Da Nang (occasionally Danang; in Vietnamese: Đà Nẵng ) is a major port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River. It is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam; its well-sheltered, easily accessible port and its location on the path of National Route 1A and the North-South Railway make it a hub for transportation. It is located within 100 km of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins. The city was previously known as Cửa Hàn during early Đại Việt settlement, and as Tourane (or Turon) during the period of French colonization.Before 1997, the city was part of Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng province. On January 1, 1997, Đà Nẵng was separated from Quảng Nam province to become one of five independent (centrally-controlled) municipalities in Vietnam. Đà Nẵng is listed as a first class city, and has a higher urbanization ratio than any of Vietnam's other provinces or centrally governed cities.. As of the 2009 census, Da Nang was the fifth most populated city in Vietnam.