Da Nang is Vietnam’s fourth-largest city and the principal port in the central part of the country. It was originally known as Cho Han (the Market of the Han) later to be renamed Tourane by the French.
Da Nang is on the threshold of becoming a major destination for tourists from Europe, Australia and the United States, thanks to some unique attractions, spectacular scenery and the friendliness of the local population.
The French influence is evident in Da Nang's provincial character which dates back to the 19th century, with later history wrought by the war. It was here on the coast that the first U.S. combat troops landed on March 8, 1965. As the war progressed, Da Nang’s runway was expanded to become the largest in all of Southeast Asia. Da Nang fell to the Viet Cong in March 1975; this signified South Vietnam's defeat in the war.
Despite its war-torn history, Da Nang is one of the most progressive cities in Vietnam in exploiting the country's new free-market principles. It has become one of the leaders in Vietnam in economic reforms. Tourism and foreign investments have done much to boost the local economy.
Among the city's numerous attractions is the much-touted Cham Museum, housing close to 300 Cham sculptures. Here history lovers get a glimpse into a very powerful era of Vietnam's past. Da Nang, however, may be most familiar to Americans who watched the movie Good Morning Vietnam and the popular television series China Beach. The latter immortalized a popular R&R GI resort of the Vietnam War.