Throughout Vietnam's history the central region has played a pivotal role in the nation's fortune. The remnants of the region's long and often dramatic history provide modern visitors with an insight into the vicissitudes of the past, and make this one of the most fascinating parts of the country to visit. Add in some idyllic beaches, spectacular cave systems and a little-visited mountainous hinterland and you have all the elements required for a truly fabulous holiday!

For the culture and history enthusiasts try riverside Hue, capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, or the ancient My Son ruins, a relic of the once-great Champa Kingdom. More recent history is in evidence at the Vinh Moc Tunnels and DMZ, and we whole-heartedly recommend visiting the old trading port of Hoi An, one of Asia's most appealing destinations. For the active and adventurous explore Phong Nha National Park's tremendous network of caves, go diving off the Cham Islands or hop on a bike and head out into the beautiful countryside.