Central region offers pristine beaches and landscapes that never pall on the visitor
Tranquil and beautiful My Khe Beach stretches languorously
If a nation is endowed with a 3,200-kilometer coastline, it stands to reason that it has many beaches. Many. Beaches that have different features and match different tastes.
And among this assortment, the central region can claim to have the most beautiful beaches and resorts that dot the S-shaped coastline.
Five years ago, the Forbes magazine had this to say about the Da Nang beach: "The beach is one of Asia's prettiest and most historic, with yellow sand stretching for almost 20 miles and traditional round woven boats one of the best ways to ride the waves."
These 20 miles can be said to be a string of stunning beaches like My Khe, Nam O, Xuan Thieu, Thanh Binh, Tien Sa, Son Tra, Bac My An and Non Nuoc.
Calm seas and crystal clear water are common features of these beaches, but My Khe stands out a bit.
Just 900 meters in length, My Khe is renowned for its white sands and delightful scenery. For years, it has attracted not only surfers from all over the world, but those taking a break on their way from Da Nang City to the heritage town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province.
The Non Nuoc Beach, which runs for five kilometers along the Ngu Hanh Son (Five Elements Mountains), is also one of the most crowded among Da Nang's beaches. The clear blue waters attract tourists all year round.
Near this beach is the Ngu Hanh Son range, also known as the Marble Mountains. With numerous caves, tunnels and old pagodas, the place is well worth a visit.
Ngu Hanh Son is a cluster of five marble hills called Kim Son (Metal Mountain) - Thuy Son (Water Mountain), Moc Son (Wood Mountain), Hoa Son (Fire Mountain) and Tho Son (Earth Mountain).
Each mountain has different colored marble there are pink ones (at the marble on the Water Mountain, white marble in the Wood Mountain, red marble in Fire Mountain, water-colored marble on the Metal Mountain and brown marble on the Earth Mountain. The colors change under different lighting conditions.
The Non Nuoc craft village at the foot of the Marble Mountains is also a good stop where artists can been working on different kinds of marble, creating large sculptures of people, animals and deities as well as small trinkets like bracelets, rings and beads.
And just 10 kilometers from the downtown of Da Nang City, is the Son Tra Peninsula, a natural wonderland with long, white sandy beaches, charming landscapes and lush green forests.
The peninsula's beaches, including Bai Bac, Bai Nam and Bai But, are perfect spots for those who love swimming, fishing and sightseeing on boats, not to mention diving and exploring the local coral reefs.
Moving 540 kilometers south of Da Nang City, Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province has developed into a well-known resort town; and the island-strewn Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as being among the world's most beautiful.
As the water is warm all year round in Nha Trang Bay, swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling are activities that bring in people from all over the world and all corners of the country.
A very special adventure that can be enjoyed with a spectacular view of the Nha Trang Bay is a 20- minute balloon ride at a height of 150 meters.
The largest island of the bay, Hon Tre (Bamboo Island), which has pristine beaches surrounded by mountains, now hosts a five-star resort operated by Vinpearl Land Tourism JSC.
Apart from its beautiful beaches, Nha Trang Town is also renowned for plenty of historical vestiges - the Po Nagar Cham Towers, King Bao Dai's Palace, Tri Nguyen Aquarium, and the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography Museum.
Phan Thiet Town needs no introduction. Located in the south-central province of Binh Thuan, around 200 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the town has been known for many beauty spots and the most popular spot in the town is the Mui Ne Beach that has transformed the place for ever.
The name "Mui Ne" is derived from the fact that this place used to provide shelter from storms to fishermen during their fishing trips. "Mui" means cape while "Ne" means hiding.
Along the 22-kilometer road from the center of Phan Thiet Town to Mui Ne are innumerable sand dunes, also known as "Flying Sand Hill" because the wind makes the hill a constant work in progress. The sight of these dunes are so arresting that it attracts a constant stream of photographers and painters.
The Mui Ne Beach, fringed with coconut trees and blessed with the clear blue water, has become a beehive of resorts that people from HCMC rush to during weekends for a much-needed respite from city life.
Thuan Quy in Binh Thuan's Ham Thuan Nam District, around 30 kilometers south of Phan Thiet offers a quieter more pristine alternative to Mui Ne.
The unspoilt Thuan Quy Beach, adorned with line after line of pine trees, gives visitors the feeling that they are the first to arrive there.
Besides its beaches and sand dunes, other picturesque landscapes in Phan Thiet include the Lao Cau Island, Suoi Tien (Fairy Spring), the Poshanu Cham Tower and other places of interest that await your discovery.