High view of Da Nang city in Vietnam

Da Nang – A Beautiful Vietnamese Coastal City

This post was last updated on February 20th, 2020 at 12:30 pm


Not long ago, Da Nang was a harbor town like so many others you can find in Vietnam. However, in a short time Da Nang has developed into one of the largest and most modern cities in Vietnam. Many people probably know this city from the American landing on nearby China Beach which marked the start of the Vietnam War.

 

The beautiful beaches of Da Nang and the surrounding area have made the city one of the best resort cities of Vietnam. However, while the city is extremely popular with Vietnamese tourists it is often skipped by Western tourists. With its location between Hue and Hoi An this is understandable but it’s also a shame as this city has a lot to offer.

 

Leading magazine Forbes once wrote that the beaches at Da Nang are among the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

Trading City & Port

Da Nang has been a very important city for Vietnam for hundreds of years. It has long served as an important trading city and port. The city reached its peak in the mid-19th century when the emperor of Vietnam decided that ships from the west were only allowed to travel on the Hàn River.

 

All these ships thus automatically arrived in the city of Da Nang. The city has always remained an important trade center but is also becoming increasingly popular among tourists.

 

Nam Chon Bay from the Hai Van pass, Da Nang
Nam Chon Bay from the Hai Van pass

 

Best Time to Visit Da Nang

The best time to visit Da Nang is between February and May when the least rain falls and the temperature feels pleasant. Most rain falls in the months of September to January. During these months the temperatures are cooler and more pleasant than in other parts of the country. During the months of June to August, however, the temperature rises considerably and it can feel very hot.

 

The dry season runs from April to August with the warmest months being June to August (temperatures can go up to 35°C, 95°F). If you’re looking to cool off a bit we recommend visiting Da Nang from November to January (temperatures can go down to 18°C, 64°F).

 

TIP – Beware of the monsoon season, from September to March, it can bring a lot of rain.

 

Local Event Dates

One of the most spectacular local events in Da Nang is the fireworks festival. This festival can be viewed from May to June. The surrounding area will be lit up beautifully by the many fireworks. We definitely recommend visiting Da Nang in this period of time if you want to see a great show.

 

Da Nang Location

Located between the mountains on one side and the South China Sea on the other, Da Nang is the largest city in central Vietnam. North of the city after the Hai Van Pass you will find the relaxed beach resort village of Lang Co.

 

120 kilometers north of the city lies the old historic city of Hue which is an important tourist attraction. 30 kilometers south lies the extremely popular Hoi An. Because of its location, this city is the perfect base to explore Central Vietnam.

 

Fun Things to Do in Da Nang

Da Nang has a number of fun sights and activities that you can undertake. Below you can read everything there is to do in Da Nang.

 

Visit Son Tra National Park

Caves in Son Tra Peninsula

Son tra is a beautiful piece of nature and that’s why you have to here now before it’s too late. Nature is under pressure in Son Tra. The peninsula has been a protected nature reserve to date and is home to the rare Red Shanked Douc. These special monkeys mainly live at an altitude of less than 200 meters. This altitude is exactly where resorts, hotels and restaurants are being built, driving the monkeys to higher places in the jungle with less diversity of food.

 

The Red Shanked Douc Monkeys in Son Tra
The Red Shanked Douc Monkeys

 

The fate of these special monkeys now lies in the hands of hungry investors and a government that has to choose between releasing the land for the development of these projects or preserving nature.

 

For now you can still enjoy Son Tra in it’s full glory. The first place for a nice stop is the female Buddha statue at the Linh Ung Pagoda. This 67-meter high statue overlooks the city and is situated on a very beautiful temple complex. A beautiful view is guaranteed. Continue your way and you will pass a number of restaurants located on the beaches Bai rang, Bai Nam and Bai Da.

 

These beaches are a nice place to have lunch. There are a number of other beaches but not all beaches are accessible unless you are a guest in the luxury hotels that are located on these beaches.

 

Drive on until you see the “Monkey Pass” on the map. Here you can deviate from Hoang Sa and continue your way to the Banh Co Peak, the highest point on the Son Tra peninsula from where you have a fantastic view of the island, the sea, and Da Nang (provided it’s a clear and sunny day, of course).

