Many people who visit Vietnam think of Da Nang as the gateway to Hoi An, a popular tourist destination famous for its well preserved ancient town.
While the charms of Hoi An and its beaches are undeniable, Da Nang also has a range of activities that should not be missed. So, without further to do, here is our list of top Da Nang attractions. Including:
- Marble Mountain
- Dragon Bridge
- Military Museums
- Da Nang Sun Wheel
- Lady Buddha
- Day Tours
- Food Tours
- Da Nang Beaches
- Things to do in Da Nang
- Where is Da Nang Vietnam?
- Attractions in Da Nang Vietnam
- Da Nang Bridges
- The Da Nang Sun Wheel
- Marble Mountain
- The Lady Buddha Da Nang
- Da Nang Museums
- Da Nang Beaches
- Da Nang Tours
- Da Nang Markets
- Where to eat in Danang
- Da Nang Accommodation
- Da Nang Weather
- Best tips for travel to Da Nang Vietnam
- Do you need a Vietnam Visa?
- How to get to Da Nang Vietnam
- Sim Card for Vietnam
- Quick Tips for Da Nang
- Last words on top Da Nang attractions
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Things to do in Da Nang
One of the best places to get a bird’s eye view of Da Nang is from the Top View Bar at the Vanda Hotel. By day you will see a city divided by the mighty Han River and framed by majestic mountains, endless pristine beaches, and the deep waters of one of Vietnams most important ports.
By night, the city puts on a light show. Taking centre stage is the Dragon Bridge, its rainbow colours and fiery dragon’s breath captivates visitors from all over the world. In the distance the brightly lit Sun Wheel stands out against the night sky and the cables of the Tran Thi Ly Bridge elegantly transform from colour to colour, giving just a taste of what this city has to offer.
Where is Da Nang Vietnam?
Da Nang is a major port city in central Vietnam, around 30 kilometres from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An.
The city has a long history and was once part of the ancient Kingdom of Champa. The Museum of Cham Sculpture in central Da Nang holds the largest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. The Cham museum Da Nang has a stunning array of intricately carved Hindu sculptures and is the place to learn more about Cham history and culture.
Attractions in Da Nang Vietnam
Da Nang and the surrounding regions are full of attractions and activities. From thriving modern city to beach side resort Da Nang has a surprising mix of sophistication and a laid back lifestyle just waiting to be experienced. Here are just some of the top things to see and do in Da Nang.
Da Nang Bridges
Da Nang is divided by the Han River, on one side are the beaches of Da Nang and on the other the inner city of Da Nang. The river is spanned by many bridges, here are two that stand out as architectural wonders.
The Dragon Bridge
In a city known for its beautiful bridges, the Dragon Bridge stands out as the symbol of Da Nang. In the daytime its golden body seemingly glides across the waters of the Han River. Its noble head stands tall in a show of strength as it welcomes commuters across the bridge.
In the evening, the bridge turns into the majestic creature of legend. Swathed in a kaleidoscope of light the bridge stands out against the night sky and the changing colours can be seen far into the distance.
At 9pm on Saturday and Sunday night the Dragon Bridge puts on a show. The dragon roars as it shoots fire and black plumes of smoke into the sky. It is a thrill to watch but do not be fooled, this crafty dragon has a trick up his sleeve as he squirts a massive jet of water and drenches everyone watching the show.
Things to do near the Dragon Bridge
Under the bridge there is a pathway that runs along the river. In the evening it is lit up with bright lights and it is a perfect place to watch the colourful dinner cruise boats make their way up the river.
The 7 Bridges Brewing Co. is one of the many bars and restaurants nestled along the river, they have a great selection of local craft beer and better yet fantastic views of the Dragon Bridge. For the best view get there early for a seat near the balcony.
The Son Tra Night Market is a short walk from the Dragon Bridge. There are a selection of local arts, crafts and souvenirs, a place to grab a bargain and bite to eat before visiting the bridge.
