One of Vietnam's boom towns, Da Nang is an attractive coastal city with superb beaches, ultra-modern hotels, plenty of malls, and fine restaurants, along with one of the country's best museums.
Da Nang is fortunate to have a string of wonderful beaches like Pham Van Dong or My Khe within walking distance of the center.
The Museum of Cham Sculpture is one of Vietnam's best historical institutions, holding a collection of 1000-year-old stone Hindu sculptures.
Da Nang has a set of picturesque hills just six miles south of the city center. The Marble Mountains host plenty of trails and mysterious caves like Am Phu, with its sculptures and staircase to the peak of the mountain.
Not far offshore, Cham Island is an enchanting place, with dive sites, markets in Bai Lang, and deserted tropical beaches.
Enjoy the full spectrum of Vietnamese cuisine with Da Nang food tours, taking in BBQ seafood, spicy curries, noodle dishes, and Vietnamese pizza.
Sitting just over four miles from Da Nang, the Marble Mountains are a collection of limestone and marble cliffs that house Buddhist sanctuaries and hidden secrets from the Vietnam War. Each mountain peak is named for one of the elements, and they have great significance to local people. As you journey through the mountains, you're sure to see numerous pagoda temples. A spectacular circular cave attracts visitors from all over the country and world. The Riverview Tower is also worth a visit; it offers beautiful views of the coastline and dates back to the 18th century.
The largest Buddha statue in Vietnam is special because of more than its size -- the statue depicts the Buddha as a woman. Towering over 200 feet above the countryside, this white monument commands an impressive view over the mountains and sea. Flanked by numerous smaller statues of Buddhist deities and immaculately landscaped grounds, the Lady Buddha is a site of pilgrimage for many faithful Buddhist. If you're interested in understanding the religious practices of the locals, or if you're a lover of monumental sculpture, this is a must during your visit.
Climbing over 2,000 feet above sea level is no easy feat, but the view on top is more than worth it. Monkey Mountain was a prominent lookout point during the Vietnam War, but today it's been put to more peaceful use as a national park. Visitors are welcome to drive up to the top if they wish. Once there, they can expect stunning views over the city and the Pacific Ocean. The jungle is filled with animals such as rhesus macaques, pygmy slow lorises and red-shanked douc langurs. If you choose to hike, bring water -- it takes about four hours to get to the top from Bai Bac Beach.
Da Nang, like many Vietnamese cities, sprang up along the banks of a river. Today, many bridges cross the Hàn, but none are as whimsical as the Dragon Bridge. A fierce yellow and red dragon lent its body to the engineers, who transformed it into a suspension bridge totaling over 2,000 feet in length. At night, the bridge lights up in a wide variety of colors, making it an especially picturesque addition to the cityscape.
After you spend your days exploring the city, there's no better place to relax than Non Nuoc Beach. Offering white sands and clean waters, this stretch of coastline extends for three miles, offering plenty of opportunities to sunbathe, swim, play, and run. It's become somewhat of a luxury getaway in recent years, and world-class golf resorts and hotels now line the sands. In addition, you'll find quite a few Michelin-star restaurants in the area. If you're in the mood for something more adventurous, try signing up for a jungle trek heading inland from the sand.
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Da Nang is probably between May and September, when the temperatures hover around 80 degrees (usually with a refreshing sea breeze). It's also the season for spectacular fireworks displays on the city beaches.
Da Nang International Airport (DAD) has plenty of regional connections. Taxis from there to the center of town will cost around ₫150,000-180,000.
Da Nang is on the main Vietnamese coastal train route, with services from Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City.
From Hanoi, take the CT01 expressway, then follow the coastal QL1A highway all the way to Da Nang. Take QL20 from Ho Chi Minh City, then QL1A northwards to Da Nang.
Da Nang Bus Station offers connections to all major Vietnamese cities and a couple in Laos as well. Expect to pay around ₫400,000 to travel from Hanoi.
Superb seafront hotels in Da Nang include the Hotel Grand Mercure Danang, the Hotel Novotel Danang Premier Han River, and the Hotel Pullman Danang Beach Resort.
My Khe - My Khe is centered around a long, sandy beach, with a wealth of new high rise hotels and great eateries like Thung Phi BBQ.
Bach Dang - on the western side of the Han River, Bach Dang is the center of town and is home to the Museum of Cham Sculpture along with many luxury and budget hotels.
Ngũ Hành Sơn - Da Nang's most southern neighborhood, Ngũ Hành Sơn is where you'll find the beautiful Marble Mountains and resorts like Centara Sandy Beach.
The are 11 major bus routes in suburban Da Nang, and single tickets cost ₫20,000.
Taxis are a great way to get up and down the coastal strip. Fares start with a meter drop of ₫10,000, followed by around ₫25,000 per mile.
Car rental options include Kha Tran Car Rental, and rates can be as low as ₫70,000 per day.
Da Nang is an excellent place to hunt for bargains. Check out Han Market (which has been around since the 1940s) and Non Nuoc Fine Arts Village, where you can pick up finely crafted rice mortars, sculptures, and jewelry.
Local supermarkets include Big C and Sieu Thi. Prices tend to be reasonable, at around ₫29,000 for 12 eggs.
If you don't fancy taking a Da Nang food tour, there are plenty of places to try. Highlights include Madame Lan, Quan Com Hue Ngon - an exceptional BBQ joint - and Com Nieu, where seafood takes center stage. Prices will vary, but expect meals to cost around ₫100,000-150,000.