Da Nang

The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is in close proximity to Hue- 3 hours North and Hoi An- 30 minutes South, which makes it a perfect stop point for those who need a break from touristy areas. Da Nang is growing into one of the most organized urban area, with attractive beach front villas on the one side and Han River flowing on the other.

Of the few attractions that belong to the city, Museum of Cham stands out with its rich collection of Cham artefacts. For those who crave for more outdoors activities, My Khe beach is a good place to spend time, either by yourself or with your loved ones. To the North and South ends of the city, Monkey and Marble mountains store some historical and religious symbols. If you want to escape the heat, Ba Na resort is a miniature of Da Lat, only with fewer tourists. Bring some warm clothes if you plan to visit this cottage-full place.

Da Nang is also a place for authentic local cuisines. Due to its low volume of visitors, residents’ lives take place the way they have been for years. Many street vendors can be found in the market and along Han River, offering My Quang (Quang noodle). If you need romance to set the feeling, book a dinner cruise that go along Han River. The myriad restaurants option along My Khe Beach, a few outstanding names such as My Hanh, For You and the likes, offer fresh sea food at unbeatable prices.

Da Nang is probably most known among Vietnamese for its speedy real estate and private property development. The beach slide, which starts with Lifestyle Resort and ends in the border with Hoi An, is fully privatized, with major land used for constructing beach resorts and ocean villas. What this mean for tourists is a second-to-none beach holiday in Vietnam - in other words, Da Nang has recently emerged as a luxury and MICE destination that can beat the all-too-famous Nha Trang. Resorts in Danang are listed among the world's most beautiful, offering private beach, world class service and artistically designed villas and rooms. A few names are Furama Resort, Fusion Maia  and Vinpearl Luxury. Many have come and recommended others to follow.
Da Nang, in a way, is a place both so mediocre but special if you want to dig deeper than the surface.

The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is in close proximity to Hue- 3 hours North and Hoi An- 30 minutes South, which makes it a perfect stop point for those who need a break from touristy areas. Da Nang is growing into one of the most organized urban area, with attractive beach front villas on the one side and Han River flowing on the other.

Of the few attractions that belong to the city, Museum of Cham stands out with its rich collection of Cham artefacts. For those who crave for more outdoors activities, My Khe beach is a good place to spend time, either by yourself or with your loved ones. To the North and South ends of the city, Monkey and Marble mountains store some historical and religious symbols. If you want to escape the heat, Ba Na resort is a miniature of Da Lat, only with fewer tourists. Bring some warm clothes if you plan to visit this cottage-full place.

Da Nang is also a place for authentic local cuisines. Due to its low volume of visitors, residents’ lives take place the way they have been for years. Many street vendors can be found in the market and along Han River, offering My Quang (Quang noodle). If you need romance to set the feeling, book a dinner cruise that go along Han River. The myriad restaurants option along My Khe Beach, a few outstanding names such as My Hanh, For You and the likes, offer fresh sea food at unbeatable prices.

Da Nang is probably most known among Vietnamese for its speedy real estate and private property development. The beach slide, which starts with Lifestyle Resort and ends in the border with Hoi An, is fully privatized, with major land used for constructing beach resorts and ocean villas. What this mean for tourists is a second-to-none beach holiday in Vietnam - in other words, Da Nang has recently emerged as a luxury and MICE destination that can beat the all-too-famous Nha Trang. Resorts in Danang are listed among the world's most beautiful, offering private beach, world class service and artistically designed villas and rooms. A few names are Furama Resort, Fusion Maia  and Vinpearl Luxury. Many have come and recommended others to follow.
Da Nang, in a way, is a place both so mediocre but special if you want to dig deeper than the surface.

Ba Na Hill

Ba Na Hill Station is situated about two hours drive from Da Nang. The largest city in central Vietnam has many attractions. Although a way out from the town centre, it is worth the trip. Ba Na Hill Station was a French resort built in the 1920s. For decades it was high-end playground, catering for middle class French. They came to enjoy more than two hundred villas, clubs, and quality restaurants.