The Tran Thi Ly Bridge
The Tran Thi Ly Bridge is another favourite Da Nang bridge. Its modern design stands out as a work of art in the shape of a functioning bridge.
Walking across the bridge you will be impressed by the thick cables that are suspended from an angular central pillar. Of an evening these cables glow and change colour, and from a distance look like strands threaded into a giant needle.
The Da Nang Sun Wheel
The Sun Wheel can be seen across Da Nang. Of an evening the inner wheel changes colour and design, putting on a spectacular light show for Da Nang.
The Sun Wheel is the focal point of Asia Park Sun World Da Nang, a large amusement park that boasts a monorail, rollercoasters and many other attractions.
The Marble Mountains stand tall over an otherwise flat terrain. The mountains are made up of a group of five marble and limestone mountains that were once named The Five Element Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son), after the elements earth, metal, water, wood and fire.
Historically they have been a religious site since the time of the Kingdom of Champa when Hindu temples were built on the site.
We visited Thuy Son, the water mountain which is home to a network of sacred caves, Buddhist pagodas and shrines. Though the area gets busy with tourists it is still a haven of peace, surrounded by beautiful temples including the Xa Loi Tower which is the tallest pagoda in Da Nang.
There are two ways of getting to the top of the mountain, climb the stairs to the top or take the glass elevator. Either way, once at the top you will find more stairs to climb as you explore the temple complex.
At the bottom of the mountain there are stalls selling souvenirs and nearby you will find the marble workshops of the Non Nuoc stone carving village. Here you will find a stunning selection of marble sculptures. Note that taking marble from the mountains is banned and the marble being sold comes from other areas of Vietnam.
Marble Mountain is just one Da Nang attraction included in the Da Nang Day Trip tour.
The Lady Buddha Da Nang
The Lady Buddha dominates the landscape of Da Nang and is 67 metres high, making it the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam.
Standing on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Lady Buddha shares its picturesque location with the beautiful Linh Ung Pagoda. The grounds are filled with religious statues and there are walkways that showcase spectacular views of the bay.
Many westerners are confused by the Lady Buddha, as she is female and not the typical male effigy. The title “Buddha” is often given to an enlightened one and Lady Buddha is thought to be Quan Am (Guanyin) the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.
The Lady Buddha is just one Da Nang attraction included in the Da Nang Day Trip tour.
Da Nang Museums
Da Nang has many fine museums. Whether you want to escape to another world at the whimsical Art in Paradise Museum, explore Da Nang’s artistic heritage at the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum or delve into local history at the Da Nang Museum, the regions museums have something to cover every interest. Here are two of our favourite museums in Da Nang.
Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
Da Nang was once at the heart of the Kingdom of Champa which flourished in the region from around 500 to 1500 AD. The Cham people were thought to have originated in the Indonesian islands and were heavily influenced by India.
The Museum was opened in 1919 by French archaeologists wanting to save and preserve the collection of Hindu carvings that depict the religious life of the Cham people. Several of these artefacts come from one of the religious capitals of the Kingdom of Champa, the UNESCO World Heritage site of My Son Sanctuary.
The Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture is just one Da Nang attraction included in the Da Nang Day Trip tour.
Zone 5 Military Museum
For those interested in the Vietnam War (the American War) the Zone 5 Military Museum is a Da Nang attraction that should not be missed.
Vietnam has had a turbulent history of invasion and occupation including Chinese, French and American. The museum tells the story of these wars through the eyes of the Vietnamese.
During the war, Da Nang Air Base was the primary entry point for American servicemen and became the world’s busiest airports averaging 2595 aircraft per day.
Outside the museum you will find a massive collection of aircraft, tanks and missiles, inside are weapons and photos that show the true face of war. It is thought provoking, sobering and a tribute to the tenacity of the Vietnamese people.
Da Nang was also a stop off point for R&R leave, where servicemen would enjoy the sand and sea of “China Beach” (My Khe Beach). After visiting the museum, I tried to imagine life in Da Nang during the war as I too walked along My Khe Beach.