 

The way there leads through densely forested jungle where you only hear the sounds of nature. There is a good chance that you will also encounter a few wild monkeys.

 

Visit the Cham Museum

Opened in 1919, this museum has the largest collection of Cham art and sculptures in the world. The artifacts came from the kingdom of Champa, the ruins of which you can still see in My Son. The museum is open every day from 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

 

Address: 02, 2 Thang 9 street.

 

Visit the Marble Mountains

View from the Marble Mountains in Da Nang

The Marble Mountains are located about 10 kilometers south of Da Nang. There are even caves located high up in these mountains. An even more impressive sight is the many beautiful pagodas that are located inside these caves. The special lighting makes your pictures even more spectacular.

 

At the foot of the mountains you will find small, artisan villages, where the majority of the inhabitants are specialized in working marble. From the Thuy Son mountain, the largest mountain of the Marble Mountains, you also have a beautiful view of Da Nang and the surrounding area.

 

The mountains are easily accessible by scooter or taxi.

 

Visit Linh Ung Pagoda

Beautiful view of the Linh Ung Pagoda

You don’t have to drive very long to reach this beautiful pagoda. Even while you’re driving you will have a beautiful view of the coast which, in itself, is already worth the journey. On the way you can see both fishing villages and more modern areas.

 

The Linh Ung Pagoda provides an amazing view of the beaches of Da Nang. Not only that, the surrounding area looks picturesque as well with beautiful ancient trees and lush bonsai trees. 

 

TIP – You can easily reach the Linh Ung Pagoda by yourself if you rent a scooter. Just follow the boulevard, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and enjoy this magical place!

 

Visit Ba Na Hills

Much has changed since the French founded Ba Na Hills as a luxury resort for the colonial elite. Today, it is a popular tourist destination containing a replica of a French medieval town, small theme park and beautiful gardens. You also have an amazing view of the countryside from the Ba Na hills.

 

View the Dragon Bridge Show

The ”Rong” bridge that connects the promenade with the peninsula is beautifully lit every night and is a fun attraction and photogenic structure. Every Friday and Saturday around 9 p.m. the dragon comes alive and spits fire.

 

Take a Picture of the Da Nang Cathedral

The candy-pink Danang Cathedral, known as the Con Ga Church by the weather vane on top of the tower, was built in 1923 for the city’s French inhabitants.

 

Stroll Through the Bach Dang Promenade

This promenade along the Han River is the bustling heart of the city. In the evening you can relax and enjoy good food in one of the many restaurants or bars. This is definitely the best place to stay in Da Nang.

 

Travel to the Golden bridge

Golden Bridge near Da Nang, Supported by Two Giant Hands

The Golden Bridge of Cau Vang in Vietnamese is an iconic new landmark near Da Nang. The bridge is located 30 kilometers outside Da Nang and can easily be reached by taxi or with a tour.

 

Expect large groups of tourists with selfie sticks and if you come at a busy time it is just like an anthill. This destination is not one of our favorite things to do on a Vietnam trip but if you have nothing to do and you want to score on Instagram then it is worth it.

 

The bridge is part of Ba Na Hills. An amusement park managed by Sun World. You can only visit the bridge if you buy a ticket for this park. Costs are around $35 per person and that includes the cable car up.

 

The Hai Van Pass in Da Nang

View of the Ocean fromthe Hai Van Pass

The Hai Van Pass, cloud pass or in Vietnamese Deo Hai Van, is seen by many as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world and is undoubtedly one of the highlights in Vietnam. It is so beautiful that it deserves its own section here on this page.

 

It owes its fame to the popular episode of top gear in which the men race through Vietnam on simple scooters. Since then, a trip on this famous mountain pass has been immensely popular with tourists and backpackers, who ride the journey from Hue to Hoi An by scooter.

 

The Hai Van Pass is the area over the mountains that connects the coastal town of Lang Co with the modern city of Da Nang. The views along the 21-kilometer road across the pass are brilliant and those who occasionally deviate from the road will be rewarded with miles of deserted beach.

 

Since the opening of the tunnel through the mountain you hardly have any problems with other traffic, which makes the journey on the pass a lot safer.

 

Drive Yourself or Via Easyriders

If you prefer not to drive yourself, book a tour with an easyrider. In Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An you will always find a lot of them or they will find you. They often have a booklet with experiences from their previous customers.

