Central Vietnam is trying to position itself as an alternative to Phuket or Bali. If it succeeds, it will be great news for the local economy; less so for travelers in search of places that aren’t like everyplace else. Here are two spots on the verge.
While Saigon and Hanoi—the first stops for most Vietnam visitors—are increasingly overrun by motorbikes and globalization, the country’s central region is growing more appealing. The pace is slower, and the history feels more intact.
For now, at least: The area, especially the along coast, is changing as its hub city, Da Nang, grows more prosperous. The oceanfront stretch from Da Nang to Hoi An is being developed with mega-resorts and casinos for the Chinese market—think of the strip from Cancún to Playa del Carmen. Global brands like InterContinental are opening here.