With an area of 1,256 km2 and a population of nearly 750,000 people in 2005, DaNang is the fourth largest city and the third largest portin Vietnam.
French known as the Touran, DaNang was one of the first points of the coast of Vietnam where European landed in the 17thcentury. In the 18th century, the former international port Hoi An, a victim of its stranding and its too small for new ships size gave way to DaNang, which became the new center of international trade of the country.
Da Nang has a veryfavorable geographical situation indeed. She is very well protected from typhoons by the Son Tra Peninsula and winds ofthe summer monsoon in the highlands that surround west. The banks of the Han River which crosses also allowed to install a port with large tonnage.
However, Da Nang could not take off during the Frenchcolonization, due to apart of the anti-European attitude of Emperor Ming Mang and conservative ideas of his successors and on the other hand, new occupations that were of French Saigon and Hanoi. Thus, DaNang has known its true population growth during the Vietnam War.
From the division of Vietnam into two parts at the17th parallel under the Geneva Accords in 1954, Da Nang was considered a strategiccity for Southen Vietnam. It is indeed close to the 17th paralleland much less exposed than Hue through thenatural barrierformed by the high mountains which closes itshorizon to the north. The escalation of the warin 1965 persuaded the U.S.to transform this city into a huge naval base capable of receiving bothbig heavy bombers and warships, including aircraft carriers. It is here that the first battalions of U.S. Marines arrived in Vietnam, marking the true beginning of the Vietnamese War.
After the reunification of the country in 1975, Da Nang fell a little in the shade. But with the winds of change, Hanoi hasquickly understood the very important geopolitical role of DaNang for the entire region of Central Vietnam. With a considered dynamic management team, Da Nang is now becoming one of the most important industrial countries and malls.
If the city itself does not have much interest for tourism, DaNang is amandatory stop point for those wishingto go to Hoi An, My Son and, more generally, understanding the cham culture.
The Cham Museum
Built by the French School of the Far East in 1915, the museum was originally called Museum Henri Parmentier (name of one of the first explorers of the site of the ancient religious capital of the Kingdom of Champa ). It features the latest collection of Cham culture, with the most beautiful statues ever. The rooms are classified by source and period, which can follow from room to room, the evolution of Cham art in sculpture. The majority of objects from the sites of Tra Kieu (former administrative capital of the Kingdom of Champa), My Son, Dong Duong (Buddhist center) and Thap Man(one of the most famous temples)
Among the many representations of various deities of Hindu and Buddhist pantheons , late griffins, stupas where strictly decorative reasons , do not forget to watch in high relief on a piece of pillar, a beautiful sculpture of a dancer whose exquisite grace denotes the highest degree of perfection reached by the sculptors.
The tourist who comes to Da Nang without a seaside holiday on the beaches of My Khe Beach or China can not miss a visit to the Cham Museum, a visit which allows depth cultural knowledge of a kingdom whose disappearance may not make forget the values of its people.
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