From 1954 to 1975, the Ben Hai River served as the demarcation line between the Republic of Vietnam (RVN; South Vietnam) and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV; North Vietnam). On either side of the river was an area 5km wide known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Hue, the most historically interesting city in Vietnam, served as Vietnam's political capital from 1802 to 1945 under the 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. The province of Quang Nam, bordering the municipality of Danang, contains Vietnam's most important Cham sites - including My Son and Tra Kieu (Simhapura) which have become popular stomping grounds for tourists. Side trips to places like the Marble Mountains and China Beach also continue to draw a steady trickle of travellers. While the once bustling city of Danang is rather quiet these days, the Chain Museum there is topnotch.
The old port of Hoi An (Faifo) has a great deal of rustic charm and is an ideal spot in Vietnam to relax and appreciate what life must have been like in centuries gone by.