woman on her haunches wearing a non (the conical peasant hat) and splitting wood; women carrying babies; computer stores and coffin shops; rice fields; haystacks for cooking fuel; bungalows and new McMansions trapped behind iron fences. The villages are small and pass by in a breath. [Source: By Amanda Hesser, The New York Times, September 1, 2005]

“After about two hours on the road, we began climbing Cloudy Pass, a harrowing stretch that marks the country's climate divide, separating the wet north from the dry, hot south. At the top, Dat pointed out Red Beach 1 and Red Beach 2, where the first regular U.S. ground troops landed in March 1965. To the east was Monkey Mountain, a spit of land, and to the south, Da Nang, nestled by mountains, hung under a band of haze. During the war, Da Nang was called "shelled city," because the Communist forces attacked it from all angles. We stopped in Da Nang for the only reason anyone stops in Da Nang: to see the Cham Museum, at the south end of town. The open-air galleries are jammed with Cham sculpture, mostly from the 9th to the 11th centuries, which was a great moment for free expression.

Sights in Danang

The Danang area occupies an ancient land, closely related with the Sa Huynh cultural traditions. Many imposing, palaces, towers, temples, citadels and ramparts, the vestiges of the Cham civilization, which flourish from the 5th century to the 15th century, are can be seen in Cham Museum. Among the other attractions are Ba Na Tourist Resort, Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains), Linh Ung Pagoda, Han River, and My An and Non Nuoc beaches, which stretch for dozens of kilometers.

Bo Ban Communal House (Bo Ban Village, Hoa Phong Commune, Hoa Vang District, Danang City) was set up for the worship of the village gods and bygone sages and for annual festivals. The house was recognized as a historical and cultural relic on 4th January 1999. This village communal house was built out of bamboo on the hillock of Tam Vi in the early 19th century. In 1852, it was moved to the center of the village and was rebuilt using brick and pantiles. It has three sections and two lean-tos with a length of 14.5 meters and a width of 9.7 meters. There are 36 pillars made of jack tree and ‘kien kien’ wood. The structure is “Chong ruong - Gia thu” with the tops of the pillars carved with a dragon’s head and the beams with apricots, poplars, bamboo like phyllotaxis and orchids. There are also animals and birds such as sparrows and monkeys and ornamental floral designs. These original and artistic works are skillful and ingenuously carved.

In August 1945, before the usurpation of power, the local people gathered at the house to demonstrate and forced the court mandarin and village officials to hand over the seals, documents and record books. Bo Ban was the first local polling booth for the national congress election of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. In the anti - American resistance war, it was the place where the local people decided to wipe out the enemy mercenary killers, to destroy the confinement section and confiscate the arms and storehouses in Hoa Vang District.

Hai Chau Communal House (Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hai Chau 1 Ward, Hai Chau District, Danang City) was recognized as a national historic relic by Ministry of Culture and Information in 2001. In front of it there is a big lake with a rock work and a 100-year-old Bodhi tree. On the three-door temple gate there are Chinese words "Hai Chau Chanh Xa" (Hai Chau region). In the region there are Hai Chau Temple, an ancestor worshiping house, two temples of godfather in the center. The temple on the left side is of Nguyen Van clan, and one on the right is Kinh An Tu which has 42 ancestral tablets worshiping 42 clans of Tinh Gia District, Thanh Hoa Province. They all followed King Le Thanh Tong to go to the South in the year of Tan Mao (1471). Then the king established Han Giang hamlet (previously Quang Nam, currently Danang) and they gathered in Hai Chau Village, laid foundation and contributed to build Danang city.

In Hai Chau Communal House's steeple, there is a bronze bell and some Chinese words on it. A temporarily translation is "In the 5th year of Minh Mang's reign (1842), the pagoda was restored. In 1825, the king bestowed to call the pagoda Phuoc Hai by his royal decree. In the 13th year of Minh Mang's reign (1832), the Hai Chau Village built the bell on a good day". According to history researchers, Hai Chau Communal House was Phuoc Hai pagoda where Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu on his Quang Nam oriented journey paid a visit and stayed for relaxation in the year of Ky Hoi (1719). Local people set up an altar worshiping him at the pagoda.

