Hue and Da Nang (tours from Chan May), Vietnam cruises

A stretch of coastline quite unlike any other in the South China Sea. Passing coastal sand dunes, beautiful green hills and paddy fields, you sail to the historic Vietnamese cities of Hue and Da Nang.

Your guide to Hue and Da Nang.

A port call to Chan May offers the chance to experience white sand beaches, historic tombs and one of Vietnam’s most famous waterways: the Perfume River. Whether you choose to travel to Hue or Da Nang you’ll be met with a wealth of sights to see, not to mention scenes of indescribable beauty. Both cities are the gateways to some of Vietnam’s most illustrious treasures; from the Ancient Emperor tombs outside of Hue to the spectacular cave labyrinth of Da Nang’s Marble Mountains. Prepare to find your senses piqued, your soul nourished and your heart captivated by otherworldly sights and spellbinding scenery.

Exploring.

An excursion to the historic city of Hue or the beaches of Da Nang is an ideal way to enjoy your port call in Chan May. While the latter offers luminous white sands on its Lang Co and My Khe beach resorts (not unlike those of the Caribbean) Hue is steeped in history offering a deep dive into Vietnam’s imperial past. Of course, time spent in Da Nang also opens up the opportunity to visit Marble Mountain – a series of caves named after the five elements – a must-see pilgrimage site. While Hue’s riverfront promenade, Thien Mu Pagoda and tombs of Ancient Emperors are among the cultural delights awaiting travellers in this centuries’ old city.

Eating and drinking.

Vietnamese cuisine is fresh, fragrant and one of the healthiest in the world. It can also be spicy and herbaceous, with mint and raw chilli often used to garnish dishes. One thing’s for sure; if you like your food packed full of flavour, you’ll be in your element in Vietnam. Noodle based dishes are extremely popular. You’ll find these in a variety of guises; from aromatic broths (Pho, pronounced ‘fa’) to summer rolls (similar to a spring roll, served chilled and unfried). Another Vietnamese staple (especially around lunchtimes) is Banh Mi. This soft sub roll comes generously stuffed with a slick of pate, some thinly sliced pork and a combination of julienne and pickled vegetables – delightful.

Shopping.

In Da Nang city centre you’ll find a blend of lively markets and shopping centres selling everything from fashion and cosmetics to fresh and dried foods. If visiting the Marble Mountains make sure to allow time to stop off in Non Nuoc Fine Arts Village. Set at the mountains’ base, this 300-year old village offers an array of artisanal wares coveted by tourists and locals alike. Street markets abound in Hue and offer the best place to source an original keepsake to remind you of your travels – for a snip of a price no less. Just wandering Hue’s streets it’s impossible not to encounter countless vendors selling art, silk scarves, bamboo bowls and a variety of other native Vietnamese goods.

Beyond Hue and Da Nang.

Travelling a little farther than Da Nang brings you to the historic and much-loved town of Hoi An. Always a favourite with travellers, this ancient town is steeped in character and has a wealth of tailoring shops able to turn around custom shirts within hours. Once a trading post (but not any longer) Hoi An also enjoys a wider range of culinary influences than you find elsewhere in Vietnam, and taking a food tour here is a great way to pass the time. The town is also extremely pedestrian-friendly with cars and motorbikes banned in its Old Town. Rent a bicycle and cycle through the verdant countryside to Cua Dai beach, or simply drink in the magic of this enchanting riverside locale.