Things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam

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Things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam

Getting to know Da Nang

Da Nang the coastal city in central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches and its history as a French colonial port. It has been the most attractive destination in the world recently.

The best attractions in Da Nang are a good mix of centuries-old pagodas, French colonial buildings, as well as tranquil beaches with clear blue waters, and verdant national parks. Da Nang is known as the tourist capital of South Central Vietnam, with a west-coast location that makes for beautiful sunsets against an impressive backdrop of lush mountains.

Best Time to Visit Da Nang

The best time to visit Da Nang is between February and May. During this time weather becomes very mild and beautiful with moderate temperature, less rain and warm sunshine. Perfect for beach when the sun is out all day, waters are calm, and lifeguards readily available from 05:00 to 20:00 daily. This area only has two main seasons; rainy and dry seasons instead of four seasons like in Northern Vietnam.

Many avoids visiting Da Nang between September – January when it rains constantly, may occur typhoon and flood may also disrupt your planned trip.

  • November – January daily average temperature is between 19 – 24 degree Celsius ( 66 – 75 deg F)
  • June – August  The highest temperate may hit 38 degree Celsius ( 100 deg F) during the day.

How to Get There

By Air:

The nearest airport is Da Nang International Airport, the 3rd largest airport after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). I found it most convenient to fly from HCMC to Da Nang. There are flights from international cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Kunming, Macau, Seoul, Siem Reap, Singapore, Tokyo etc.

There are plenty of meter taxis and ATMs outside the arrivals hall. You can also find money exchange and booths selling SIM cards there. Since many hotels offer airport transfers for an additional fee or sometimes free when you book a room, so be sure to check with them. A meter Taxi from the airport into Da Nang should run no more than 150,000 dong.

By Train:

Train is also another option you can get to Da Nang from Hue, Hanoi or Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Da Nang train station is located on Hai Phong street approximately five kilometers from the city centre. There isn’t any need to go there to book your ticket as most of the hotels and guesthouses can do it for you for a minimal charges (usually 20,000 dong).

Top Things To Do In Da Nang

Marble Mountains

Marble Mountains are a cluster of five limestone and marble hills within Hoa Hai District, about 9km south of Da Nang. Named after natural elements, the peaks are individually known as Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Kim Son (metal) and Tho Son (earth). There are also a host of 17th-century Buddhist sanctuaries and pagoda temples dotted across the mountains, where locals pray and get their fortunes told. A must-do for any first-time visitor to Da Nang is climbing the steps to the top of Marble Mountains, where you can enjoy spectacular views across Non Nuoc Beach or My Khe Beach. Alternatively, there’s an elevator service (VND 30,000) available for those with physical disabilities.
Location: 9 km south of Da Nang, Hoa Hai District.

A cluster of five hills made from limestone. Named after the elements metal, wood, water, fire and earth,

Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain

Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain is a breath-taking national park in Da Nang that stands 693 metres above sea level. It’s a 35-minute drive from Da Nang. It is a popular retreat among locals and travellers looking to escape the heat and busy traffic of the city. Locally known as the Son Tra Peninsula, the verdant mountain is also surrounded by pristine beaches such as Bai Bac, Bai Nam, Bai But, and Tien Sa Beach.

A view of Da Nang beach from the Son Tra mountain

Monkey Mountain was a prominent observation base during the American-Vietnam War, housing two radar domes that are now taken over by the Vietnamese military as well as a helicopter pad, which makes for a cool lookout point.

The winding and inclining roads surrounding the mountain is a popular spot for motorcycling, but a powerful vehicle is required to reach the top. However, the journey is well-worth the effort as you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of Hi Van Mountain, Cham Island, Da Nang City and Son Tra Peninsula.

Beautiful view of Son Tra Peninsula – Da Nang, Vietnam

Meanwhile, hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the verdant jungle trails and also spot rare species. It takes about four hours of moderate hiking from Bai Bac Beach to the mountain summit.

Close to 1000 years old giant Banyan tree in Son Tra Peninsula, Da Nang

A prominent attraction in Da Nang is Linh Ung Pagoda, which is also set on Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain. The stunning pagoda was built during the 18th century and houses a 67 metre-tall white statue of the Goddess of Mercy, which is set atop a lotus-shaped platform. Entrance to Linh Ung Pagoda is free of charge.

Linh Ung Pagoda in Son Tra (Monkey Mountain), Da Nang

Dragon Bridge, Da Nang

Dragon Bridge measures 666 metres in length, making it the longest bridge in Vietnam. A popular spot amongst photographers, the six-lane bridge crosses the Han River and is constructed in the shape of a golden dragon, which locals believe symbolises power, nobility and good fortune. While it’s a magnificent sight at any time of the day, Dragon Bridge is particularly cool (and packed with sightseers) during weekends as it is illuminated with colourful LED while it breathes fire and spits out water from 21:00 onwards.

The famous dragon bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam

My Khe Beach

My Khe Beach boasts a 20-mile stretch of white sand that’s approximately 6 km east of Da Nang. Named by the American troops who visited during the Vietnam War, it is considered to be one of Vietnam’s most picturesque beaches. Hosting a number of high-end resorts and seafood restaurants, My Khe Beach is also a popular spot for sunbathing, fishing, snorkelling, jet-skiing, and surfing. 

