According to the locals, Da Nang is the most worthy place to live in Vietnam. Da Nang was ranked 43rd on the list of 52 places to go in 2015 by The New York Times. With breathtaking views all around the city, I can see why. My first impression of Da Nang – the landscape reminds me of California… mountains near the beach and plenty of sunshine. There aren’t quite as many tourists here as nearby Hoi An, so you won’t be hassled by drivers for rides as much. One drawback though – it was harder to find a reasonably priced Western breakfast… and eating noodles for breakfast just isn’t my cup of tea.
My favorite day trip in Da Nang was exploring the Marble Mountains. It’s a cluster of five mountains with caves, tunnels, Buddhist sanctuaries, and even a modern elevator to take you up to the top. I recommend taking the elevator to preserve your energy for exploring once you’re in the mountains, but don’t pay for the round trip ride like I accidentally did, just pay for the ride up and take the steps down. There is so much to explore you’ll probably want to spend most of your day here, don’t combine it with another tour in the same day.
The beaches in Da Nang are fantastic… Forbes Magazine claims it’s one of the six most glamorous beaches in the world. It’s very clean, easy to find parking, great food options, showers, overall it’s a great design. The locals prefer to swim laps in the mornings super early, like around 5:00 or 6:00 AM. Apparently the ocean is full around this time with swimmers, and then it clears up when they go to work. After work hours in the evening is another busy time, so if you go during the day time, you’ll have the beach mostly to yourself.
Explore the Area on Motor Bike
Exploring the city on a motor bike is a blast and a must-do. It’s much easier and safer to drive around Da Nang than in Saigon because the roads are so nice and wide, so there is plenty of room to merge and avoid others.
Help the locals learn English at the Vision English Cafe in the evening. They have regular sessions that include a speaker and chatting with university students, and others of all ages. It’s a good opportunity to chat with locals and it’s always nice to give back when you get a chance.
Sky Bar Views
Sky36 is a nice sky bar in the Novotel building that opens at 6:00 PM with incredible panoramic views. Like any sky bar the drinks are expensive, but the happy hour starting at 6:00 PM has a buy-2-get-1-free deal. If you go right at 6:00 you can watch the sunset near the Monkey Mountain area. Unfortunately it was cloudy the night I went, but the views are still very impressive, and you can see the bridges and the world’s 4th largest ferris wheel light up at night.
Sites of the City
Check out Lady Buddha at Monkey Mountain on the Northern edge of the city. It’s a short scooter ride from central Da Nang, and the area is full of stunning views worthy of writing a blog about 😉
Da Nang Bridges
Also, Da Nang has some really nice looking bridges to check out. The newest and everyone’s favorite is the Dragon Bridge. You can watch the dragon breath fire on weekend nights at 9:00 PM. I never got to see it, but I hear it’s fun.