Da Nang

Da Nang Travel Guide

Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay // CC0

Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay // CC0

Introduction

Sandwiched between the Central Highlands and the South China Sea in Central Vietnam, the city of Da Nang offers a scenic and less crowded alternative to nearby Hoi An. With underrated beaches, numerous cultural sights, and stunning peaks within close reach, this might just be the sleeper destination that will make your trip to Vietnam/SE Asia an amazing one.

Cultural Attractions

Cultural travellers visiting the Da Nang area will want to plan a visit to the Linh Ung Pagoda first. While the temple here is stunning in appearance and well worth a look, the biggest attraction on the premises is the Lady Buddha statue.

Staying an imposing 67 metres high on a coastal headland, it dominates the horizon for many kilometres in every direction. Portraying the goddess of mercy, local fishers would pray to this deity before putting out to sea in pursuit of their profession.

A Sleeping Buddha, a variety of ornate statues, and the numerous, well-tended bonsai trees round out the highlights here – be sure to set aside at least a couple hours for this standout attraction.

Make the Site Archeologique de My Son the next sight you see on your Da Nang travels. Here, you’ll find remains related to religious ceremonies that were performed here between the 4th and 14th centuries AD.

In addition to the rites performed by royalty at this excavated site, a number of Cham kings were buried here as well. During your time here, you’ll notice a number of pagodas which look like they would fit in better at Angkor Wat – your imagination is not playing tricks on you, as this part of the country was once a hotspot of Hinduism before Buddhism became the primary faith in the Da Nang area.

Learn more about the ancient kingdom which once ruled over this region at the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture. While small in its footprint, you’ll find a comprehensive collection of stone sculptures recovered from ruins over the years.

In addition to these marvellous artifacts, you’ll also find examples of traditional Cham clothing, pottery, and other relics of this storied civilization – for the brief amount of time it takes to cover this museum, it makes for an easy addition to your itinerary.

While Buddhism is the primary religion in Vietnam, Christianity (Catholicism in particular) also lays claim to a significant number of adherents in this country. As such, Da Nang Cathedral is a sight worth seeing for those visiting this Central Vietnamese city.

Constructed in the Gothic style, it stands out from surrounding structures with its flamingo pink paint job. Within, its arches and sunny yellow ceiling make for an inspiring atmosphere for those sightseeing or attending mass. With services in English, you needn’t worry about not being able to follow along – check upon arrival to confirm the right time.

Other Attractions

Da Nang is situated in the midst of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This means it is smack dab in the middle of some of the best mountain scenery this country has to offer. Access one of the best views in the area by heading up Son Tra Mountain.

Also known as Monkey Mountain, it stands 693 metres above sea level, allowing visitors to scope out stunning views of mist-shrouded peaks and the ethereal blue of the South China Sea to the east. Just be careful of the troops of monkeys which call this place home – many are habituated to humans and aren’t shy about snatching food or any other object which catches their fancy.

The Marble Mountains is another geological wonder which should be on your list of places to visit in Da Nang. A set of five hills composed of limestone and marble, they have occupied a place in local lore for eons.

Each has been assigned an element, and atop each hill, a pagoda can be found. The climb, while steep, is worth it for the views that can be had from each of their summits. The trail can be a bit rough in places, though, so be sure to wear shoes suited to the task of climbing.

Is the tropical heat of coastal Da Nang driving you out of your gourd? Take a break from the 80% humidity of the lowlands by taking a day trip to the Ba Na Hills. A hill station established by the French during the days when Vietnam was part of their Indochinese colony, it is cool (if a bit touristy) place where locals and travellers can relax in dramatically lower temperatures of the highlands.

Da Nang is noted for having some of the finest beaches in Vietnam. There are many to choose from, but make time for Non Nuoc Beach if you are on a tight schedule. A long strip boasting white sand and relatively clean water, you won’t have trouble finding a spot to roll out your towel so you can relax in peace.