Beautiful My Khe Beach in Da Nang, Vietnam

Phap Lam Pagoda

Phap Lam Pagoda is set within a two-storey building along Ong Ich Khiem Street, featuring plenty of trees, manicured gardens, and beautiful Buddhist sculptures. Despite its location within the bustling Da Nang city centre, the atmosphere here is very serene with locals praying in the morning and monks going about their daily lives. Visitors can also enjoy vegetarian cuisine at local restaurants and food carts surrounding Phap Lam Pagoda.

Phap Lam Pagoda in Da Nang, Vietnam

Hai Van Pass

Hai Van Pass stands at 500m above sea level, making it the highest pass in Vietnam. It’s located on the border between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City. From there you can enjoy panoramic views of verdant mountains, Da Nang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, and South China Sea. The pass also hosts a battered French-built fort that was later used as a bunker by South Vietnamese and US armies during the Vietnam War. Due to its sudden curves and blind corners, Hai Van is also notorious for its fair share of accidents – look out for small altars set along the roadside which are dedicated to perished victims.

Panoramic view of Hai Van Pass, Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang Cathedral

Da Nang Cathedral is one of the most unique catholic churches in Vietnam. Built by the French in 1923, it’s also known as Con Ga Church (Rooster Church). The cathedral is located along Tran Phu Street, about a 15-minute walk from the iconic Dragon Bridge. Entrance to Da Nang Cathedral is free of charge and its high tower offers a stunning view of the city, Han River, and verdant mountains.

Non Nuoc Beach

A20-minute drive from Da Nang City, Non Nuoc Beach boasts international acclaim as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Featuring soft white sands, a gentle slope, unpolluted waters and mild waves. Visitors can do plenty of leisure activities such as sunbathing, jet-skiing, and surfing. This is a best place to try out local seafood dishes.

The beautiful Non Nuoc Beach in Da Nang, Vietnam

Ba Na Hills Resort Theme Park

Get to the European theme resort perched on top of Ba Na Hills via the Ba Na Cable car which has received four Guinness World Records. One of the world records is for the longest non-stop single track cable car at 5801 meters in length. Spend a day at the theme park that has underground rides and games spanning four levels underground, catering to both adults and children. Or visit the 27-metres tall Thich Ca Buddha statue at the nearby Linh Ung Pagoda.

Ba Na Hills resort park, Da Nang, Vietnam

How To Get Around?

To be in the safe side most tourists on their trip in Vietnam often choose taxi. High quality services, English-speaking driver make for great convenience, but of course the catch is that it comes with a price tag which can be a little over the top sometimes specially if you are traveling solo. For solo travelers trying out locally-grown special transportation service – “xe om” is a good option?

“xe om” (pronounced “say ohm”) refer to “motor-taxi”, and its no doubt that motorcycle is the main means of transportation in Vietnam, and “xe om” is the cheaper and more interesting way for tourists to get around when travelling to “the country of motorcycles”. You can find it in any street in Vietnam it’s so easy.

Main Modes of Transportation:

Metered Taxi:

Mai Linh and Vinasun are the most trustworthy taxi companies and you should be able to flag one down easily in any of the touristed areas. Always go for the meter over negotiating a price. The flagfall is 12,000 VND and then it’s about 15,000 VND per kilometre. If you have a phone and you feel your driver is scamming you there will be an emergency number on each passenger door; operators will speak English so don’t be afraid to call the number while in transit to make a complaint, then hand the phone to your driver, whose English and directional skills will miraculously be reinstated.

Motorbike Rentals

Most hotels can arrange for the rental of a motorbike. Otherwise, rentals are available throughout town, though the signs aren’t always in English: look for the words cho thue xe may. Daily rates are approximately 100,000 – 120,000 Dong. Be warned that if you do not have a local Vietnamese license, which is difficul to acquire, your travel insurance will likely be voided.

Vietnamese driving licences are mandatory for riders of motorcycles with a capacity of over 50cc. Vietnam Motorbike Rental doesn’t require a local motorbike driving license to hire our motorbike(s). The police rarely stop you to check your license unless you do something wrong.

Where did I stay in Da Nang

Diamond Sea Hotel, 232 Vo Nguyen Giap Street Son Tra District Da Nang

This hotel is by the famous beach called My Khe, just cross the street and you are right there. There are many restaurant along the beach so, regardless if you are beach addict or not it’s a fabulous place to be. Spending an evening by the beach and having dinner overlooking the gorgeous view of My Khe beach could be an unforgettable moment.

From the hotel few minutes walk towards east along will bring you to a  fabulous beach called Non Nuoc. It is so beautiful place under no circumstance your eye will miss it. Also just go around the corner of this hotel to the back street you will find all kind of supply to stock up your refrigerator. Breakfast was also unbelievably good. I strongly recommend this hotel.

Tropical fruits that I have tried in my hotel

Having breakfast at our hotel

My Favorite Local Vientamese Food

Next to the hotel there were so many traditional sea food restaurants. I was happy to try few of them. It was so delicious and cheap. Here are some of the items I tried there.

Pho Ga, Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Having a Lobster dish in a road side sea food restaurant

My Opinion and Tips

Have you been to Da Nang? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Collection of Pictures That Will Tell My Travel Stories, comment if you like

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1 Comment

  • Shammi Yasmin

    Excellent blog, very informative also beautiful pictures!

    April 4, 2017 at 8:08 am