Danang – the biggest city in central Vietnam- is a popular stopover for tourists thanks to its closeness to other heritage cities such as Hue, Hoi An, My Son sanctuary etc. However, the city itself possesses many attractions for tourists to enjoy. it is definitely a great idea to include Danang into your travel itinerary to the central part of Vietnam. If you are looking for the best things to do in Da Nang, then look no further than this article!
Before you read on, feast your eyes on the beauty of Central Vietnam in this video – made by Nam Trieu Dinh
Marble Mountain – must do in Da Nang
From the city centre, it takes just a few minutes to get to Marble Mountains, either by taxi or motorbike. Marble Mountains consist of five marble and limestone hills named after the five elements of the ancient oriental philosophy: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth).
Coming there, tourists can explore a complicated system of caves and tunnels, which were once used as hiding places for Vietnamese soldiers during war, and ancient Buddhist temples, some dating back to the 17th century. Climbing to one of the summits will offer visitors breathtakingly beautiful views of the surrounding area.
At the foot of the mountains lies Non Nuoc Village, which is famous for stone sculptures and handicrafts. Today, rock is no longer extracted directly from the Marble Mountains but is bought from neighbouring provinces.
2. Son Tra Peninsula- Natural landscapes
Getting 13km away from the center city, tourists can reach Son Tra Peninsula, a typical coastal tourist attraction in Vietnam with primitive nature. The highlight of visiting Monkey Mountain is the view from the summit, which is stupendous on a clear day. Therefore, discovering the area, visitors can enjoy explore the untouched jungle that is housing a wide range of plants and animals. Besides, there are beautiful beaches such as North Beach, South Beach and Buddha Beach for tourists to relax. One can also admire the fascinating coral reefs underwater, with scuba diving services provided.
Don’t forget to visit Linh Ung Pagoda. You can go in the late afternoon to enjoy sunset view. And make sure you have a 125cc or more to go up the mountain as some of the roads were steep and the motorbikes really struggled.
For many travelers, visiting coastal fishing villages nearby to learn about the humble life of local people is a great experience.
Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass is a must-try destination for any motorcycle enthusiasts. It is a 21km pass between Danang and Hue with breathtakingly beautiful ocean views. The road is quite technical, especially in bad weather. Tourists can rent a scooter from downtown Danang to leave in early morning and come back in the same day.
Learn how to cook in the Vietnamese
Ba Na Hill
50km to the west of Danang city, Ba Na Hill is one of the most spectacular sights worth visiting. With a height of 1487 m above the sea level, Ba Na has rejuvenating temperate atmosphere and wonderful scenery. Besides the diverse natural ecosystem, it houses many villages, resorts, hotels and other intriguing constructions that amuse tourists. To get to the top of Ba Na, tourists often use its cable car system to overcome the 15km distance. The summit provides visitors with a panoramic view of the whole area with Danang City, Hai Van pass, Son Tra Peninsula, Beaches, Marble Mountain, and so on.
As a coastal city, Danang has numerous attractive beaches with white sand and crystal-clear blue water such as My Khe, Nam O, Xuan Thieu, Thanh Binh, Tien Sa, Son Tra, Bac My An and Non Nuoc beaches.
Among them, 900m-long My Khe Beach is an idyllic beach with numerous hotels, restaurants and resorts nearby for visitors to relax. Non Nuoc Beach close to the Marble Mountains is a great camping spot with gentle slope, calm waves, fresh seafood and local vibe. Bac My An Beach is a great place to unwind and relax. Nam O Beach offers environmental boat rides to other places, including Son Tra Peninsula or a village of Katu ethnic people. Xuan Thieu Beach is famous for its clean sand and water.
Danang’s favourable weather makes swimming enjoyable all year round, but the time between May and August is the best time as waves are gentle. Besides, tourists can also experience surfing, water-skiing, diving and yachting there.
City life and food
In Danang, one can enjoy the typical food of the central area, especially Quang region.
When in Danang, tourists should try specialties of Quang region, such as Quang noodle, banh trang cuon thit heo (boiled pork belly wrapped with herbs) or banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake), and so on.
In addition, one of the things we should not forget is fresh seafood. Restaurants serving seafood prepared in different ways are available, mostly along the coast.
Interestingly, the best food to try is sold by street vendors, or at small family-owned inns lining the sidewalks with aluminum or plastic tables and chairs. These typical dishes are tasty and cheap. Right there tourists can listen to stories of sellers, feel the real vibe of the city and learn about typical warm and hospitable atmosphere of a Vietnamese meal.
Nearby heritage sites
The ancient town of Hoi An is around 30km away from Danang. So visitors can easily and conveniently get there in under an hour by taxi, bus or motorbike with reasonable price ranging from $1 for local bus to $20 for private taxi.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An offers authentic Asian traditional architecture. The nostalgia vibe of the ancient square with Japanese bridge, ancient houses and assembly halls. Futhermore, the fresh atmosphere of surrounding villages, beautiful beaches. And characteristic local cuisines are some that make the town worth visiting.
Slightly more than 100km from Danang, the former and the last imperial capital of Vietnam is always an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. Visiting Hue is like visitng a living museum with real-size exhibits. The Imperial City with tombs of emperors, Thien Mu pagoda, Huong River, Dong Ba market are the most famous destinations. Besides, traditional Hue food is also a tourism highlight.
70km to the southwest of Danang, My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province is a collection of Champa ruins. It houses 8 groups of temples and 71standing monuments. And they depict a combination of Indian Hindus and Buddhist architecture. Interestingly, the brick constructions were built without mortar. At the entrance of the site is a museum with artifacts, old images, and detailed information in Vietnamese and English.
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