Da Nang is a growing city where tourism is the engine of the city. They call Da Nang the Vegas of Vietnam, and they are not very far off the mark. Casinos on every corner, large hotel chains, shopping malls, international festivals... Da Nang has quickly become a modern city that contrasts sharply with its neighboring cities Hoi An and Hue.
If you decide to add this part of the country to your route (something I recommend), I advise you to stay in Hoi An and from there take a day trip to Da Nang. The distance between both cities is one hour by car, depending on traffic. In Hoi An you will find a much more relaxed, safe environment with a special charm. But if your intention is to look for a destination for leisure, partying and large hotels, Da Nang is a good alternative.
In this post I talk about the best things to see and do in Da Nang, I add where to stay in the city and at the end of the post, you will find all the articles related to what to do in this area.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN DA NANG, VIETNAM
Cross the El Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng): the Dragon Bridge
This is one of the bridges that cross the Han River and will take you to the center of Da Nang. It is popularly known as the Dragon Bridge. It symbolizes the progress in Da Nang and it is a structure of yellow iron, a color that represents strength, in the shape of a dragon that winds along the bridge. At night it lights up with 2,500 LEDs that change color, creating a very photographic spectacle.
Every weekend at 9:00 p.m., there is a show lasting about 10 minutes, in which the dragon's head spits fire through its mouth. It is a show that you cannot miss. The best places to see the show are from the bridge itself, just below the action (although it is the most crowded area), from Love Bridge, another popular bridge in Da Nang, or from a nearby rooftop.
Visit Da Nang Cathedral
Da Nang Cathedral is a gothic-style building painted in pink and white that dates back to 1923. It was built in just one year, during the time of French colonization. It is a relatively new cathedral and it attracts attention. It is popularly known as the Chicken Church. It is because at the tip of the lightning rod there is a rooster. Although formerly its real function was to determine the direction of the wind, it does not currently work.
It is popularly known as the Church of the Chicken, because of the rooster on the tip of its lightning rod, which was actually used to determine the direction of the wind, although it no longer works.
The Cham Museum
From 192 BC Until 1697, South Vietnam was ruled by the Kingdom of Champa, leaving behind an extensive architectural and sculptural legacy. In the Museo de Cham or The Museum of Cham Sculpture, you will find around 400 terracotta and stone sculptures, representing the sculptural style of the Kingdom of Champa. It is the world's largest collection of this type of sculpture. The museum building itself is also an example of the architectural style of this era.
The ticket price is 40,000 VND and you can visit it daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Han Market (Chợ Hàn)
Very close to the cathedral is the Chợ Hàn, the Han Market. It is a very authentic market where you will find all kinds of stalls; fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, souvenirs, clothes... In addition, it is the perfect place if you want to eat cheaply. You can eat a Vietnamese dish for 1 or 2 euros.
Linh Ung Pagoda (Chùa Linh Ứng) and Lady Buddha
About 10 km northeast of Da Nang, on the Son Tra Peninsula, is the largest temple in Da Nang. The most characteristic feature of this religious complex is the spectacular standing statue of the Bodhisattva Buddha. It is 67 meters tall and is the largest Bodhisattva image in Vietnam. In addition to the statue, there are several Japanese temples, gardens full of bonsai, and a beautiful 7-story white pagoda.
Enjoy the beaches of Da Nang
Da Nang has 17 km of fine white sand beach. From Son Tra Peninsula to Hoi An.
The most beautiful beaches are Bac My An Beach, Bãi tắm T20, My Khe Beach and Non Nuoc Beach. Along these beaches are many resort-style accommodations. Although the beaches closest to the center of Da nang are more popular with locals or tourists staying in the center, since you will only need to cross the avenue and you will reach the city.
They are beaches with quite a lot of waves and currents, so they normally always have a red flag and only allow swimming in the first 2 or 3 meters. Surfing is allowed on these beaches and there are several schools and places where you can rent a board. The best beaches for surfing are My Khe Beach and Bac My An Beach.
Da Nang Night Market
If you have the opportunity to spend the night in Da Nang, you cannot miss the night market. Street food stalls, shops with clothes and fakes of all kinds, souvenirs... In Da Nang you have two night market options:
Tra Night Market (Chợ Đêm Sơn Tra): Located near the Han River, very close to the Dragon Bridge (its head). Open from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Night Market (Chợ đêm Helio): Located south of downtown Da Nang. This market opens from 5pm to 11pm.
EXCURSIONS TO DO IN DA NANG, VIETNAM
Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge (Vietnam's Famous Bridge of Hands)
Regardless of where you stay, whether in Hoi An or Da Nang, you can take this excursion, an essential thing to do in this area of Vietnam. Once you arrive at the Ba Na complex you will visit the golden bridge (the famous bridge of hands), the LinhUng Pagoda, the Garden of Love and the French vineyards. In addition, they have recreated a French villa. It is a totally touristic complex, but it is worth knowing it to be able to observe the incredible bridge of the hands.
Excursion to the Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are amazing. Full of pagodas, caves, grottoes... among an incredible naturallandscape. I tell you more about what to see in The Marble Mountains here.
The best way to visit them is with an excursion. They are very close to Hoi An and it is only a mid-morning excursion. This type of organized excursions includes pick up at the hotel, transfer, guide in English and tickets. Its cost is very affordable, for less than 10 euros.
Cham Islands: the best place to snorkel and dive in Da Nang
The Cham Islands are a group of 8 small islands, located 15 kilometers off the coast of Hoi An. They are part of the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park and are a Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO. If you are passionate about diving or you like to snorkel, it is a great excursion to do from Hoi An or Da Nang.
Take a trip to My son
Taking an excursion to the My son sanctuary is one of the essential activities to do if you visit Hoi An. It is an archaeological site of the ancient sanctuary built between the fourth and fourteenth centuries. During the Champa reign, the My Son Sanctuary came to house more than 70 temples and a huge cemetery. The sanctuary was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
You have the possibility to visit the site with an excursion from Hoi An that includes hotel pick-up, transportation, guide in English and entrance to the sanctuary.
WHERE TO STAY IN DA NANG, VIETNAM
In Da Nang you have two options. You can stay in the center or in one of the coastal hotels. Here are some great accommodation options in both areas:
Great accommodations in the coastal area of Da Nang
Great accommodations in the heart of Da Nang
PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP
I hope you enjoy your trip to Vietnam very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!