Da Nang Beaches
If you are wanting a beach holiday in Vietnam Da Nang is the place to come. With a 30 kilometre stretch of white sandy beaches Da Nang has a beach to suit everyone. While there are many beaches to choose from two of the best beaches near Da Nang are My Khe Beach and Non Nuoc Beach.
My Khe Beach
My Khe Beach is a popular beach that is within easy reach to central Da Nang. In the distance you can see the bright white statue of the Lady Buddha as she stands on Son Tra Peninsula protecting the local fisherman.
In the morning, the beach is full of locals coming for their morning swim before the heat of the day. During the day tourists take over the beach as they take turns swimming and relaxing on the rented beach lounges and umbrellas that line the beach. There are a range of beach activities that include parasailing, jet skis and banana boats.
Throughout the day tourists sit and enjoy local seafood and a drink from one of the many restaurants and bars that line the beach. The restaurants and bars near the beach can be quite pricy but they get cheaper the further back you go.
The wide sandy beach is framed by a mix of large and small hotels that range from luxury to budget.
Non Nuoc Beach
Non Nuoc Beach is a 20 minute drive from central Da Nang. The beach is home to many 5 star luxury resorts and considered to be the most beautiful Da Nang beach Vietnam. So, if you are looking for a relaxing luxury holiday, Non Nuoc Beach may just be the place for you.
The Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort & Spa and the Vinpearl Luxury Da Nang are just two of the massive luxury resorts that line the beach. The beach is perfect for sun seekers who want a peaceful getaway from the world.
Within a 10 minute walk from Non Nuoc Beach are the pagodas, sacred caves and marble handicraft shops of Marble Mountain.
Da Nang Tours
There are a range of Da Nang activities and tours that are ideal for those on a tight time frame. There is a good selection of tours to choose from including Da Nang day tours, food tours, island tours and cultural tours. All perfect for helping you get the most out of your trip to Da Nang Vietnam. Here are just a few of our favourite Da Nang day tours.
Da Nang Day Trip
The Da Nang Day Trip is a tour that combines the attractions of Marble Mountain, the Lady Buddha, the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture and the vibrant Han Market which is a great place to pick up a bargain.
The tour also stops at a local restaurant for lunch and there is a good selection of dishes to try. We have taken this tour and can highly recommend it to anyone visiting Da Nang.
Food Tour with Ao Dai Rider in Da Nang
No trip to Da Nang would be complete without taking a food tour and what better way to experience the streets of Da Nang than being on the back of a motorbike.
Dressed in the traditional Ao Dai, these lovely ladies will introduce you to local street food delicacies such as Mi Quang (Vietnamese Turmeric Noodles), Nem Lui (Lemongrass Pork Skewers) and Rau Cau Trai Dua (Coconut Jelly) to name a few.
Along the way you will get to see the Dragon Bridge, Love Lock Bridge and Han River Bridge. Shop for bargains at the Night Market, take in the views from the Sun Wheel, visit the Cao Dai Church and Da Nang Cathedral.
A fantastic tour for any foodie wanting to see the best of Da Nang.
When people think of Da Nang, Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge often come to mind. Ba Na Hills was originally built as a hill station by French colonists in 1919 as a holiday destination.
This French inspired village is home to turreted structures, cathedrals, cobbled streets and a colourful central square. The village can be reached by the taking the Ba Na Hills cable car which holds the world record for being the longest nonstop single track cable car.
Make sure to stop off at the Linh Ung Pagoda and marvel at the 27 metre Buddha statue that sits and gazes serenely across the landscape.
While there, visit the Le Jardin d’Amour gardens and the iconic Golden Bridge. This golden pedestrian bridge is supported by two giant hands and looks out across stunning scenery.
The tour will also take you to Fantasy Park, a theme park that is inspired by the works of Jules Verne. At an elevation above 1500 feet and with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees cooler it is a great place to escape the heat of Da Nang.
Cham Islands Tour from Da Nang
Looking out from Da Nang you will see the Cham Islands, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
When you take a Cham Islands Tour from Da Nang not only will you learn about island history but also enjoy an exciting speed boat ride as you discover the beauty of the islands.
