Danang - the trending global travel destination


I. Introduction

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 lot of things for tourists to see and do. Furthermore, the Danang airport serving both daily international and domestic flights makes it very easy and convenient for traveling to and from other worldwide destinations.
Back in the past, Danang was just a small village until the 17th century when it became the main seaport and began attracting traders coming from all over the world. Lying within the former kingdom of Champa, an ancient civilization influenced by Hinduism that originated from India, Danang inherits the rich culture of the Cham people in 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… Additionally, 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 in their top list because of its proximity to the famous My Khe Beach, Lang Co Beach and Hoi An ancient town which enable you to spend more time exploring everything the city and its neighbour offer.
 

da nang

II. Best time to visit Danang

Lying in the Central part of Vietnam, Danang owns a tropical monsoon climate. The summer from June to August has a quite high temperature, so the nice pristine beaches are always among the choice of travellers. The winter from November to February with the temperature lower to around 10 – 18 Celsius degrees 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 degrees and a cool nighttime temperature of 18 – 23 Celsius degrees which is perfect for all outdoor activities like visiting historical sights, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving…

III. Things to see and do
 
1. Dragon Bridge
Opened to traffic in 2013, the 666-meter-length Dragon Bridge is considered a unique bridge in the city which plays an important role in connecting the Danang International Airport with other important routes within the area. The bridge is modelled after a golden 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 cool 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.
 

danang

2. Marble Mountains
Located to the south of the city, Marble Mountains are a collection of five limestones 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 lots of 17th Buddhist sanctuaries that can be found while strolling around but also hidden secrets from the Vietnam War waiting for you to explore. Another must-do activity at the Marble Mountains is climbing up to its top to access the series of caves, 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 by stair, 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 in their trip to this city. Originally built in 1919 by the French in the Truong Son Mountains, this area was used as a hideaway destination due to its cool and fresh air among the beautiful scenery at the height of 1,487 meters above sea level. Coming to this site, you can experience the cable car system which set 2 Guinness World Records for the height and length as well as enjoy the spectacular view of the surroundings while setting foot 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 as a typical example of a traditional Vietnamese pagoda which represents a perfect harmonious atmosphere. The main highlight feature of this religious site is the Lady Buddha statue set on an area of about 20 hectares on a mountain’s side, 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 has been used as an important lookout point but 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 top after 4-hour-hiking from Bai Bac Beach through the jungle to see if you are lucky enough to spot rare species like the red face monkeys or save time by taking a drive up 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 beaches with beautiful landscapes, clear sky, emerald water and silky white sand. It houses a vast array of beachfront resorts, seaside bars and seafood restaurants. There are lots of outdoor activities that tourists can experience once coming here including swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, snorkelling…

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

8. Hai Van Pass
Located on the way from Danang to Hue, Hai Van Pass is the highest pass in Vietnam which stands 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 has also hosted a dilapidated French-built fort that was later used as a bunker by South Vietnamese and US Armies.
 

dnang

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 tribe. Being known as the unique 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 region that they were found.

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

IV. 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 the other days, you still can enjoy the marvelous and magical scene of the shining golden bridge lit up by a colourful lighting system when the night falls.

cau rong

 
2. Han River Cruise
A night cruise on Han River – the most beautiful river in Vietnam – in the evening is a great chance for you to relax, to immerse 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 stressful moment, you can also try some local specialties, drink cocktails or wine and listen to music on board which is a wonderful night out that you will never forget.
 
3.  Asia Park – Sun Wheel
Among the list of the ten highest ferries wheels on earth, the Sun Wheel standing at the height of 115 meters 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 full body and be ready for the next chapter of the trip.

bana

 
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, skillful handmade things; and enjoy live music performances. The other well-known night market in this city is An Thuong which is organized by foreign ex-pats living in Danang providing various eating services and other entertainment activities.
 
V. 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 strange flavour in comparison with the original taste, so some restaurants use squid, boiled eggs, snails and frogs. As with most noodle dishes in Vietnam, mi Quang is also served with sesame rice crackers and a plate of greens to balance flavour including basil, coriander, banana flowers.

2. Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli Noodles with Grilled Pork)
Bun thit nuong comprises thin vermicelli rice noodles, fresh lettuce, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, daikon, basil, roasted peanuts, mint, and topped with grilled pork shoulder. You can also eat Bun this 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 perfect harmonious combination of grilled fishcakes, onions, beansprouts, mint leaves, and rice vermicelli noodles. Using a choice of mackerel, barracuda or lizardfish, the meat is carefully chosen from fresh mackerel, barracuda or lizardfish to marinate 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 comprises 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.
 

bun

5. Nem Lui (Lemongrass Skewers)
Nem lui made from pork ground meat putting on lemongrass skewers grilled on charcoal has the perfect flavour and can be eaten as a light meal in a day. Nem lui is served with rice paper, lettuce, cucumber slices, fresh herbs and rice vermicelli dipping in the special peanut sauce which is a great way of healthy and balanced eating.

6. Chao Tom (Sugarcane Prawn)
Chao tom made from shrimp and garlic paste wrapped around a piece of sugarcane before being grilled until cooked well on the charcoal. 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 to make it tastier.
 

banh xeo

 
7. Banh Xeo (Crispy Pancake)
Banh xeo is a typical Vietnamese delicious snack made of rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, and other ingredients such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, squid, onions, green beans, beansprout and mushrooms. This dish is sold almost everywhere in the city at cheap prices and often paired with lettuce leaves or rice papers dipping 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 served in a coconut shell. You can easily find lots of cafes along Bach Dang Street selling this dish and try it one time to feel the fresh taste before continuing the journey. 
 

cruisine

VI. Traveling 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, Taipei…and the list will become longer as this city attracts more foreign visitors after 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.

3. By car
It is worth experiencing a scenic driver from Hue to Danang which passes some famous sightseeing places that you can make optional stops along the way such as the Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, Marble Mountains, Dragon Bridge…

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