Da Nang Travel Guide
Da Nang is the third largest city in the country and within a relatively short distance of Hoi An (approx 25 minutes south) and Hue (approx 3 hours north), which makes it a practical place to visit on the Vietnam travel packages for a short break from the more traditional tourist areas.
It is located in central Vietnam and has developed over the years into a well-organized urban area, with the Han River flowing on one side and the striking beach front villas on the other. One of the great attractions includes the Museum of Cham which makes it possible to witness a varied selection of Cham artefacts. A visit to My Khe beach is great for those wishing to get involved in outdoor activities. Nearby are the Marble and Monkey mountains that are visited for their religious and historical symbols. For a break from the heat, a visit to the Ba Na Hills may well worth a visit.
A further quality of Da Nang is its authentic local cuisines. There is a great street food scene with stalls found along the Han River and in the market; many vendors offer a serving of Quang noodle (My Quang). For the more romantic time, there is the option to book a slow and relaxed cruise that goes down the Han River. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants in the My Khe Beach region with menus filled with fresh seafood at the very attractive prices.
Plus, the places to stay in Da Nang on the Vietnam tour packages are of a high-standard with artistically designed villas with world class service and offering private beaches.
The climate in Da Nang is tropical monsoon with two seasons: wet and typhoon. The dry season runs from April to August, while the wet season lasts from September to March. On average, the temperate is quite high and in the region of 25.8 °C. Most of the rain comes in short bursts so it helps to travel with an umbrella through the wet season. Plus, the risk of natural disasters like floods and typhoons are quite rare occurrences. The highest temperature is noticed between May and September where it can reach 35° C.
How to get there
This city is easy to reach with a choice of a daily train station service or domestic flights from across the country. It is just over 945 km from Ho Chi Minh City and nearly 750 km from Hanoi. On arrival, there are plenty of fine guesthouses and hotels to stay in on the Vietnam holiday packages, no matter the preferred style or budget.
The local airport is Da Nang International Airport (DAD) which is centrally located in town, but quite small, so can have difficulty in handling its travel volume. The airport has plenty of metered taxis outside to help complete the onward journey to the guesthouse or hotel (costs approx $6.50). Plus, this airport has useful services like booths selling SIM cards, a few eateries, money exchange and ATMs.
Located on Hai Phong Street is the local Da Nang train station, which is about 5 km from the city centre. The best place to book the train tickets is at the guesthouse or hotel which is subject to a small commission charge.
The bus station in Da Nang is very busy (only Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have more foot traffic). There are plenty of domestic routes that pass through Da Nang which start running in the morning until very late at night. Most routes give the option to buy first or second class tickets for the less crowded and more comfortable ride.
The most common travel option on arriving in Da Nang is the xe om (motorbike taxi) which is great for getting around town, with short trips costing $1-$2. It is possible to walk around many places in the local area, but this is quite a big region, so for any distance travelling or planning to visit a specific attraction, it helps to go by regular taxi or xe om.
The metered taxi is the most preferable (compared to negotiating later) and costs about $0.65 per km.
Where to stay
Even though Da Nang doesn’t have the most in the way of major attractions, it still has plenty of guesthouses and hotels. This is a quite cheap city to use as a base on the Vietnam private holidays although a lot of the hotels are targeted towards the domestic tourist and business traveller. Most of the city-centre hotels in Da Nang of a decent standard cost about $25 (or less) per night.
Overall, the general standards in the hotels are high with friendly and helpful staff. The most appealing places to stay are those on the river-facing Bach Dang which makes it easy to reach the local attractions, eateries and nightlife.
A stay at the Funtastic is great for the sociable backpackers and is well-located close to the bus and train stations. The hostels have several dorms, which are clean and bright with plenty of storage lockers. The bathroom consists of a shared cubical shower room. It has a fun atmosphere and serves a delicious breakfast to get a great start to the day. Other services offered include on-site cooking classes and food tours. The cost per night is in the region of $10.
The Bamboo Green Riverside has the well-decorated, cheerful and clean rooms that are maintained to a high-standard and include features like cable TV, private bathroom, and built-in furnishings. It is mid-range in price with rooms costing about $20 to $50 per night. Plus, it is centrally located in town which means it gets a little noisy in the mornings on the lower floors.
Eat and drink
The local eateries in Da Nang range from the beachfront cafes, expat-owned eateries, to the street markets, roadside stalls and luxurious beach resorts. Vietnamese cuisine is perfect for the tourist that wants to try something different with is a great mix of fresh vegetables, local herbs, farm-raised poultry and wild caught seafood. Plus, the restaurants go well beyond the local cuisine with a choice of Chinese, American, Spanish, Thai, and Japanese places. A great place to experience in Da Nang is the beachfront restaurants that serve up the delicious Vietnamese coffee, BBQ meats and fresh seafood.
Shopping in Da Nang gives a great opportunity to learn more about the local culture in the vibrant coastal town. Even though the shopping scene is significantly less than cities like Ho Chi Minh City, there are still a few local markets and shopping malls in the city centre that can easily take up several hours of your time. A visit to the markets on the Vietnam family vacation with the choice of local handicrafts is certain to appeal to those in search of gifts or souvenirs for family or friends.
The majority of the shopping scene in Da Nang is within a relatively compact area which means it is possible to visit the different shops on foot, while also being near to the major museums and landmarks.
Things to see and do
The most appealing sightseeing tours in Da Nang include a combination of verdant national parks, tranquil beaches with crystal-clear waters, French colonial buildings and centuries-old pagodas. For those travellers that want to get a break from the traditional tours, a visit to Da Nang’s pristine beaches makes it possible to experience a variety of sightseeing opportunities and fun-filled activities. The best time to visit the beaches is May to August when the lifeguards are ready, the waters are calm, and the sun is out all day.
Located approx 9 km south of Da Nang, a visit to Marble Mountains makes it possible to explore a region of marble and limestone hills. The cluster of five stones have been given names that relate to natural elements, such as Tho Son (earth), Kim Son (metal), Hoa Son (fire), Moc Son (wood), and Thuy Son (water). Other features that appear across this mountain region are a few 17th-century pagoda temples and Buddhist sanctuaries, which are used by local to get their fortunes told and to pray. A great thing to do is to climb to steps that lead to the top of Marble Mountains to get a birds-eye view of the local beaches. Also, for those travellers that aren’t up to climbing, there is a convenient elevator service that costs in the region of $1.50.
Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain
A stunning national park to explore in Da Nang includes Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain (also called Son Tra Peninsula) and stands at a height of 693 above sea level. This is a great destination for the trekking enthusiast with its thick jungles, while the roads that surround the mountain are appreciated by motorcyclists looking for an adventure tour. Nearby is the Linh Ung Pagoda which is a further popular attraction and is home to a large statue of the Goddess of Mercy.
A tour of Da Nang on the Vietnam adventure tour that includes Dragon Bridge makes it possible to see one of the longest bridges in the country. It stretches for an impressive 666 m and makes a popular destination for taking photos. The design and structure of the bridge is much like the shape of a golden dragon and big enough to accept six-lanes. Dragon Bridge is best appreciated in the evening when it is lit up by colourful LEDs, while also breathing fire and spitting out water from about 9 pm onwards.