Welcome to Da Nang!
Da Nang is the biggest city in central Vietnam and one of the biggest in the whole country. It is also the leading industrial center of central Vietnam with its GDP per capita one of the highest in this country. At first Da Nang was a small trading port – same as Hoi An, but it grew rapidly and now has become the largest commercial port in the region. Yeah, now you might imagine how big is the city. And it’s not that easy to get around it because of the limited public transportation. Though, if you have arrived here or even if you are close, you shouldn’t miss this place. Why? Check out our TOP 5 Must-See in Da Nang and you will understand, why!
1. Walk on the bridges and see the Sculpture Park!
There are several bridges crossing the Han River and two of the most beautiful are the Dragon Bridge and Cau Son Bridge at night when it`s lit. Dragon Bridge is constructed in the shape of a golden dragon which is a symbol of power, nobility and good fortune. Cross this bridge from the head to tail and get some great views of the city as well! The Cau Son Bridge is located just next to the Dragon Bridge and when it’s dark the bridge is being lit with different dancing colours, so just take your time and see the light show! And between these two bridges there is a small Sculpture Park (on the Dragon`s tail side) which is rich with so beautiful sculptures that you would wish to take a pic of each and every of them!
2. Explore the Son Tra Peninsula
If you walk by the beach to the North of the city you will find hills of the Son Tra Peninsula. And they are rich of sites to visit and three of which we recommend you to see are Chua Linh Ung temple complex, Botanical Garden and Dinh Ban Co viewpoint. There are roads up the mountain to reach the last mentioned places, but for this it’s better to rent a bicycle or motorcycle as the peninsula itself is very large. Moreover, you will see some lonely beaches, random fishermen and that huge Da Nang on the horizon. Wow!
The one place reachable by 5 km hike from the Da Nang beach is the Chua Linh Ung Temple Complex. If you follow the main road you will end up seeing huge Buddha statue on the top of the hill. There are the main gate to enter this marvelous temple complex for free. But if someone ever puts on the entrance fee on this place, there is one way to get to the temple by off road. When you will be on the right side of the big Buddha statue you will see the stairs leading up the hill. Those are not meant for climbing, but for water to runoff from the hilltop. Though we actually took these stairs. Why not? At the end there are bushes and a fence with a hole in it, so of you feel fit enough for such a challenge, go the random way and get inside the temple complex like this. At first we thought we had skipped the entrance fee, but when we got to know that there isn’t any, we were just happy we still know how to deal with such challenging trails.
3. Get around locals in Con Market and Han Market
Con Market is a huge shopping place near the train station. This is definitely our favourite, because it is not that touristy as the Han Market and you can actually see locals selling and buying things in huge crowds – trying on the clothes that are put in huge piles in the middle of the market building and bargaining. Yeah, it’s even possible to get lost here in those two thousand stalls selling handicrafts, clothes, spices, herbs, food products and so much more. Once this market was a meeting point for farmers and fishermen from Vietnam’s rural districts. Now this has become amazing shopping experience for locals and one of the cheapest markets we had seen.
Han Market, on the other hand, is full of tourists and locals trying to grab everyone by the arm just to sell their product for unreasonable prices. Here you will also find handicrafts, clothing and traditional Vietnamese food. This place might be easier to shop in as here locals will know some English. Though here the bargaining skills should be sharp, otherwise you will be overcharged for sure!
4. Visit religious buildings like Chua Phap Lam, Chua Bat Nha, Da Nang Cathedral, Chinh Trach Cathedral
Chua Phap Lam is a two-storey temple where you will be able to find nice garden around and beautiful Buddha statues all over. This temple is very peaceful, for us it seemed even abandoned. Very close to the Chua Phap Lam is Chua Bat Nha – another Buddhist temple that will surprise with its wood carvings, sacred statues and also a pond with huge fishes and turtles inside. Da Nang Cathedral is very popular site near the bridges and the Sculpture Park. This pink church is welcoming visitors apart of the mass time. And Chinh Trach Cathedral is another beautiful religious site to see in the city. There four places are free of charge.
5. Relax at the beach and see Chua Buru Dai Son Temple
Yes, there is a beach in Da Nang as well! And this is a long one. Go sunbathing, surfing and enjoying the meals in the seaside restaurants. If you walk a bit away from the resorts and coast for swimming, in the North side of the beach you will find the coast with fishermen. And just across the street there will be Chua Buru Dai Son Temple. Stunning, colourful religious site that shouldn’t be skipped. And again, from here you can get to our Second Point of the TOP 5 – the Son Tra Peninsula. Enjoy your holidays!
EXTRA. A bit away from the city – The Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are marble and limestone hills in a place between Hoi An and Da Nang, easily reachable by bus. Here you will be able to hike and explore the caves, tunnels and Buddhist shrines. This place will bring you joy for a whole day if you are eager to climb to the top of the hills. The entrance fee is 20.000 VND per person
Da Nang. This is huge and interesting place where you will find the most glamorous next to the very local. A real industrial center, where electrics, chemicals and textils are produced, and let’s not skip the shipbuilding! Yeah, this is a city you will find beautiful sites to visit as well! So enjoy!