Dien Hai Citadel

Dien Hai Citadel (Thach Thang Ward, Hai Chau District, Danang.) was formerly known as Dien Hai Fortress. Built in 1813 in the 12th year of Gia Long’s reign by Danang’s estuary. It was renamed in 1835, the fifteenth year of Minh Mang’s reign, after it was moved inland and rebuilt in brick on a high mount in 1823, the fourth year of Minh Mang’s reign. In 1840, Deputy Minister of Labour Nguyen Cong Tru inspected the defences of Danang and commanded a more powerful system for Dien Hai and An Hai Citadels.

In 1847, the seventh year of Thieu Tri’s reign the perimeter of Dien Hai was expanded to 556 meters with a wall five meters high surrounded by a ditch three meters deep. The citadel was designed with two gates, the main one opening to the south and the other to the east. In side, there was Hanh Cung (the royal step-over place), Ky Dai (high flagpole platform), a storehouse for food and ammunition and 30 large canon emplacements. The citadel was built in brick in the square Vauban style of architecture.

Dien Hai Citadel, bearing the stamp of tradition of the struggle of Danang people and the nation in the persistent war against the French colonialists to protect national independence and territory, made an important contribution to the defeat of the French invaders in Danang in 1858-1860. A majestic statue of General Nguyen Tri Phuong was built up for memory to a magnanimous period of the city’s history. Dien Hai Citadel was classified as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1998.

Khue Trung Cemetery

Khue Trung Cemetery (Binh Hoa 1, Khue Trung Ward, Hai Chau District, Danang City) faces to the west, and has a "tam ban" design (one in the center and two in the left and right). On it are engraved the four words meaning "Hoa Vang Cemetery" marking the date of foundation in May 1866. The cemetery is a burial ground for heroic martyrs who died in anti-French war and was set up a royal proclamation, which also stated the bones of the war dead should be collected so that their spiritual values can still be recognized today.

At the beginning it was built in Nghi An, Phuoc Tuong District. In 1920 the French colonists established Danang Airport, and the cemetery was moved to Ba Khue Trung Garden. To 1962, the French widened the airport to the south, so once again the Nghia Trung was moved to the present-day site. In the center of the cemetery there is a big grave with "tien trieu dai tuong quy cong mo" on its stele. It is said that it belongs to Nguyen Trong An, a general protecting Tuyen Hoa post (currently Hoa Cuong ward). It is also said that belongs to Le Dinh Ly, a famous and talented general of Nguyen Tri Phuong envoy.

At the end are temples, and incense tables for worshiping. There are over 1,000 graves lying equally in the left and right sides. Behind Khue Trung Cemetery is an ancestor worshiping temple and Mieu Ba (Goddess worshiping shrine). On 16th day of the Third lunar month (late March or April), Khue Trung people oganize a ceremony to memorize the two ancestors' virtues Tran Kim Tuong and Tran Kim Bang. The temple is of ancient architecture, in "quoc" shape, on the east lever carved the day of restoration - the 16th year of Bao Dai's reign (1941). In an ancient calophyllus's shadow, there lies Mieu Ba where there are statues and tablets of "Ngu Hanh Thanh Phi Trung Dang Than".

In front of Mieu Ba, there is square sandstone well called Hoi Well. The age of Hoi Well has not defined yet, because words on the nearby stone post are not clear by time passage. Only four words "Ham Long Kiet Tinh" (good well with multi-oriented springs) are readable. Hoa Vang Cemetery was recognized as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1999.

Museum of Cham Sculpture

Museum of Cham Sculpture (intersection of Trung Nu Vuong and Bach Dang Streets, Danang City) houses the most extensive collection of Cham art in the world. Danang city's premier attraction, the museum is enclosed by a garden and comprised of spacious rooms. It contains an impressive display of 300 Cham sandstone and terra-cotta friezes, sculptures, statues and bas-reliefs collected from the Cham kingdom sites such as Tra Kieu, Dong Duong, Thap Man and My Son. Visiting hours: From 7:00am to 5:00pm.

"Monumental in size, exquisite in detail, " wrote Susan Brownmiller in the New York Times, "Cham art is an eclectic mix of Hindu deities and legends that gradually incorporated Buddhist themes as the Cham underwent a religious conversion. The museums' three connecting galleries around a graceful courtyard follow the Cham civilization from the 7th through the 14th century...I strolled past awesome sea monsters, mythical lions, smiling elephants, prancing apsaras, proud Shivas and a lot lingams—huge phalluses of stone."

