Blush Beach Club, set near the Montgomerie
Links and slated to open just ahead of the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit in Da Nang in October and November,
will be the central coast’s first high-end beach
club, akin to Bali’s Ku De Ta and Potato Head.
The club’s founder and managing director
James Seebacher believes Da Nang is poised
to be one of Asia’s hottest destinations, and
envisions welcoming more than 2. 5 million
international visitors by 2020.
Yet it’s not throngs of visitors or new development but a wealth of natural and cultural
treasures that characterizes the central coast.
The beaches that stretch from Da Nang to
Hoi An are among the world’s most beautiful.
Some are justifiably quite popular, but I can
always find a quiet spot somewhere along the
900-metre (half-mile) My Khe beach. When I
want company, I visit one of the beachfront grill
shacks or backpacker bars on lively An Bang or
Cua Dai, both easily accessible from Hoi An’s
downtown by bicycle or xe om (motorbike taxi).
While these beaches are picture-postcard
perfect, what gives the central coast an edge over
other gorgeous Southeast Asian destinations
is its position as a gateway to three UNESCO
World Heritage Sites. Only an hour’s drive
inland lies My Son Sanctuary—a collection
of moss-covered ruins, all that remains of
red-brick Hindu temples constructed bet ween
the 4th and 14th centuries. Visitors to the 71
remaining monuments at this World Heritage
Site learn about the days when the central
coast was the stronghold of the ancient Champa
kingdom, which finally fell when the temple
complex, its religious capital, was seized
by invaders in the 15th century.
One hundred and t wenty-nine kilometres
( 80 miles) north, in the Huong River valley, the
19th-century feudal capital of Hue has served
as a muse for many an artist. This scenic city of
distinctive landscapes and impressive architecture has inspired songs, verse and stories
since at least 1802, when Nguyen Phuc Anh,
who later became Emperor Gia Long, chose
the spot for Vietnam’s ruling Nguyen dynasty
and its imperial citadel, now UNESCO listed;
it remained the country’s capital until 1945.
Today, those who come to see the imperial city
and the 17th-century Thien Mu pagoda—the
country’s tallest religious building—mingle
with artists, incense makers, street food
vendors and students who still wear the
traditional Vietnamese dress, ao dai. History
indicates the ao dai had its origins here, and
many women wear it in shades of violet, a
colour identified with the former capital.
2017 / ISSUE
1 / FOUR SEASONS MAGAZINE
left: The three pools
at Four Seasons
Resort The Nam Hai
cascade down to
the beaches of
the East Sea.
far left: The Resort’s
the beauty of traditional Vietnamese
“While its beaches are picture-postcard perfect, what
gives the central coast an edge
is its position as a gateway to
three UNESCO World
Heritage Sites. ”