The train journey from Hué to Danang is regarded as not just one of the most scenic in Vietnam, but in the world.
Paul Theroux in his book The Great Railway Bazaar recounts his impressions as the train reached the narrow coastal strip, south of Hué and approaching Danang.
“The drizzle, so interminable in the former Royal Capital, gave way to bright sunshine and warmth; ‘I had no idea,’ I said. Of all the places the railway had taken me since London, this was the loveliest. We were at the fringes of a bay that was green and sparkling in bright sunlight. Beyond the leaping jade plates of the sea was an overhang of cliffs and the sight of a valley so large it contained sun, smoke, rain, and cloud – all at once – independent quantities of colour. I had been unprepared for this beauty; it surprised and humbled me . . . Who has mentioned the simple fact that the heights of Vietnam are places of unimaginable grandeur? Though we can hardly blame a frightened draftee for not noticing this magnificence, we should have known all along that the French would not have colonized it, nor would the Americans have fought so long, if such ripeness did not invite the eye to take it.” (Penguin, London, 1977)