Vietnam's new action central

Vietnam's new action central

For years, tourists planning holidays to Vietnam have focused on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in the country's north and south. Now Central Vietnamese destinations, notably port city Da Nang, are rising out of their shadow.

Da Nang was voted the world's No. 1 Destination On The Rise For 2015 by TripAdvisor travellers and No. 43 on the New York Times' list of 52 Places To Go In 2015 last month.

Travellers say its markets, friendly locals and pristine beaches make it a destination in its own right, but Da Nang also stands out as a gateway to a trio of Unesco World Heritage sites.

The former Nguyen dynasty's imperial capital Hue is 100km to the north, the lantern-lit old town of Hoi An is 30km to the south and the ancient temple ruins of My Son are 70km to the south-west.

Da Nang also enjoys close proximity to the cliffs and rocky outcrops of the Marble Mountains as well as long strips of white sand beaches overlooking the South China Sea.

And some of Vietnam's best golf courses - such as Montgomerie Links, designed by award-winning golfer Colin Montgomerie, and the Danang Golf Club, designed by Australian golfer Greg Norman - are right outside the city.

While TripAdvisor says Vietnam has experienced an overall increase in traveller interest in the last few years - Hanoi was ranked eighth on its Destinations On The Rise in 2013 - this is the first time Da Nang has placed on the list.

Ms Cindy Tan, vice-president of display advertising for TripAdvisor in the Asia Pacific, says the accolade is deserved, noting that the website received 34 per cent more interest in Da Nang from Singaporean travellers alone, compared with 2013.

"It has seen the greatest increase in positive feedback and interest from the TripAdvisor community globally, year on year," she adds. Visitor numbers have increased too.

Mr Phuoc Dang, director of sales and marketing at La Residence Hotel & Spa in Hue, citing official sources, says there were 21,000 arrivals from Singapore to Da Nang last year, up from 18,000 arrivals in 2013.

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