What to see in Da Nang?
Danang is almost as touristic as Hoi An but its tourists mainly come from Asia. Westerners only pass through it to get to Hoi An. There are about 6 million tourists who go there every year.
And yet Da Nang, nicknamed the City of Bridges, which has no less than 10 bridges, is not lacking in areas of interest, including museums, beaches and temples.
Da Nang is one of those incredible destinations that are unfortunately ignored by so many travellers.
Many people find themselves running out of time and rushing through Vietnam, visiting only major destinations like Ho Chi Minh City and Halong Bay.
This is quite a shame because many people do not realise that there is so much to see and do in Da Nang!
When I arrived in Vietnam, it wasn’t a city that first appealed to me, but I gradually changed my mind over time.
If like me, you want to discover more about the city of Danang, have a look at this guide:
1) LADY BUDDHA
It’s sort of Danang standout monument. You can even see it from a plane. Lady Buddha is a large white marble statue, the largest in Vietnam at 67m, overlooking the beach and at its feet, you can visit the huge Linh Ung pagoda.
The pagoda’s different Buddha statues, although smaller, are beautiful.
At the top, you have a magical view of Da Nang Bay. If you are a pagoda lover, this is the place to go.
Free entry and parking
2) The SON TRA PENINSULA, or Monkey Mountain
It is the peninsula where the Lady Buddha statue is located.
The scenery is beautiful and there are some beaches to go to as well as Vietnamese restaurants where you can eat on the waterfront.
I have done the complete tour of the Son Tra peninsula a couple of times (try it if, and only if, you are an adventurer) because at the top, you are all alone in the world… It’s the jungle, there’s no tarred track. But also a magical place.
I recommend renting a good scooter or a rather powerful motorbike because there are some difficult slopes to climb.
At the top, you’ll find a huge 1000-year-old Banyan tree, which is quite spectacular, as well as some Douc monkeys that can only be found here.
You can also camp there. It costs 200,000 VND to rent a tent. I tried it out a couple of weeks ago with a few Vietnamese friends and it was pretty amazing to spend the night there.
3) The Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are the number-one attraction in Da Nang. These hills are made of a combination of marble and limestone.
It is a well-known pilgrimage site with tunnels, caves, pagodas and temples.
Only one mountain is open to the public.
You can visit several caves with many Buddha statues and some pagodas that I found quite interesting.
It costs 40,000 VND to enter.
4) DA NANG BEACHES
Da Nang is famous for its amazing beaches. They have been named on various websites (including TripAdvisor and the Rough Guide) as the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
For those who like to laze about, this place is ideal. You can surf here as well as partake in numerous water sports such as parasailing.
What I like here are the many seafood restaurants you’ll find all along the coast.
Be careful though, you pay by weight and it can be expensive for gourmet food lovers.
5) HAI VAN PASS
The Hai Van Pass was made famous by the television series Top Gear a few years ago.
Nearly 19 km long, it is one of the most spectacular passes in Vietnam and it is also a natural border between the North and South.
At the top, there are French fortifications. You can visit them.
There is also a magnificent view of Lang Co Bay when the weather is clear.
Don’t forget to jot down the phone numbers that you’ll find on the sides of the mountain as these are numbers in case your vehicle breaks down. They are very useful in case of emergencies.
6) THE CHAM MUSEUM
The Cham Museum contains the largest collection of Cham sculptures in Vietnam.
This museum was built by the French, with a total area of 6,700 m² and 2,000 m² of exhibition space.
The museum includes more than 400 Cham sculptures. Explanations in English have recently been added, which are very useful, but you can also ask for a guide at the entrance.
At the same time, don’t forget to go to the My Son Cham Temple
7) THE DA NANG MUSEUM
The Da Nang Museum is the museum you must absolutely see. It presents the city of Da Nang in different forms like its maritime ecosystem, the city of Da Nang during the war as well as the different ethnic minorities, on the top floor.
The museum is very informative and it is an ideal place to learn a little more about Da Nang.
8) PRAO VILLAGE
At 2 hours and 30 minutes from Da Nang, you’ll find Prao Village where the Co Tu, an ethnic minority of Central Vietnam, live.
The village is authentic with the chance to see the traditional houses and costumes with your very own eyes.
To get there, there’s no need for a guide. Just look up Prao Village on Google Maps and you’re all set to go. The views from the road are breathtaking.
9) LANG CO
Lang Co Bay is located directly after the Hai Van Pass in the direction of Da Nang – Hue.
The place hasn’t been developed too much yet and it is a great way to enjoy Lang Co Bay as well as seafood restaurants on stilts
10) ASIA PARK – Sunwheel
If you have children and are looking to keep them occupied, then I’d recommend going to Asia Park, an amusement park. There are, of course, rides for children but also rides to thrill even the bravest.
Just letting you know that I’m not the adventurous or brave type so I haven’t tried out the most exhilarating rides.
The park has the largest ferris wheel in Vietnam. From the top of it, you’ll have a magnificent view of Da Nang.
Bana Hills is good if you have children, otherwise the place is not very interesting. 80% of the place is an amusement park. A French city was reconstructed on site with a cathedral in the middle. It reminded me of Carcassonne. It’s nothing to write home about.
Asian tourists love it but it’s certainly not essential.
Da Nang Dragon Bridge
If you have time to go and see another attraction in Danang, why not go to the Rong Bridge with the famous yellow dragon on it?
This is what comes to most people’s mind when thinking of Da Nang, as you see the dragon on all the souvenirs.
It is especially wonderful at night-time when it is all lit up, spitting out fire and water every weekend…
You can see the show on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 pm.