South-central Vietnam covers the coastal region from Quang Ngai in the north to Phan Thiet in the south following Highway One along the coast.
While the provinces in this part of Vietnam have their own special historical importance, both in ancient times when it was a part of the Champa Kingdom and in more contemporary times when it played a vital role in the Vietnam War, but for most casual visitors, the main attraction are the beaches.
The two sets of Cham temples, one outside Phan Rang Thap Cham and the other near Phan Thiet are the best example of the Cham architecture outside of My Son and Da Nang further to the north, but few visitors give them more than a sideways glance when they're released from their Open Tour minibuses for the mandatory photo-op.
More interest, however, is reserved though for the sombering war-crimes site at My Lai in Quang Ngai province, where, in 1968, US soldiers massacred unarmed Vietnamese peasants - this is one of the most moving of Vietnam's post-war displays.
However, these historical attractions are but an afterthought for most travellers. Instead, South-central Vietnam's beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan tourist centres are the main drawcard for most. Be it kite-surfing at Mui Ne beach or night-clubbing in Nha Trang, this region is well geared for foreign visitors, and many find it's tourist-friendliness a welcome breather from some of the more challenging areas of Vietnam.
As with all regions of Vietnam, there's the tourist hot-spots and others that next to nobody bothers with - if you've got the time, there's plenty more worth exploring. The twin towns of Phan Rang Thap Cham and nearby Ca Na beach, combine both beaches and Cham towers, the secluded Dai Lanh north of Nha Trang and the spectacular Cam Ranh Bay to the south offer more beaches, while the coastal fishing town of Qui Nhon offers still more beaches. Each of these towns attracts barely a handful of tourists compared to the bigger ticket destinations, so if you're finding the popular beaches too crowded, don't fret, there's many others to choose from.
South Central Vietnam consists of the independent municipality of Đa Nang and seven other provinces