Da Nang in Central Vietnam is the Country’s 3rd City with a population of around 1 million. At one time, it was mostly known as the gateway to the old port from the days of the Champ Kingdom, Hoi An. If not that, it was remembered as a place in the heart of the Vietnam War when the Viet Cong were battling the Americans. It is emerging from both these descriptions and has been included as an excellent 2019 destination by The New York Times.
To be fair, it had been known for its beaches; War veterans will remember taking short breaks from the action on the beaches in the area. However, at that time and for many years later, Da Nang’s beaches were not seen as holiday destinations for foreign tourists, certainly from the West. That has changed dramatically as the Government has opened up to encourage tourism. The rise in numbers, year on year, visiting Vietnam is impressive and thoroughly justified.
Da Nang is now finding a place in its own right on typical Vietnam tour packages. While most visitors to the Country starting a Vietnam holiday enter via Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City Airports, Da Nang has a schedule of international flights and excellent domestic flight connections with the other two main cities to the north and south.
Once you arrive in Da Nang, a Vietnam travel agent can suggest a number of places to see and things to do with the beaches high on the list. It won’t be all relaxation as the list below indicates:
• The Marble Mountains are a popular pilgrim destination with several of their caves and grottoes containing temples. If you explore the mountains close to Da Nang you will get some wonderful views.
• Cham Museum built by the French over a century ago chronicles the history of the Cham Kingdom that was here for many centuries, finally fading out in the 14th.
• Ba Na Hill Station is at 1,500 metres and was also created by the French to avoid the heat at sea level. You do not have to climb up there because there is a cable car and you will love the views down over Da Nang and out to sea once you have arrived.
• Dragon Bridge on the Han River gets its name because of the huge metal dragon it contains. At weekends, it breathes fire and water while it changes colour at night time.
• The Hai Van Pass was one the main road linking Da Nang with Hue. It has now been bypassed so you can enjoy the setting without the worry of traffic. Once again, the views down from the Pass are stunning.
Within the city boundaries, you will find excellent accommodation and great cuisine; try the local noodle soup, Mi Quang, from one of the street food stalls as you explore the City. The cost you say! One US dollar! Nowhere in Vietnam, Da Nang included, will you find things expensive.