The Museum of Cham Sculpture was built in 1915 with the financial support of the French Far-East Research Institute in Vietnam. In the past, the capital of the Champa nation was located in Danang, The museum was built in Cham architectural style, using thin lines that are simple and gentle. Cham architecture originates from the period between the 5th and 15th centuries, when their matriarchal society prevailed.

At present, the museum displays approximately 300 sculptures, among which some are made from terracotta. The sculptures were collected from Cham Temples and towers throughout Central Vietnam, more specifically the area stretching from Quang Binh to Binh Thuan. All the sculptures are displayed in ten showrooms named after the localities where the pieces have been discovered. After viewing the pieces in the showrooms, there are exterior exhibitions that can be visited.

In the early 2000s a couple of new rooms were added to the museum. David Lamb wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The decision by officials in Da Nang to add several rooms and display some statues now in storage may have as much to do with economics as culture. The open-air museum on the banks of the Han River draws 70,000 visitors a year — the majority of them foreigners — and has become a top attraction in central Vietnam, which is eager to cash in on the country's growing tourist industry. [Source: David Lamb, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2001]

“To many historians, it is a wonder that art from the Indian-influenced Champa empire survived at all. When the colonialist French were forced out of Vietnam after their 1954 defeat at Dien Bien Phu, many valuable pieces went with them and are now displayed in European museums. During the Vietnam War — or the American War, as it is called here — South Vietnamese army rangers used the museum as a billet and its courtyard as a toilet. President Johnson persuaded the Saigon regime to remove its troops after seeing a newspaper article questioning the wisdom of desecrating a cultural site.

“In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, four pieces were stolen from the Cham Museum, which then had no fence or shuttered windows. The postwar Communist government showed little interest in cultural preservation; the museum was abandoned and didn't see any tourists for years.The museum gained a second life in the 1980s when Tran Ky Phuong, Vietnam's foremost Cham expert, became curator. He persuaded the city government to put a security fence around the property and spend $100,000 for repairs. Ky also promoted the museum as a cultural heritage and worked with Asian art specialists from the U.S., Japan and France. An exhibition of photographs and models of the museum's sculptures toured Japan in 1994. Unfortunately, the museum's money got mixed up with Ky's personal funds, a Da Nang official explained. Ky was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption in 1997. He was recently released in an amnesty granted thousands of prisoners throughout the country.

Museums in Danang

Fifth Division Museum (No 1 Duy Tan Street, Danang City) covers 5,451 square meters and houses big-sized weapons namely aircrafts, tanks, armored cars, 75-175 mm cannons, etc. that were used in anti-French and anti-American wars by enemy’s military, and were caught by Fifth Military Division soldiers.Visiting hours:

Twelve showrooms display thousands of photographs and articles on establishment, struggle, and victory of the Fifth Military Division. In particular, some of them carry local people’s strength, creativity, intelligence and talents in the two wars, for example: a set of lead openers of Dang Tien Loi, a pair of slippers of Phan Thi Mua, and a two-bottomed basket of Ho Le Phuong family.

The revolutionary martyr Dang Tien Loi used a set of lead openers to bomb a radar zone of Americans and their puppets located in Son Tra peninsula in August 1972. It took him 3 months to prepare the attack. He had to eat fried rice, sleep in dark caves to secretly find out targets and make battles. Together with his six partners, he had ten successful attacks to the zone which caused great damages to the enemy. Unfortunately, he died in the tenth assault on 12th December 1972. A set of lead openers which are shown in the museum are the only remains after his death.

Phan Thi Mua was born in 1955, and worked as a special task force member of Danang city. In 1972 she was appointed to attack American fuel depot at the crossroad Trung Nu Vuong - Nui Thanh where she worked. Everyday she hided a little of dynamite power in her slippers and brought it to the depot. For four months from April to August 1972 four kilos of dynamite was carried in. The whole city was shocked by a big explosion in the middle of August 1972. The depot was destroyed. She was granted a resistance war medal of second level by the government in 1975.

