Danang, the capital city of the former Quang Nam Danang province, is located on the west bank of the Han River. Danang has grown from a small fishing village into an important port and the country’s fourth largest city. This may be where most of the tourists wish to visit when travelling to Vietnam. Scenery here is wonderful, featuring nice beaches and marble mountains. Its Cham culture and vestiges is another attraction for visitors. Danang City is perhaps best remembered abroad as the port where 3,500 American marines first set foot in South Vietnam in March 1965. It was also here where the fiercest battles between the Vietnamese and the Spanish-French in the 17th and 18th centuries took place.. Today, Danang has become an important economic region in central part of the country with enormous economic potential, attracting foreign investment.
There are four museums in Danang. Each of them tells a story about the city. The Cham Museum has old statues and idols that date back to the long-standing culture of the Champa Kingdom.
. It is the only museum dedicated to Cham culture worldwide, so its value is accredited internationally. The Museum of the Fifth Military Zone and the Historical Museum displays hallmarks of the city construction and protection over the ages, especially in the two resistance wars. The Ho Chi Minh Museum attracts many visitors coming to pay respect to the national hero. The museum has a replica of President Hos home in Hanoi with a fishpond, house on stilts, garden and other relics.
The facsimile creates a sacred but warm atmosphere as though President Ho is present. The General Scientific Library on the Han River bank is an option for those wanting to have an insight into Danang.
Merchant ships from many countries such as: Holland, Britain, Japan, France, Portugal, China, Indonesia, etc. used to anchor here to purchase silk, pottery, tea, pepper and lacquer ware of Vietnam. It’s well preserved communal houses, pagodas and other places of worship reflect the presence and influences of the Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Westerners who later settled in the region.
Hoi An, a charming ancient town of the 15th century, used to be the biggest sea port and the most important trade center of the country during the 17th and 18th centuries.
In Hoi An, cycling or walking through the ancient streets of moss-walled buildings that are still preserved nearly the same as those of the 16 – 17th century seaport gives visitors a strange and interesting feeling.
When Emperor Gia Long paid a visit to this site, he named them according to the five elements of the universe: Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Kim Son (metal) and Tho Son (earth). Thuy Son is the largest and famous for its spectacular caves which shelter Buddhist sanctuaries and shrines. Using a torch and make your way through the caves you will encounter many surprises. Inside you can find a cathedral-like cave, the Huyen Khong, lit by an opening to the sky.
About 8 km southeast of central Danang lie five beautiful marble hillocks which were once the offshore islands.
It was chosen as a religious sanctuary by King Bhadravarman I and from the 4th century onwards, many temples and towers were built here. Most were dedicated to kings and rahman divinities.
My Son is Vietnams most important Cham site, 70 km southwest of Danang City.
More than 70 architectural works of different styles and eras once stood in this ancient site but today only twenty still remain intact. The monuments are set in a verdant valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the massive Quap Mountain. There are clear brooks running between the structures.
The fine sandy beach stretches for many kilometers, and many precious kinds of seaweeds are found in this sea area.
The Marble Mountain is the Non Nuoc Beach (China Beach) where American soldiers used to be airlifted to for rest and relaxation.
The ancient capital, Singhapura (Lion Citadel) at Tra Kieu, 40 km southwest of Danang City, was built during the course of the fourth century. The ancient site of Singhapura with its dozens of monuments, hundreds of statues and bas-reliefs, attests to the rich culture of the kingdom which once flourished here.
The Quang Nam – Danang area was the center of the Cham Civilization for many centuries.
The sacred Buddhist-inspired site of Indrapura, now known as Dong Duong lies 60 kilometers from Danang. The Site’s scattered monuments are engraved with texts about a line of nine kings and their deeds. Many artifacts have been discovered at this site.
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