Visit local temples and pagodas before stopping to sample a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Swim and snorkel in waters that are abundant in corals and schools of fish and soak up the sun while exploring the beaches of the Cham Islands.
Eco Cooking Class and Basket Boat Tour from Da Nang
What better way to learn about Vietnamese culture than by taking a cooking class? Discover the ingredients that are at the heart of Vietnamese cuisine as you visit a local market.
After the market take a boat to Cam Thanh village and have fun showing off your boating skills as you take a traditional basket boat ride.
Join your Chef and learn how to make such delicacies as Goi Cuon (Rice Paper Salad Rolls with Pork and Shrimp). Pho Bo (Beef rice noodle soup), Mi Xao Hai San (Fried Noodles with seafood) and Banh Xeo (Crispy Vietnamese Crepes).
Da Nang Markets
The Da Nang shopping scene has something for everyone, from modern shopping malls such as the Indochina Riverside Mall to colourful markets. Here are three Da Nang markets that will not only show you a slice of local life but have you shopping for hours.
Han Market (Cho Han)
The Han Market is located near the Han River between the Dragon Bridge and the Han River Bridge. This multistorey market is the place to buy “designer brand” clothing and fabric, coffee and dried fruit, Vietnamese arts & crafts and souvenirs. If you are hungry you can try the local street food or shop for fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Han Market is open between 6am and 7pm.
Con Market (Cho Con)
From Han Market walk away from the river along Hung Vuong Road to Con Market. Although it is not that far it can get hot during the heat of the day. If you do not want to walk taxis are a great option as they are cheap within Da Nang city centre.
Con Market sells everything but the kitchen sink. Here you will find homewares, ceramics, clothing and shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables. It is the place to cool down with a Kem Bo dessert.
Kem Bo is made with whipped avocado, topped with ice cream and crunchy dried coconut flakes. Eating avocado as a sweet may sound unusual but the flavours work well together, it is a refreshing and relatively healthy snack to try on a hot day.
The Con Market is open between 6am and 6pm.
Son Tra Night Market (Cho Dem Son Tra)
The Son Tra Night Market is a great place to visit before heading to see the Dragon Bridge by night. This vibrant market has a good selection of Vietnamese arts & crafts and souvenirs, clothing, shoes and bags. The market is also the place to try fresh fruit smoothies and delicious local street food.
After leaving the market take the short walk to the river and admire the colourful lights of the city from the river walkway.
Son Tra Night Market is open between 6pm to around 11.30pm.
Where to eat in Danang
Da Nang is a foodie’s dream, there are a vast array of cuisines available, vegetarians and vegans are well catered for and of course there is the best seafood in town. For those wanting western favourites McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut can also be found.
Quan Tu uyen Restaurant
With all these wonderful cuisines what we were really looking for was authentic Vietnamese. Luckily, we found Quan Tu uyen, a small family run restaurant that specialises in chicken rice. If chicken rice is not to your liking you will find they have an extensive menu of dishes to choose from.
Located just two streets back from the beach, it is within walking distance to beach side hotels. The friendly staff cooked one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes, Mi Quang and Alan had the stir fried noodles and vegetables. Both dishes were fresh, delicious and most importantly, authentic.
Food was reasonably priced and there was a choice of small, medium and large portions, which is great if you want to share a selection of dishes.
Quan Tu uyen is located at 28 Tran Bach Dang
Da Nang Accommodation
Da Nang has a huge selection of accommodation for every budget, whether you are looking for Da Nang backpackers’ hostels, a Da Nang beach resort or a Da Nang 5 star luxury hotel, the city has you covered.
We have had the pleasure of staying in four Da Nang hotels in two different locations with varying budgets. Here are our Da Nang hotel reviews.
The Vanda Hotel Da Nang
The Vanda hotel is in a fantastic location right at the dragon’s tail of the Dragon Bridge. There is a selection of rooms with both city and river views.