The Ho Le Phuong family used theur plaited the basket with two bottoms to bring secret documents to their son Ho Le An, a revolutionary soldier over a period from 1965 to 1970. They decided to give it to the museum for display in 1977. Museum hours: 7:30am to 11:00am and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm everyday.

Ho Chi Minh Museum (No 1 Duy Tan Street, Danang City) features Uncle Ho’s stilt house, gardens, orchard and aquarium. In 1976 the museum started to be built in order to realize hopes, and loves of local people, cadres, and soldiers in the Fifth Division towards dear Uncle Ho. The house is entirely similar to the one in Hanoi capital. There are four showrooms of Ho Chi Minh’s life, a national hero, a worldwide famous cultural man. There are numerous valuable and rare articles that reveal deep love of local people, cadres, and soldiers in the Fifth Division to dear Uncle Ho and in reverse. Kiem, a woman living in Ky Xuan Ward, Tam Ky District, Quang Nam Province, hided a photograph of Uncle Ho in a bamboo culinder since 1965. Until 1975 she brought it to the ward committee to introduce to the public. Visiting hours: From 7:30 to 11:00 and from 13:30 to 16:00 all days.

Beaches and Amusements the in Danang Area

Danang Water Park (in the center of Danang on 2-9 Street) is a cheesy amusement park that covers 10 hectares. Amusements and rides include Wave Lake, Lazy River, Active Lake, Massage Lake, high speed kamikaza slide, black slide and twisting slipping gutter. Especially for children there are more slipping gutters (slides) shaped like hippopotamuses, tortoises, lizards, whales, elephants in addition to water slides waterfall and a fountain in a spacious, splendid green garden. On top of this, there is an open-air stage equipped with modern facilities where cultural and musical performances are held. Meals, drinks and fast food are available in a spacious 500 seats restaurant.

Phong Nam Ancient Village (in Hoa Chau Commune, Hoa Vang District, Danang City) still retains features of traditional villages of Vietnam like the green fields surrounded with bamboos, foot paths, the simple houses and the lifestyles of the farmers. You are probably better off randomly picking a village and visiting that.

Beaches Near Danang: Bac My An Beach (seven kilometers south of Danang) is known as the international resort with a four-kilometers-long coast, white sand and five-star standard Furama Resort. Non Nuoc Beach runs for five kilometers against the Marble Mountains. Famous for its edible seaweed, it is bound by Dien Ngoc Sea to the south and Danang to the north, the beach gently slopes towards generally calm seas. Some five-star hotels and seafood restaurant were built in Non Nuoc to accommodate the domestic and foreign tourists in the area.

China Beach

China Beach (eight kilometers south of Danang) is a beautiful stretch of sand, where American GIs surfed and smoked dope during brief periods of "R n R” during the war. Made famous by an American television show by the same name, it is not really the primary beach, veterans say, where soldiers relaxed (most of them went to My Khe Beach, closer to Danang). The area around the China Beach Hotel is very touristy. An American developer wants to cash in the beach's name and build a $243 million golf course resort here. The water is warm enough for swimming even in January. A row of shops along the beaches has shops selling silk clothing, and native crafts. Around an area where you can see fishing boats bobbing in the water are restaurants that sell seafood that have been caught that day. In the background is impressive My Khe Mountain.

Son Tra Peninsula (10 kilometers northeast of Danang City) looks sort of like a mushroom when viewed from above and stands of 693 meters above sea level. The cap of the mushroom is Son Tra Mountain and its stalk is the white sandy beach that affords an ideal area for bathing, playing sports, fishing and swimming. Son Tra be seen in the distance from almost everyplace in the city. With its sea-oriented appearance, Son Tra acts as a giant screen protecting Danang from storms and cyclones coming from the sea.

Son Tra Mountain is natural preservation area with more than 30 square kilometers of natural forests, nearly 300 types of plants and several hundred kinds of fauna. The scenery is very attractive, it is said that fairies usually chose this place for landing, singing, dancing and playing chess. The name Tien Sa (Tien: Fairy, Sa: landing) is rooted from that. From the top of the mountain, there is a fine view of Danang, the Marble Mountains and Ba Na - Mount Chua. It is an enjoyable and peaceful vista. Suoi Da Stream lies by the side of the foot of the mountain, fine sandy surfaces run round the peninsula, waves break along the shores. Here and there are small, nice-looking houses and groups of fishing boats.

