Da Nang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and it’s growing quickly, both in size and significance. Now is the time to get acquainted with this up-and-comer. For a start, it’s naturally beautiful, sandwiched between the coast and the Central Highlands. A lot of money has been invested in the development of Da Nang’s infrastructure so the city is clean, easy to navigate and is home to a growing number of luxurious holiday resorts with plush golf courses to match.
The people of Da Nang are proud of their city and routinely live up to their reputation for being Vietnam’s friendliest city folk. Da Nang’s attractions, like war-scarred Marble Mountain and its long, quiet beaches, are often missed by tourists in their rush to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue. Don’t miss out – give Da Nang the time it deserves.
Start your day by exploring the nooks and crannies of Danang’s largest market. With an endless array of goods from food and spices to clothing and trinkets, Han Market seems to go on forever. Whether you’re bartering for Vietnamese silk or being a passive observer, this is a great way to experience life in the city.
119 Đường Trần Phú, Danang, Vietnam, 0236 3821 363
Hai Van Pass
From the market, rent a scooter for 100,000–200,000 VND (5–10 USD), and head north to the famous Hai Van Pass. Even before Jeremy Clarkson and the hosts of Top Gear proclaimed this superb stretch of winding mountain road one of the best in the world, locals were climbing these switchbacks with regularity. Stop at the top for a banh mi and a beer, and then do what no one else will. Do not drive down. Just don’t do it. Instead, park your bike down the dirt road just beyond the shops on the top of the pass.
Hai Van Pass, Lang Co, Vietnam
A Secret Beach and the Sunset over Lang Co
After ditching your wheels, walk down the dirt road until you see the frame of a small building poking through the rugged jungle. Just beyond this area, you’ll encounter a narrow pathway that juts straight down the mountain. Spend the next hour stumbling your way toward the smell of the sea and encounter Danang’s hidden gem: a pristine sandy beach enclosed by limestone and jungle looking out over a magical blue lagoon. Bring a snorkel, because there’s plenty of coral and tropical fish to find.
Hike back to the top of the pass, and then you can ride to the end or find a lookout point and watch the sun melt behind the white sand and mesmerizing blue sea of Lang Co.
Banana Beach, Lang Co, Vietnam
Dinner on the Promenade
Descend the pass back into Danang, and find some grub. That ear to ear grin glued to your face will be tough to break, but the delicious seafood served all along the promenade should loosen it up a bit. After a dinner of clams, muscles, and spicy barbecue fish take a stroll along the promenade. Make your way to the Cau Rong Bridge, and watch the dragon spew fire from its mouth (9pm every Saturday and Sunday)
Bach Dang, Danang, Vietnam
A Morning Swim
Get up early and ride just south of downtown to find a deserted spot along Non Nuoc Beach. In the morning, this long crescent of sand is relatively bare and is a great place to soak up some rays and lounge in the warm Vietnamese waters. Just don’t use all your energy; you’ve got a long day ahead.
Non Nuoc Beach, Danang, Vietnam
The Marble Mountains
These five jagged outcroppings shoot up from the ground just south of Danang. Explore the ornate temples and pagodas that look out from the top of each over My Khe Beach. Each mystical marble tower is named for a different element, and legend has it that they rose from the pieces of a dragon egg’s shell. Purchase an intricately carved statuette from one of the many talented craftsmen in the village below.
Marble Mountains, Danang, Vietnam
Han River Cruise
Grab a one dollar bowl of delicious Mi Quang, a Danang specialty, before heading back toward the promenade and finding a seat on one of the river cruises. A fantastic way to see the lights of Danang, a river cruise is an ideal way to wrap up your two-day adventure in this idyllic city setting.
36 Bach Dang, Danang, Vietnam