The city of Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam. It is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam, with a well-sheltered, easily accessible port and some quite nice beach areas. If you are very lucky you might also find some waves to surf. So far Da Nang has only a few interesting sightseeing spots, but the city is under fast development. The city’s street food scene also deserves close investigation.
How to get there?
The Da Nang International Airport lies about 2 km from the city center. Flights within Vietnam are quite cheap and can be booked at short notice. Going there by train or bus is also a good option.
Our personal highlight definitely were the waves we managed to surf at Bac My An Beach. Forecasts were looking good, so we hurried up to get to Da Nang. Catching waves there or in Vietnam in general is quite rare. We found two surf shops offering board rentals: Tam’s Pub and Surf Shop and Gunnar and Thom’s Surf Board Rental. Tam will offer the best price, but depending on the board you need you should make your own choice. Some of the holiday resorts also offer equipment for water sports.
How long to stay?
As already said, the city itself has not a lot of conventional sightseeing spots. So for most travelers a few days, up to 1-2 nights, will be enough to explore what the city has to offer and hang out at the beach. Due to surfing we stayed for 3 nights and already amazed our hosts with our unusual long stay in the city. Apparently for most guests Da Nang is just a short stop on the way further south/north. If you just want to hang out in a resort and enjoy the beach you could of course stay a little longer as well.
Where to stay?
We had a quite nice stay at the Mint Homestay at 11 EUR / night. Although the description we read online did not suit the real experience 100% (no private bathroom, no fresh fruits, no balcony) we still felt home. The two young girls Van and Ngan who run the place are very helpful and friendly. They taught us some basic Vietnamese and fed us a really good dinner after one of their cooking classes. The classes itself are for free, but if you want to enjoy the food afterwards you will have to pay a charge (6 EUR incl. drinks).
Marble Mountain These mountains consist of a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located south of the city center of Da Nang. You can easily go there by bike, bicycle or taxi. We took a long walk (6 km) down the beach to get there. The five mountains are named after the five elements: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth). There are several caves and temples to explore. And you will get a gorgeous view from the highest peak. Entrance fee is around 0,60 EUR. Monkey Mountain Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain, which is known as Son Tra Peninsula amongst the locals, is a national park standing 693 meters above sea level. It is the perfect spot to escape the heat and busy traffic of the city center. During the American-Vietnam War the mountain was a prominent observation base. Today it is also home to a 67 m tall white statue of the Goddess of Mercy. Dragon Bridge With 666 m the Dragon Bridge is not only the longest bridge in Vietnam it is also shaped like a dragon. Every evening the bridge will be illuminated with colorful LED lights. On weekends and annual festivities the bridge will even spit fire and water from its mouth from 9 pm onwards.