Central Vietnam

Demilitarised Zone - Dong Ha - Lao Bao - Quang Tri - Hue - Around Hue - Suoi Voi Bach Ma National Park - Lang Co Beach - Hai Van Pass Tunnel
Ba Na Hill Station - Suoi Mo - Danang - Around Danang - Hoi An - Around Hoi An My Son - Tra Kieu - Tam Ky


IDD Code(+84) 54
Lang Co is an attractive, island-like stretch of palm-shaded white sand, with a crystal-clear, turquoise lagoon on one side and 10 kilometres of beachfront on the other. Unfortunately the beach and the edges of the lagoon can turn into litter traps. Many open-tour buses make a lunch stop here and it makes a fine place to hop off for a night or two, depending on the weather. The beach is best enjoyed between April and July. From late August til! November nuns arc frequent, and from December to March it can get chilly. Lang Co was devastated by a major typhoon in late 2006, but within a few weeks all of the resorts had reopened and rebuilding was well underway. There are spectacular views of Lang Co from the Hai Van Pass and from the trains linking Danang and Hue. Most of the accommodation is north of the town along the highway.
Sleeping & Eating
Lang Co Hotel ( r US$ 15-20, bungalow US$35; This beachside pad offers the choice of bungalows set in a shaded garden compound or a block of big, well-priced rooms, although the cheapest don't have hot water.
Thanh Tarn Seaside Resort (tell: 874 456; fax 873 762;r350,000d; Situated about 1km north of Lang Co Hotel is this collection of beachside bungalows. The terrace restaurant has great views and is a popular seafood stop for tour¬ists making the journey between Hue and Danang.
Lang Co Beach Resort (r t'S$60-70;Set amid lavishly landscaped gardens, this is the most upmarket option in Lang Co. Rooms have nice linen, and facilities include a large pool, fitness centre and wireless internet in the attractive Chinese-style reception. New guesthouses have sprung up on the lagoon side of the road, only a short stroll to the beach. Opposite Lang Co Beach Resort, Chi Na Guesthouse (tell: 874 597; r US$10; offers cheap rooms, and the friendly family speak some English.
Getting There & Away
Lang Co is just on the other side of the new Hai Van Tunnel from Danang, which has re¬duced the distance to 20km. Tourist buses pass through daily, en route for Hue, Danang and Hoi An, with all tickets costing just USS2. However, those on two wheels will still need to take the 35km scenic route over the Hai Van Pass.
Lang Co train station (tell: 874423) is 3km from the beach, towards the lagoon. Finding someone to take you by motorbike from the train station to the beach shouldn't be difficult. The train journey from here to Danang (13,000d, 11/2 to two hours, four daily) is one of the most spectacular in Vietnam. Services also head to and from Hue (24,000d, 11/2 hours. two daily).
These trails and others are described more fully in the national park's map, which you get with your ticket; further information is found in the Bach Ma National Park booklet, available for 12,000d at the park entrance. Check with the rangers for the current condition of each track Pheasant Trail is named after the rare and beautiful crested argus pheasant, but you're more likely to hear the birds catling than see them. The 2.5km track starts 5km along the summit access road, and leads through forest to a series of waterfalls and pools You can coo! off here before the return hike. Five Lakes Cascade Trail starts 1km beyond the national-park guesthouse. A 2km walk takes you through forest and follows a series of cascades. The cold water is home to a recently discovered species of frog-Rhododendron Trail can be walked as an extension of the Five Lakes Cascade Trail, or can be reached by a separate track from Km16 on the summit-access road. February and March are the best months to walk this trail, when the rhododendrons are in bloom. At the end of the trait is a spectacular waterfall, and you can get to the bottom if you're prepared to climb back up the 650 steps. The water eventually makes its way down to join up with the Perfume River in Hue. Summit Trait is a steep but short 500m walk to Hai Vong Dai, the 1450m summit of Bach Ma. Today visitors simply enjoy the stunning views, but in 1968 a helicopter base was maintained at this strategic spot. The streams of cloud (bach ma) often seen at the summit are thought to resemble the mane of a white horse, inspiring the park's name.