Danang - the trending global travel destination

Marking the halfway point between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, Danang is a developing coastal city and is the fourth largest city in Vietnam. Da Nang is unique because although it is a busy city, it still has a small-town feel with a lot of things for tourists to see and do. Furthermore, the Danang airport serving both daily international and domestic flights makes it very convenient for traveling to and from worldwide destinations.

Danang was just a small village until the 17th century, when it became the main seaport and began attracting traders from all over the world. Lying within the former kingdom of Champa, an ancient civilization influenced by Hinduism that originated in India, Danang exhibits the rich culture of the Cham people in its architecture, cuisine, and even the language which is still being used in some specific regions.

Visiting Da Nang, you will be impressed by the stunning natural landscapes and a wide range of great attractions around the city such as Ba Na Hills, Marble Mountains, My Son Sanctuary and many more. You can also feel the friendliness of the locals, the colourful burst of energy and the vibrant atmosphere that cannot be easily found in any other cities. Besides those highlights, most tourists mark Danang at the top of their list because of its proximity to the famous My Khe Beach, Lang Co Beach and Hoi An ancient town which invite you to spend more time exploring everything the city and its neighbors offer.

da nang

Best time to visit Danang

Lying in the Central part of Vietnam, Danang has a tropical monsoon climate. The summer from June to August has quite high temperatures, so the pristine beaches are always among the choice of travellers. The winter lasts from November to February, with the temperature lowering to around 10 –18 Celsius due to the cold air coming down from the North.

The best time to travel to Danang is from March to September, with an average daytime temperature of 26 – 29 Celsius and a cool nighttime temperature of 18 – 23 Celsius which is perfect for all outdoor activities like visiting historical sights, swimming, snorkelling, or scuba diving.

Top 10 Things to see and do in Danang

1. Dragon Bridge

Opened to traffic in 2013, the 666-meter-length Dragon Bridge plays an important role in connecting the Danang International Airport with other important routes within the area. The bridge is modelled after a golden dragon as a symbol of power, nobility and good fortune. While it’s a magnificent and must-see sight at any time of the day, Dragon Bridge is particularly attractive during weekends as it is illuminated with colourful LED lights while offering a special performance by spraying both water and fire from 21:00 onwards.


2. Marble Mountains

Located to the south of the city, Marble Mountains are a collection of five limestone and marble hills which are individually known as Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Kim Son (metal) and Tho Son (earth). This place not only houses numerous 17th century Buddhist sanctuaries that can be found while strolling around, but also contains hidden secrets from the Vietnam War waiting for you to explore. Another must-do activity at the Marble Mountains is ascending to its top to access the series of caves and a network of tunnels and enjoy the amazing view across Non Nuoc Beach and My Khe Beach. Do not worry if you are not interested in taking time for climbing stairs, there is an elevator service available for use during the day.

3. Ba Na Hills

Situated 35km to the southeast of Danang, Ba Na Hills is a mountain wonderland of an amusement park and is one of the highlight attractions that every visitor should not miss. Originally built in 1919 by the French in the Truong Son Mountains, this area was used as a getaway destination due to its cool and fresh air offering beautiful scenery at a height of 1,487 meters above sea level. Coming to this site, you can try out the cable car system which set two Guinness World Records for its height and length, and you can enjoy the spectacular view of the surroundings while walking on the famous giant Golden Bridge.

linh ung pagoda

4. Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula

There are three pagodas named Linh Ung in Da Nang but among them, the Linh Ung Pagoda in Bai But on Son Tra Peninsula is the largest and the most beautiful one. It is considered to be a typical example of a traditional Vietnamese pagoda, representing a perfect harmonious atmosphere. The main feature of this religious site is the Lady Buddha statue set on an area of about 20 hectares on the mountainside, looking to the sea and leaning on the Son Tra Peninsula. Being the highest statue in Vietnam, you can see it from nearly every place in Danang.

5. Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain

Set at the height of 693 meters above sea level, Son Tra Mountain is a stunning national park in Danang and is locally known as Son Tra Peninsula. During the Vietnam War, this area was used as a strategic lookout point and today it is considered one of the best places to get a spectacular view of the city and the Pacific Ocean. You can reach its apex after a 4-hour-hike from Bai Bac Beach through the jungle; along the way, if you are lucky you may spot rare species like the red-face monkeys. Or to save time consider taking a drive to the top instead. The winding roads around the area are also a popular route for motorcycling.

ba na

6. My Khe Beach

Conveniently located just 5km from the centre of Danang, My Khe Beach is one of Vietnam’s most stunning coastal areas, one of top 10 best Asian beaches (Tripadvisor) with beautiful landscapes, clear skies, emerald seas and silky white sand. It houses a vast array of beachfront resorts, seaside bars and seafood restaurants. There are lots of outdoor activities for tourists to experience including swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and snorkelling.

7. Tam Thanh Mural Village

Tam Thanh was known as a poor fishing village situated about an hour drive from the south of Hoi An, but now it has become an attractive destination. In 2016, a group of Korean and Vietnamese artists established a program with the mission “Art for a better community”, creating over 100 beautiful murals. Visiting the village, you can see the impressive high-quality paintings, experience the harmony of the natural landscape and lively street art and generate more income to improve the lives of the local people.

8. Hai Van Pass

Located on the way from Danang to Hue, Hai Van Pass is the highest pass in Vietnam, peaking at 500 meters above sea level. It is well-known as the ideal point to enjoy breath-taking panoramic views of Danang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula and the South China Sea. During the Vietnam War, the pass also was home to a dilapidated French-built fort that was used as a bunker by South Vietnamese and US forces.


9. Cham Museum

Founded in 1915 during the colonial French rule, Cham Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Cham sculptures and artifacts commemorating the traditional culture, lifestyle and practices of this ethnic group. Regarded as the only museum of its kind in the world, Cham Museum is divided into 10 interior exhibition rooms displaying items dating from the 7th to the 15th centuries based on the regions in which they were found.

10. Non Nuoc Beach

Non Nuoc Beach is around a 20-minute drive from Danang centre. Featuring silky white sand, unspoiled clean waters and gentle waves, it is a great place for tourists to enjoy beach activities such as swimming, sunbathing, jet-skiing and surfing while savoring seafood at a beachfront restaurant.

Danang nightlife activities

1. Dragon Bridge

One of the exciting attractions of Danang by night is the incredible performance of fire and water breathing at the Dragon Bridge which takes place from 9.00 PM at the weekends and holidays. On other nights, you still can enjoy the marvelous and magical scene of the shining golden bridge lit up by a colourful lighting system.

cau rong dragon bridge danang

2. Han River Cruise

A night cruise on the Han River – the most beautiful river in Vietnam – is a great chance for you to relax, to immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and to admire many prominent bridges such as Han River Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge, Dragon Bridge and Tran Thi Ly Bridge. Besides enjoying the stress-free time, you can also try some local specialties, drink cocktails or wine and listen to music on board, creating a wonderful night out that you will never forget.

3. Asia Park – Sun Wheel

Among the list of the ten highest ferris wheels on earth at a height of 115 meters, the Sun Wheel in Asia Park is a wonderful place for tourists to capture a nice picture of Danang by night, enjoy the Lady Buddha statue or simply share a memorable moment with family and friends.

4. Herbal spa and massage

After a long day exploring the city, you can try a traditional Vietnamese herbal spa and massage which is a great way to refresh the body and be ready for the next phase of the trip.

bana hills danang

5. Night Markets

The evening is a perfect time for you to slowly stroll along the street and pay a visit to some famous colourful night markets in Danang. At Helio Night Market, you can taste local foods at reasonable prices at any of more than 150 food stalls; shop for accessories, cosmetics, and skillfully-crafted handmade items; and enjoy live music performances. The other well-known night market is An Thuong, which is organized by foreign ex-pats living in Danang providing various eating services and other entertainment activities.