Today, Ba Na Hill Station is a resort that is still a popular destination for tourists. The access roads are not as good as they once were. The resort itself has suffered also; the villas have mainly fell into disrepair and many have gone. Those remaining have become something of a tourist attraction, because of their ruined state. Ba Na is, though, some 1,500 metres (5000 ft) above sea level, and thereby lies the appeal. The hill provides stunning views of the Eastern Sea and surrounding mountainous countryside. The elevation, of course, means it is significantly cooler, a huge plus for the locals. It is not unusual to experience temperatures ten to fifteen degrees Celsius cooler at the top, than at the bottom.

At the summit of Ba Na Hill Station sits the Linh Ung Pagoda. This is a superb Buddhist temple providing visitors with a chance of peace and tranquility. The highlight here is an exquisite 24 metre (80 ft) white Buddha statue. This is visible for miles around.

Close to the pagoda there is a cable car. In fact it has been recognised by Guinness World Records as being both the highest and longest non-stop cable car, in the world. If you have a head for heights, this record breaker provides a superb way up to the top of the Ba Na hill station. In doing so it presents its passengers with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding countryside. The forests and mountains are spectacular.

Son Tra Peninsula
Son Tra Peninsula is a large mountaineous range of 30 sq km of forest, and 300 different types of plants. It now offers a quiet getaway spot for visitors to Da Nang, still unexploited by tourists, despite interest for major development under planning. An ideal way to explore this area, is by motorbike, where you can travel the windy roads further and further up the mountain, and take in breathtaking views of the entire city, it’s beaches and more. If your hungry, follow one of the many signs off the main road and you’ll be sure to find food or drink. You can park your motorbike for 1000 Dong, and they will walk you down to the beach, with private tables, chairs and hammocks. Take a dictionary with you, because there is absolutely no English. Providing magnificent panoramas, Son Tra Peninsula is the perfect way to spend a half a day while in Da Nang. It’s poetic views of Da Nang, Hoi An and further, present an opportunity that not many other tourists take advantage of. The peace and quiet will be a much needed break from the noise that the Vietnamese roads offer.

Marble Mountains
Nui Ngu Hanh Son, or the Marble Mountains, are made up of 5 different mountains, each representing a different element: metal, wood, fire, water and earth. Take good walking shoes, as you will be walking up hundreds of carved steps, and taking in more breathtaking views over Da Nang. Inside the mountains, are home to many small Buddhist sanctuaries, within large caves and numerous tunnels. The mountains contain both marble and limestone, which will be evident when you see stonecutter shops selling everything from small souvenir Buddhas, to giant carved lions. The mountains provide a great opportunity to learn more about Viet Nam’s buddhist history, and the land surrounding Da Nang.

The Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge, or as the locals call it, Cau Rong, is a multi span bridge over the River Hàn at Da Nang, Vietnam and has become a favourite among Da Nang attractions. The famous and much loved Dragon Bridge is 2200 feet long and 123 feet wide. It has six lanes for traffic. It opened to traffic on March 29, 2013 and cost nearly VND 1.5 trillion that’s a cool US$88 million. Only the Vietnamese would come up with the idea of a full on fire breathing dragon to act as a river crossing and main thoroughfare through the middle of a busy town.

The date of the official opening was chosen to coincide with the 38th anniversary of the liberation of Da Nang. The bridge is an important addition to the city and provides the shorter route in from the airport. At the same time it has meant a much faster journey time to another of Da Nang attractions, the My Khe or China Beach. The beach was made popular as a favoured R&R spot for American soldiers in the war. It was later the eponymous title of a huge American TV show.

Each span of the bridge represents a part of the dragon rising from the waters of the han River, at 9pm on Saturday and Suday evenings, the head breathes fire into the night sky, much to the delight and pride of the local population.

