A first look at Quang Nam

Many years ago, your first sight of Quang Nam would have been of the long white coastline and lush riverbanks leading inland. Quang Nam was once the site of popular international trading port, and was where products, ideas and influences from all over the world entered Vietnam.

Today Quang Nam is dotted with relics from the many people who have lived and visited here before. From incredible historical sites to blissful beaches, Quang Nam still surprises travelers with its timeless charms. Read on to find out more about this special part of Vietnam.

Quick facts

Quang Nam is accessible via two airports, as well as railway and highway.

Quang Nam is the only province in Vietnam with two World Heritage Sites.

Quang Nam is the birthplace of the Vietnamese alphabet, called ‘quốc ngữ’.

Map of Quang Nam Province - Visit Quang Nam

The name ‘Hoi An’ means ‘peaceful meeting place’.

The Cu Lao Cham Archipelago is listed as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The highlands of Quang Nam are known for high-quality cinnamon and ginseng.


One of Quang Nam’s best assets is its unspoiled nature. If you like being near water, you should know Quang Nam holds 15 islands, 10 lakes, 9 main rivers, and 125 kilometers of coastline. The Cham Islands Biosphere Reserve is one of the best places in Vietnam to go snorkeling and diving, with gorgeous corals, crystal-clear waters and thriving aquatic life.

You won’t have to go far in Quang Nam to find vast plains planted with fields of waving rice stalks; however not many people know half of Quang Nam is covered in thick tropical forest. The province’s two nature reserves are home to rare plants and evergreens, and hide refreshing waterfalls and mountain streams. Close to the coast, nipa palm mangroves help protect the land during storms, and create a rich haven for young marine life.


The Sa Huynh were the first people to leave their mark in Quang Nam from 1000 BCE to 200 CE. They were followed by the Cham, a seafaring civilisation who followed Hinduism and built the religious capital of their expanding kingdom, known as Amaravati, in the valley of My Son. Over time the Cham lost control of this territory to the Dai Viet people from northern Vietnam.

The Dai Viet rulers established a thriving foreign shipping trade in Hoi An, and profited from taxes on merchant ships. Over the years, the rivers leading to Hoi An gradually silted up, and the international port was moved to Da Nang. Quang Nam played an important role in many conflicts, including the Tay Son Rebellion and Indochina Wars. UNESCO inscribed My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An Ancient Town on the World Heritage List in 1999.


Quang Nam is part of Central Vietnam. To the north you’ll find Da Nang City. To the east, long sandy beaches face the East Sea and Cham Islands. To the south is Quang Ngãi province and southwest is Kon Tum Province. To the west Quang Nam shares a border with The Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The land in Quang Nam descends gradually from West to East, carved by the Vu Gia, Thu Bon, and Tam Ky river systems, which branch off into countless meandering canals as they as they flow to the sea. The variety of terrain in Quang Nam creates constantly changing scenery: mountains and riverheads in the uplands, plains and forests in the midlands, and deltas, sandy dunes, mangrove forests and coastline in the lowlands.