Chan May is a minor industrial port in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is located in central Vietnam in the Thua Thien-Hu-province on the South China Sea. The provincial capital and former imperial city of Huế is about 65 kilometers from the port of Chan May and can be reached in 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours by car.
The former imperial city of Huế
The Huong Giang, also known as the Perfume River, flows through Huế. 10 kilometers further, it flows into the South China Sea. In the background of Huế there is a picturesque backdrop of green hills and mountains that are up to 1500 meters high.
The perfume flow at Huế
Huế was the seat of government of the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty and the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945.
Huếs landmark is the citadel from the 19th century. It is surrounded by walls and a moat. It includes the imperial city with the palaces and the so-called Forbidden City, the area reserved only for the emperor.
During the Vietnam War the Tet Offensive took place in Huế, a bitter street and house fight between the war opponents. The city was largely destroyed, including most of the buildings of the Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City.
The citadel has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993 and is gradually being rebuilt.
Main gate of the citadel of Huế - back side
Vietnam - country and people
More than 96 million people live in Vietnam on an area of over 332.000 km². Of these, more than 1,2 million people in the province of Thua Thien-Huế and around 450.000 in the city of Huế (as of 2018).
Huế has a multi-faculty university and is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop. Information about religious affiliations is difficult. Statistics assume around 20 million Buddhists and 6 million Catholics nationwide. Most Vietnamese, including Christians or atheists, regularly visit Buddhist pagodas and practice the family ancestor cult.
Shrines in the Vietnamese countryside
There are major contrasts between rural and urban regions. You can see this on a drive from Chan May to Huế.
Chan May and Huế as travel destinations
Vietnam is still a less frequented travel destination. However, Thua Thien-Huế Province is one of the regions that benefited from the opening of Vietnam in the 1990s in terms of tourism. There are dream beaches on the province's 128 km long coastline, and Huế attracts many tourists because of its historical significance.
The province of Huế is characterized by a tropical and alternately humid climate. It is hot and dry from mid-January to the end of August. In the remaining months it rains, the heaviest in October and November. Typhoons can also occur during this time. The months February to July are considered the best travel time.
The crime against foreigners is limited. In many cases, it is petty offenses such as theft or fraud that can be avoided by acting carefully. Vietnam is usually a safe place for travelers who behave carefully and prudently.
On the other hand, absolute caution must be advised in road traffic. When it comes to the number of road deaths, Vietnam is right at the top of the world statistics.
The Vietnamese currency is the Đồng. You can exchange money in banks, exchange offices or hotels. However, US dollars are readily accepted.
Chan May and Huế for crusaders
Chan May is an industrial port. There is no cruise center or handling terminal. However, the port is the gateway to such important cities as Huế, Da Nang and Hoi An and is therefore used by cruise ships. Since 2017, the Royal Caribbean ships of the Quantum class, which are over 340 m long and can accommodate more than 4.000 passengers, have also been able to dock. The passengers who go ashore in Chan May are handled in tents.
For guests of cruise ships we describe below Huế sights the highlights and our shore excursion to the imperial city
Celebrity Millennium in Chan May harbor
Update January 2021