We chose a room with a river view and found the room to be light, airy and modern. There was a large picture window with sweeping views of the Han River, Dragon Bridge and you could see Da Nang’s beaches in the distance.
The Vanda Hotel serves a wide selection of Asian and western breakfast buffet dishes. The hotels Top View Bar has spectacular views of Da Nang and is the place to relax with a drink or you can try a delicious afternoon tea with views of the Dragon Bridge.
The Grand Tourane Hotel Da Nang
If you are looking for 5 star Da Nang beach accommodation look no further than the Grand Tourane Hotel. This Da Nang beach hotel is located right across the road from the famous My Khe Beach.
The Grand Tourane Hotel has a choice of city and sea view rooms, we chose the sea view room which was large and had a comfortable sitting area. Looking out our window we had stunning views of Da Nang’s lengthy beaches and the Lady Buddha.
The hotel serves a buffet breakfast and for dinner you can try an array of Vietnamese dishes from the sample menu in the hotels Bella Vista Restaurant.
The hotel is steps from beach activities, restaurants and bars.
Animor Green Home
The Animor Green Home has a range of room styles from deluxe double and twin rooms to Da Nang apartment style accommodation which allows you to feel at home during your stay in Da Nang.
We chose the deluxe double and found it to be a modern room with a lovely tropical décor that was well presented, clean and comfortable.
Though just one street back from the beach, the hotel is quiet and has a friendly family feel. Breakfast is served by the pool and while the selection of dishes on offer are small, they are filling and tasty.
We really enjoyed our stay here and would stay again.
Pandora Boutique Hotel
This Da Nang boutique hotel is one street back from the beach and has a choice of ocean and city views. We chose the basic superior double with city view. The room was small but clean and comfortable.
There was a buffet style breakfast and a small rooftop bar and pool. The Hotel is close to restaurants and bars.
Da Nang Weather
The region has two seasons a wet and dry season. The best time to visit Da Nang is between February and April, when Da Nang weather is at its most pleasant. This falls during the dry season which lasts between February and July. You will find this time of year to be a less sticky more comfortable climate.
Temperatures soar between May and August, which is perfect for those wanting to take advantage of the Da Nang beach scene.
We have visited during July and August and found the sweltering heat to be draining, especially if you are exploring the city in the middle of the day. Best time to be out and about during this period is in the morning and evening when the day is cooler.
Da Nang’s rainy season is between October and February and as the name suggests the wettest time of the year. We have visited during rainy season and while there can be days where it rains in showers throughout the day, you may also find times when the sun shines for a few days at a time.
Best tips for travel to Da Nang Vietnam
Before travelling to Da Nang Vietnam there are a few things to consider. To help we have compiled a list of useful travel tips, information and tools to make planning your trip easier.
Do you need a Vietnam Visa?
Vietnam Visa requirements vary from country to country. Before you leave home, you need to check if your country needs a visa to enter Vietnam. This should be top priority when planning your trip. Look into visa requirements before booking your flight as visa processing time needs to be taken into consideration.
Vietnam e-Visa or Visa on Arrival
If you are eligible, there are two types of visa, the e-Visa which can be processed 100% online and the visa on arrival, both are simple and cheap options.
You will find that some countries are eligible for a Vietnam visa on arrival. If you belong to one of these countries and are arriving on an international flight into Danang International Airport there is an alternative to obtaining a full visa stamp from the Vietnamese Embassy in your home country.
We have used the visa on arrival option on many occasions, all we had to do is download and fill in the paperwork plus provide passport photos which were handed in for processing on arrival. Our detailed guide on Australians Visa for Vietnam explains the steps involved with screenshots of the application process for the various visa’s.
You will find the Da Nang visa on arrival processing office across from the immigration area of Da Nang International Airport. Make sure to go to the visa on arrival office to get you visa processed before lining up for immigration.
If you have a full visa stamp from the Vietnamese Embassy in your home country go straight to immigration.
How to get to Da Nang Vietnam
There is a choice of travel options to Da Nang Vietnam which include flights, train and bus. When booking transport be aware that Da Nang is also referred to as Danang, the English version of its name.