Zone 5 Military Museum
Opening Hours: Daily from 7.30am to 11.00am, and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm

The Zone 5 Military Museum is located close the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Danang and was inaugurated on January 7th 1982. Designated as a Class 2 national relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, it is a museum dedicated to all all areas of Vietnamese conflict and resistance to foreign occupation. It covers it all from the Chinese occupation, the First Indochina War against the French, the American War as it is known here and even the current standoff with China over the Spratly and Paracel Islands.

The Zone 5 Military Museum covers an area of almost one and a half aces and has both outdoor and indoor exhibits. These are mainly in the form of Tanks, aircraft, armoured vehicles and heavy artillery used by the American and French forces during the two great conflicts. All items were captured by the 5th Military Division Soldiers based here, hence the name.

There are literally thousands of images and exhibits inside the building. They depict all aspects of the wars between 1945 and 2001. Leaning heavily in favour of national heroism as one would expect it reflects the amazing courage, tenacity and intelligence of the local population caught up in terrible conflicts.

Best Time to Visit

Wet Season is from August to December and dry season from January to July. Avoid the wet season as much as possible, as rains are very heavy. All throughout the year it will rain, even during the dry season it may rain for 20 minutes, so be sure to pack an umbrella.

Visiting from January to May is the best, when rains are low. The heat really kicks in in June, but will still be warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and the beach.

Where & What to Eat

Bread of Life: Most of the staff here are deaf, and Bread of Life is involved with all sorts of charity programs within the local community. Owned and run by an American couple, the food served here is fantastic, and not too pricey either, with some profits going to charity.

Christie’s Cool Spot: Local expat hangout, pub downstairs, restaurant upstairs. Come here for an extensive menu of food, Vietnamese, Western, Japanese, fast food and everything else. They have a huge cocktail list, lovely wait staff, and prices aren’t bad either.

Apsara Restaurant: Popular Vietnamese restaurant, but usually packed with Vietnamese customers on weekends. Lots of seafood, popular in Da Nang, being so close to the beach. They have authentic Vietnamese performances of dance and music, but don’t come here if you want quiet and peace while you’re eating.

On the Beach: If you want an authentic Vietnamese experience, sit down at one of the many small food stalls set up literally on the sand of Non Nuoc beach. Take your phrase book with you and translate the tens of fish offered on the menu, or just point at something that looks interesting and hope for the best. No English is spoken, but make sure you establish the price if you don’t get a menu. You will be spoilt for choice, plus given comfortable beach lounge chairs.

Local food is different in Da Nang to cities as close as Hue. Local specialty “Mi Quang” is a very famous noodle breakfast dish. Da Nang has the variety of all Vietnamese cities. You can find “Chao” from Southern Vietnam, “Pho” from Hanoi, and “Bun Bo Hue” from Hue.

Things to do

  1. Walk along the beach at dawn/dusk
  2. Motorbike up Son Tra Peninsula and take in the views.
  3. Eat fresh seafood on the beach.
  4. Say hello to the many teenagers smiling eagerly at you on the street.
  5. Take the trip from Da Nang to Hue or vice versa via the Hai Van Pass.
  6. Eat the local Mi Quang dish
  7. Explore Ba Na Amusement Park and Asia Park

Getting There

Da Nang has an International Airport only a few minutes from the city centre. There are only a few international flight services operating from Asiana Airlines, SilkAir & Korean Air. Most travellers fly into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, and travel either north or south.

Domestic flights travel from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to/from Da Nang via Jetstar Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. If you get in early, you can get a flight as low as 300,000 Dong travelling Hanoi to/from Da Nang.

Beware of taxis at Da Nang airport scouting for foreigners to travel direct from Da Nang to Hoi An city. Many taxi’s will not take you on metre alone, and charge you $10 just to get to Da Nang city which is only 5 minutes away. Use the Mai Linh taxi group (green and white), insist on paying in Dong, and only using the metre.


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