Marble Mountains

Marble Mountains (13 kilometers from Danang) is a group of sacred mountains named after the white and blue-green marble they yield and honeycombed with caves that in turn are festooned with stalactites and filled with temples. Many of the temples are constructed from molded marble, a material produced by mixing ground marble dust and cement, and then formed into walls, ceilings and floors. After the molded marble dries it is polished to give off a sheen like cut marble.

Many of the cave temples are guarded by painted statues of warriors and taken care of by monks from a nearby monastery. , which also come to temples to pray and mediate. Some of the caves without temples have impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. At the base of the mountain are clusters of souvenir shops, pagodas, with fortune-telling monks and coconut vendors, and workshops, where craftsmen make marble sculptures and bas-reliefs of lions and Ho Chi Minh.

According to legend the five Marble Mountains were created from shells of eggs deposited by a dragon and represents the five elements of the universe: water, wood, fire, gold (metal) and earth. During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong launched rocket attacks from Marble Mountain on U.S. positions around Danang. Some people like the Marble Mountains. Others complain the area is a tourist trap. Local guides, many of them children, will show you the way to the caves. Bring a flashlight. The Marble Mountains overlook the white sand beaches and palm trees of the Lang Co peninsula.

The Marble Mountains are located in Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District. They are also referred to as Ngu Hanh Son or Mountains of the Five Elements, consist of five marble mountains: Thuy Son (water) which is the highest, Moc Son (wood), Kim Son (metal), Tho Son (soil), and Hoa Son (fire). Stone steps carved into the mountain lead to the Tam Thai Pagoda where Phat Di Lac is worshipped. At the back of the pagoda is Huyen Khong Cave. In the past, the pagoda paid tribute to Hindu and Buddhist gods and is now dedicated to Cham deities. Huyen Khong Cave was the base for Vietnamese revolutionaries during wartime.

In Dong Hai Village close to Thuy Son, 600 families chisel stone producing statues, jewelry, and art work. Stone from the Marble Mountains has been exported to many countries. One of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam—Non Nuoc Beach— is located two kilometers from the mountains and 10 kilometers from Danang. It is which is very convenient for visitors who want to go climbing and bathing.

Pass of the Clouds

Pass of the Clouds (20 miles of Danang) is about 325 meters high and is pierced by a beautiful, winding 21 kilometer stretch of road that offers wonderful views of the ocean, the surrounding valleys and 1,100-meter-high Ai Van Son Peak. Also known as Hai Van Pass, it lies on National Highway No1A on the border between Thua Thien - Hue Province and Danang City. . From the top of Hai Van Pass, one can admire Lang Co Beach to the north and Danang to the south. The curving railway through Hai Van Pass is 3,200 meters long including sections running through seven tunnels. There are forests to the west of Hai Van Pass and the ocean is to the east.

In the past, Hai Van Pass was known as the Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam frontier. In the early 14th century (1306), Che Man, a king from Cham Pa, offered two mountainous regions— O and Ri—as engagement gifts to Princess Huyen Tran, daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong. On his way to see off the Princess in the Quang area he and his entourage were unable to reach the top of the pass. Facing upwards, the King saw a rampart of mountains in dim clouds, hence the name

Ba Na - Chua Mount Tourist Area (in Hoa Vang District, 30 kilometers from Danang) embraces Ba Na mountain, which stands at the altitude of 1,487 meters above sea-level, has an average annual temperature that varies between 17 and 20 degrees C (62.6 - 68 degrees F). Each of the four seasons appears within a single day in Ba Na: spring in the morning, summer at noon, autumn in the afternoon and winter at night. One particular characteristic is that the clouds are at the mid-height of the mountain, so the peaks are always clear.

Ba Na also possesses very beautiful forests with green pine hills. Some new hotels accompany the villas and bungalows built by the French. A modern system of cable cars helps the visitors get a bird's-eye view from the top of the mountain. Danang Tourism Company is building new resorts, convalescence homes, and a three-star hotel with 100 rooms and an area for private businesses' investment. Every year, in the middle of July, a festival is held at that features a procession of palanquins, tug of war, music and displays of birds, bonsai and fish.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Vietnamtourism. com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, CIA World Factbook, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, Fox News and various websites, books and other publications identified in the text.

Last updated August 2020

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