Flights to Da Nang Airport
There are regular international and domestic flight services into Da Nang Airport Vietnam. These include international carriers that fly direct to Danang from popular nearby Asian destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia.
Da Nang airport domestic terminal has a wide selection of Da Nang Airport departures to the Vietnamese tourist hubs of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Nha Trang.
Da Nang to Hanoi flight time is 1 hour and 20 minutes, Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City flight time is 1 hour and 25 minutes and Da Nang to Nha Trang is 1 hour and 15 minutes. These short flights are convenient for international flight connections.
When planning your travel make sure to compare flight and train prices, on many occasions we found that the flights were cheaper or comparable to the train.
Da Nang Airport Transfer
The distance from Da Nang airport to city is only 2.5 km, taxis are cheap and readily available outside the airport. Avoid the touts that come up to you inside the airport as they may charge you hidden prices.
Booking a Da Nang Airport transfer before you leave home may be an option for those who like peace of mind when visiting a new destination.
Da Nang to Hoi An Transfer
The distance from Da Nang to Hoi An is around 30 kilometres, a drive that will have you enjoying the many things to do Hoi An within 45 minutes of leaving Da Nang International Airport.
The journey from Da Nang International and Domestic Airport to Hoi An Ancient Town can be quite expensive. We have taken the Da Nang Airport to Hoi An taxi a few times and found that the Da Nang Airport taxi price can fluctuate between $30 to $40 AUD. The green Mai Linh taxis are usually trustworthy but just check that they have the meter on as you start your journey.
We found that the easiest and most worry free way to get from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An is to book a Da Nang to Hoi An hotel transfer.
Trains and Buses from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang
There are train and bus services from both Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi to Da Nang. Trains from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang can take between 16 to 20 hours and there are a selection of seating and sleeper cabin options.
The bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang takes around 21 hours to complete the journey.
Trains and Buses From Hanoi To Da Nang
Train from Hanoi to Da Nang takes between 16 to 18 hours. Laman Express has a good reputation for service and cleanliness.
The bus from Hanoi to Da Nang takes around 16 hours.
Sim Card for Vietnam
Vietnam has a first rate internet service which is quick and cheap, so staying in touch with friends and family back home could not be easier.
Buying a Sim card can sometimes be difficult with a language barrier, so we were happy to find that you can purchase a Sim Card before you leave home and pick it up at Da Nang International Airport. It is an easy option, one less thing to worry about when you arrive.
Buying a Sim Card in Hoi An Vietnam
If you are heading straight to Hoi An Ancient town, make sure to get your sim card at the Da Nang airport because it is one of the most difficult places to find a shop that sells one. Unlike many cities in Vietnam once you leave the Da Nang Airport and venture into the Hoi An ancient town you will have an extremely hard time buying a sim card.
Quick Tips for Da Nang
Da Nang is a large city with many attractions such as the Lady Buddha, Dragon Bridge, Sun Wheel and military museums. It is located along a vast sandy beach lined with many luxury resorts. To fully explore Da Nang city and the nearby attractions we would suggest you spend 2 to 3 days.
If you are looking for something within easy access to the city of Da Nang a hotel in the main tourist area around the Dragon Bridge or at the beachfront near My Khe Beach would be ideal.
A little further afield along the Da Nang coastline there are many large hotels and resorts with direct oceanfront access. These are large international resorts and cater mainly to international clientele looking for a luxury stay with all amenities contained within the resort complex.
Yes, Da Nang is considered generally safe for families and solo travellers. As in all large cities normal safety precautions should always be exercised but crime rates are low.
Last words on top Da Nang attractions
As I said in the beginning, most people visiting the Da Nang region do not get to see Da Nang attractions. I honestly believe that if you have the time to spare on your Vietnam travel itinerary, spend a night or two in Da Nang, before moving to your Hoi An accommodation as the city has more charms than you can imagine.
Have you been to Da Nang Vietnam? What did you like about your stay?
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