 

The advantage of the easyriders is that they often know very nice places that you cannot find on the route that easily. You also have much more time to enjoy the view since you don’t have to pay attention to the road.

 

Curvy Roads in the Hai Van Pass, Da Nang
Curvy roads along the coast in the Hai Van Pass

 

Interesting Stops Around the Hai Van Pass

If you want to make the trip in one day then you don’t have too much time to stop extensively and you should try to avoid driving in the dark. However, you can make the most beautiful stops on the pass itself and north of the pass. To the south you can stop at China beach or the Marble Mountains but if you have little time, we would recommend skipping those.

 

While driving over the Hai Van Pass you will come across a number of deserted beaches. The perfect stop for a refreshing swim. At the highest point of the pass is an old bunker and you have a nice view on both sides. To the north of the pass, a stop in the aforementioned Lang Co is highly recommended. A stop in the Bach Ma National Park can also be a nice break from the trip.

 

Regardless of which direction you take the route, getting lost is not an option. The right way is easy to find, but to be sure, bring a smartphone with mobile data so that you can use a map. A little way off the main road gives you the opportunity to find that special place.

 

Where You Really Have to Stop

The places below can be visited in a day trip and are definitely worth it.

 

  • Elephant springs
  • Lang Co Beach
  • My Khe beach
  • Marble Mountains
  • An Bang Beach

 

Alternative Route: Take the Hai Van Pass by Train

As an alternative to the scooter you could also consider taking the train from Da Nang to Hue. The track runs almost entirely along the coast and you have a beautiful view of the pass and the ocean. In this case we recommend booking the hard seats which is also is the cheapest class. This is because in this class the windows can be opened so that you can take the best photos. The ride is only about 2.5 hours.

 

The Best Beaches in Da Nang

Some tourists prefer activities and some prefer to relax for a few days. Da Nang will satisfy any type of traveler. Below you can find the best beaches in Da Nang.

 

1. My Khe Beach (China Beach)

Sunbeds and palms in the My Khe beach, Danang, Vietnam

My Khe is the most popular beach of Da Nang. This white 10-kilometer stretch of sand became known by the American troops who visited the beach here during their war in Vietnam. The American troops named it “China Beach”.

 

My Khe is the beach that is directly adjacent to the city and the best place to relax. With a length of almost 10 kilometers it is not difficult to find a wonderful place somewhere. Everywhere on the beach you will find small beach bars that sell drinks and where you can rent a chair or sun lounger for very reasonable prices.

 

You can easily swim here because of the calm water.

 

Although it is directly adjacent to the city, it is very quiet here during the day. However, this changes towards nightfall when all locals come for a refreshing swim. As far as we are concerned, this beach is a lot more relaxed than the busy beaches full of tourists that you will find in the area of Hoi An. A good reason to also spend a few days in Da Nang.

 

2. Non Nuoc Beach

Non Nuoc Beach is 5 kilometers long and is very suitable for water sports, especially for surfing, between April and September. There are plenty of sights and leisure activities while you can enjoy local seafood restaurants. There are also many luxury hotels and resorts.

 

Non Nuoc is a dusty village. But follow the road east of the village and you will come to Non Nuoc Beach, perhaps the most beautiful beach in Vietnam. When you are in Da Nang you absolutely must visit this beautiful beach with snow-white sand and turquoise blue water.

 

There are few beaches in Vietnam as beautiful as Non Nuoc Beach, the hidden gem of Vietnam.

 

3. Lang Co Beach

Lang Co Village and Beach near Hai Van Pass

For maximum enjoyment of the beach and tranquility you can visit the Lang Co. It is not that far from Da Nang. Just after the Hai Van Pas you will find this quiet town. Here, you will find a beautiful beach and some great accommodation options, of which the Lang Co Beach Resort is the best one. The resort has excellent bunglaows, a private beach, and an excellent breakfast buffet for a reasonable price.

 

TIP – Combine the trip to Lang Co with a trip on the Hai Van Pas or take a taxi through the new tunnel if you want to shorten travel time. A taxi costs around 500,000 VND (US $21.45) from Da Nang.

 

Food and Drinks in Da Nang

Da Nang is modern and there is a wide selection of international restaurants. All well-known fast food chains can also be found in the city. For the most extensive selection of bars and restaurants, head to the Bach Dang promenade along the Han River. This promenade is the best place to spend the evening and also has a number of late night options.

