Da Nang, Vietnam has the best of both worlds. The tourist capital of central Vietnam has a good mix of centuries-old pagodas, French colonial buildings, an abundance of national parks as well as tranquil beaches with clear blue waters. The best part is, with a west-coast location, Da Nang beaches make for beautiful sunsets against an impressive backdrop of lush mountains. It’s basically the perfect holiday destination!
The next time you’re visiting Vietnam, make sure to spend a few days in Da Nang as this coastal city has plenty to offer. Read on to discover Da Nang’s most popular attractions, all of which are a must in your travel itinerary.
Enjoy the cool air at Ba Na Hills
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to Ba Na Hills, a beautiful hilltop resort located about two hours’ drive from the city center. The hill is famous for its French village with medieval-looking castles, flower gardens, and a wine cellar. If that’s not enough reason for you to visit, it’s also where you can find the majestic Golden Bridge. You’ve seen the viral photos on social media, where the striking footbridge is cradled by two massive stone hands. Made to look like an ancient ruin, the hands emerge from the thick forests covered in moss and cracks. The 150-metre-long bridge gives visitors plenty of space to take in the scenic views. Join a Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge day tour and learn more along the way with an English-speaking tour guide.
Watch the show at Dragon Bridge
If you’re in the city and don’t know where to spend your evening, head over to the stunning Dragon Bridge. Stretching over 666 meters, it has the claim to fame of being the longest bridge in the country. Like its namesake, the bridge features an intricately decorated dragon that runs its entire length. A symbol of power and good fortune, the dragon attracts tourists from around the world who want to see it magnificently lit up at night. The best time to visit the Dragon Bridge is on Saturday and Sunday where the dragon will come to life at 9.00pm. As part of a grand pyrotechnics display, the mythical creature’s giant head spits out fire followed by spouts of water — a spectacular end to a weekend stay!
Witness Caodists pray at Cao Dai Temple
Caodaism was founded in Vietnam in the early 1920’s and today, the religion has approximately 1.5 million followers. Fun fact: Cao Dai Temple is the second largest temple in the country and serves about 50,000 followers. Witnessing Caodists pray is one of the highlights that you can experience while in Da Nang. Visit at noon when the prayer is taking place, where the attendees wear long flowing robes of white, yellow, blue and red. Do be respectful and wait until the prayers have finished before wandering inside to check out the interesting interior. The temple is decorated with typical Cao Dai ornamentation, and be sure to check out the globe holding the all-seeing eye!
Surf and chill at My Khe Beach
Once listed as one of the ‘World’s Most Luxurious Beaches’, the stunning sands of My Khe Beach offer surfers and sun seekers a gloriously unspoilt hideaway. The white sandy 20-mile stretch of My Khe Beach offers excellent surfing and if you’re not into it, there are plenty of activities you can do here such as jet skiing, flyboarding, diving, snorkeling and parasailing. If you forgot your swimsuits, worry not as you don’t need to bring much with you as everything you need is available locally. The best time to visit My Khe Beach is between May to October.
Eat and shop at Da Nang Helio night market
What’s a visit to Da Nang without trying the mouth-watering local delicacies? With more than 150 stalls selling food and beverages, the Da Nang Helio Night Market is one of the best places to try out street food. It’s also where you can find affordable souvenirs to bring home. Stroll through the market while trying local dishes and shop until you drop.
Hike the Marble Mountains
Here’s one for the adventurous souls out there. Located about 7km from My Khe Beach, you can easily spend one to three hours here. The Marble Mountains is a cluster of five marble and limestone outcrops named after the five basic elements: Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Metal. There are plenty of small trails to explore, caves to climb through, a number of pagodas and statues to admire, spectacular photo opportunities, and an excellent 360-degree view of the surrounding area. Enjoy a half day tour of the Marble Mountains and Hoi An ancient town with Traveloka!
My Son Sanctuary
While My Son may not astound you the same way as Ayutthaya in Thailand or the magnificent Angkor Wat in Cambodia would do, the ruins of My Son Sanctuary are extraordinary for its rich history. My Son is a complex of Hindu temples that were constructed by the Champa kingdom in the 4th century AD. The complex was also a royal burial ground and political centre where it was used by the Viet Cong that used the ancient ruins as a base during the Vietnam War in 1969. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a definitely must-visit for those who appreciate history.