Read more: Danang Nightlife: Where the Fun Never Stops

Specialties of Danang

1. Mi Quang (Vietnamese Turmeric Noodles)

Unlike Cao lau, Mi Quang is not a soup but a bowl of yellow rice noodles topped with slices of tasty char siu pork, bone broth seasoned with fish sauce, pepper, shallot, garlic and aromatic fresh herbs. Mi Quang noodles are made fresh daily to ensure the most delicious taste. Nowadays, the toppings can be changed to create a unique flavour in contrast to the original, so some restaurants use squid, boiled eggs, snails or frogs. As with most noodle dishes in Vietnam, to balance the flavour mi Quang is also served with sesame rice crackers and a plate of greens including basil, coriander, and banana flowers.

2. Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli Noodles with Grilled Pork)

Bun thit nuong is comprised of thin vermicelli rice noodles, fresh lettuce, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, daikon, basil, roasted peanuts, and mint, and topped with grilled pork shoulder. You can also eat Bun thit nuong together with crunchy deep-fried cha gio (spring rolls) and get a side of special sauce to mix into the main dish for a flavorful ensemble.

vietnam food

3. Bun Cha Ca (Fishcake Noodles Soup)

Bun cha ca is famous for its perfectly harmonious combination of grilled fishcakes, onions, beansprouts, mint leaves, and rice vermicelli noodles. The meat is carefully chosen from fresh mackerel, barracuda or lizardfish and is marinated with garlic, pepper, salt, and chili before being kneaded into small pieces and grilled until fully cooked. Meanwhile, the flavorful broth prepared by a mix of fish bones, pumpkin, cabbage, pineapple, tomato and dried bamboo shoots, results in a rich and hearty taste.

4. Com Tam (Broken rice)

Com tam is a local dish that consists of rice, fried egg, diced green onions and other ingredients made from pork called Suon Bi Cha (barbecued pork chop, shredded pork skin and steamed pork and egg patty). You can also enjoy this dish with a side of fresh vegetables, cucumber slices, and Vietnamese dipping sauce.


5. Nem Lui (Lemongrass Skewers)

Nem lui is made from ground pork on lemongrass skewers, and charcoal-grilled for the perfect flavour. This can be eaten as a light meal at any time of day. Nem lui is served with rice paper, lettuce, cucumber slices, fresh herbs and rice vermicelli dipped in the special peanut sauce which is a great way to healthy and balanced eating.

6. Chao Tom (Sugarcane Prawn)

Chao tom is made from shrimp and garlic paste wrapped around a piece of sugarcane before being grilled on the charcoal until well-done. Its taste is sweet, soft and juicy. To enjoy this dish, you just need to remove the paste out of the sugarcane, wrap it in lettuce leaves with fresh herbs and dip it in the sauce. Locals often eat Chao tom with beer or wine for an enjoyable meal.

banh xeo

Banh xeo is a delicious typical Vietnamese snack made of rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, and other ingredients such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, squid, onions, green beans, beansprout or mushrooms. This inexpensive dish is sold almost everywhere in the city and is often paired with lettuce leaves or rice paper dipped in flavorful peanut sauce.

8. Rau Cau Trai Dua (Coconut Jelly)

Rau Cau Trai Dua is a light and balanced sweet dessert made from coconut water in combination with agar flour nd served in a coconut shell. You can easily find lots of cafes along Bach Dang Street selling this dish and you should try it at least once to feel the fresh taste before continuing your journey. 


How to travel to Danang?

1. By plane

Located just around 3km from the city centre, Danang International Airport serves as an important hub for both international and domestic flights. Domestic flights connect Danang with Hanoi, Hai Phong, Nha Trang, Dalat and Ho Chi Minh City. International flights are operated between Danang and Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai, Siem Reap, Singapore, and Taipei, and the list will grow as Danang attracts more foreign visitors each year.

2. By train

Danang train station is situated just outside the city centre and is on the main Vietnamese coastal railway. You can travel to Danang by train from almost everywhere in Vietnam with the route covering main cities such as Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City. (Read more: UK journalist shares amazing north-south express train experience)

3. By car

It is worth experiencing a scenic drive from Hue to Danang, passing some famous sights, and you can make optional stops along the way such as the Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, Marble Mountains, and Dragon Bridge.

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