 

There are also plenty of great options for local food. Because of the city’s location, in central Vietnam, there are many regional dishes that you can’t find anywhere else. If you love fresh fish you should take a walk on Pham Van Dong Street. Here, you will find plenty of restaurants that offer the fresh catch of the day.

 

Da Nang Nightlife

The Da Nang nightlife is very vibrant. There is a variety of rooftop bars, night clubs, lounges, and expat bars. Here are some of the best rooftop bars, clubs and bars with live music that you can find in the evening hours of Da nang.

 

Best Rooftop Bars in Da Nang

  • Sky 36: The most popular rooftop bar in Da Nang, Sky 36, is located at the Novotel and offers beautiful views of the Han River and the Dragon Bridge.
  • Brilliant Top Bar: Located on the rooftop of Brilliant Hotel, with beautiful views of the river, city and beach.

 

Best Clubs in Da Nang

  • New Phuong Dong Nightclub: A spacious dance floor, spectacular laser show and a central stage where prominent local DJs, dancers and bands perform every night.
  • Golden Pine: One of the most famous clubs in Da Nang. Loud EDM music and cheap drinks mainly attract young audiences.
  • OQ Bar: Good place to visit last on a night out with good music from DJs.

 

Best Bars & Live Music in Da Nang

  • The Dawn: Great live music, reasonably priced drinks and the perfect location right on My Khe Beach.
  • Seventeen Saloon: Waitresses in sexy cowgirl costumes, ice-cold beer and musicians who perform every night. Popular with expats and backpackers.
  • Bamboo Bar 2: The most popular expat meeting place in Da Nang. The top floor has pool tables and a seating area with beautiful views of the river and the Dragon Bridge.
  • 7 Bridges Brewery: The first home-brewed beers from Da Nang.

 

Fireworks in the Da Nang nightsky
Fireworks show in Da Nang, a great way to spend the evening!

 

Da Nang Accommodation

There are plenty of great areas in and around Da Nang where you can book an accommodation. Below we’ve made an overview of the best areas to stay at, with a list of the best hotels, homestays and hostels.

 

Hoi An

Many tourists stay in the nearby Hoi An. In Hoi An there’s a great ambiance and you can easily go for a day trip to Da Nang. It takes about 40 minutes to travel from Hoi An to Da Nang.

 

Close to Han River

One of the most popular places to spend the night in Da Nang, the Han River, has plenty of dining options, bars and an amazing nightlife. The hotels here also provide a spectacular scene of the fireworks during the international festival.

 

The Beach

Most beachfront hotels are located on Nguyen Tat Thanh Street and Vo Nguyen Giap Street. Vo Nguyen Giap is also the road to take to Hoi An. Nguyen Tat Thanh is the road to the Hai Van Pass and Hue. Picking a hotel around My Khe Beach is a good option.

 

Best Budget Hostels & Guesthouses in Da Nang

 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Da Nang

 

Best High End Hotels & Resorts in Da Nang

 

How to Get to Da Nang

One of the advantages is that the city is very easily accessible. It is also called the gateway to central Vietnam. The city is easily accessible by train, car, and plane. There are direct flights that make the city easily accessible. Train traffic, in particular, is very important for the city.

 

To Da Nang by Domestic and International Flights

Da Nang international airport connects a large number of places in Vietnam including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang / Cam Ranh as well as many other places. Other international connections include Malaysia, Singapore, and Korea. For flights from Bangkok you need to transfer to Ho Chi Minh City.

 

From Hue to Da Nang

Train from Hue to Da Nang

The train ride from Hue to Da Nang is beautiful and runs (for the most part) along the coast. There are 4 trains a day from Hue and the journey takes approximately 2.5 hours. You can book your transportation tickets online at 12GoAsia.

 

Hue Railway Station Danang Railway Station
2 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Hue City, Hue Province 200 Hai Phong street, Thanh Khe District, Da Nang City

 

Bus From Hue to Da Nang

The bus is clearly the least comfortable route and is not really recommended. If you still want to use the bus, book your tickets at your hotel or travel agency in Hue.

 

For all routes and prices to Da Nang check out this website!

 

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