A rising star with bleached beaches and marble mountains
Da Nang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and it’s growing quickly, both in size and significance. Now is the time to get acquainted with this up-and-comer. For a start, it’s naturally beautiful, sandwiched between the coast and the Central Highlands. A lot of money has been invested in the development of Da Nang’s infrastructure so the city is clean, easy to navigate and is home to a growing number of luxurious holiday resorts with plush golf courses to match.
The people of Da Nang are proud of their city and routinely live up to their reputation for being Vietnam’s friendliest city folk. Da Nang’s attractions, like war-scarred Marble Mountain and its long, quiet beaches, are often missed by tourists in their rush to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue. Don’t miss out – give Da Nang the time it deserves.
Things to do
An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Son Tra Peninsula is a nature preserve that’s home to more than 1000 species of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. Visit stunning beaches, explore the coral reefs just offshore or head up the jungle-clad mountainside to the peak of Son Tra. It’s about 700m above sea level and offers spectacular panoramic views.
For old times’ sake
With its old Japanese merchant houses, crumbling Chinese temples and other quintessential glimpses of Vietnamese life, Hoi An is one of the country’s must-see places and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s just a short journey from Da Nang, so grab a taxi or jump on a bus and stay there for a few nights.
Hit the road
If you had time to explore just one street in Da Nang, Bach Dang Street would be the one to choose. It runs along the west bank of the Han Van River and is home to the Swing Bridge as well as the Rong (Dragon) Bridge. Explore the Han Market, where you’ll find plenty of delicious snacks to keep you going as you take in all the eye-catching French colonial architecture.
The Museum of Cham Sculpture is not to be missed. It boasts one of the world’s finest collections of artifacts from the Champa kingdom, which ruled the region from the 7th century up to 1832. Cham ruins are scattered throughout southern Vietnam but tend to be tough to find. Here you can see them without getting lost in the jungle.
Drink in breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area as you travel 5800m into the Ba Na Hills opens in new window on what is claimed as the world’s longest, non-stop, single-track cable-car journey. Once you reach the former French hill station of Ba Na Hills Resort, you’ll be treated to even more stunning, panoramic views, weather permitting.
Travel time 15 minutes
Taxi Approx VND 30,000 (USD $1.50)Back to top
When to go
Da Nang is relatively mild, getting neither as hot nor as cold as other parts of Vietnam. It experiences hot, dry weather from May to late August. The greatest rainfall is from September to January, with the wettest months being October and November. That leaves February to May as the best time to visit.
In February, the city hosts an international fireworks competition while June sees the arrival of a beach festival featuring plenty of water sports along with cooking demonstrations, parties and cultural performances.Back to top
Da Nang is small and easy to get around; you should be able to do plenty of exploring on foot. Taxis are plentiful and will usually use their meters; look out for reliable Mai Linh, Taxi Xanh and Vinasun brands. Motorcycle taxis are a great way of getting outside the city on a budget; you’ll find them parked and waiting for a fare in tourist areas. You’ll need to haggle to get a good deal – a 2km ride should cost around VND 10,000-15,000. Settle on the fare before you get on the bike (and be sure your travel insurance covers motorbike travel).Back to top