You can drive, train or fly the length of Vietnam. We chose to fly because of limits on time and it is so affordable. There are domestic airports at both Hue and Da Nang and overland transfers using Klook or local drivers arranged in town is easy and affordable.
Hue, DaNang and Hoi An are three of the most popular stops in central Vietnam. If you are also looking for the beach, all of these towns are on the water, or check out Phu Quoc or Mui Ne.
First things first – Hue is pronounced “whey.” Hue is the former Imperial City famous for its tombs and Citadel. While you don’t need more than 24 hours here, it is also not somewhere you want to miss. Hire a driver for the day to take you around.
I was not impressed with DaNang and won’t be back. The city didn’t have much personality. We did find an amazing Italian restaurant, Limoncello (which makes their own), but other than that I don’t have much to say.
We did hire a driver to take us to My Son which are amazing Hindu ruins about an hour away. But you can also easily visit these from Hoi An.
Of note, if the weather had been better, DaNang had some beautiful beaches, Marble Mountain and the new pedestrian bridge at Ba Na Hill.
Hoi An is a beautiful and charming UNESCO town. I can’t imagine having not been … but I had no desire to stay. It is fun to walk around, view the preserved buildings, and do some shopping but I can’t imagine spending any additional time there. We did enjoy our lunch at the Rice Drum restaurant. And I heard good things about Cam Island.
My opinion … if you have time, certainly spend some time in the area. But if you need to trim down your schedule, then stick to Ha Noi and HCMC.