Da Nang is a coastal city in central Vietnam, mid-way between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. It is often used as a gateway to other central cities, particularly Hoi An. But lately, it has been gaining popularity for its beaches and mountains.
You will find My Khe Beach 6km east of the city center. It is among Vietnam’s finest and stretches for about 20 miles. Surrounded by high-end resorts and restaurants, it’s like a very low-key Miami, where you can bathe in the sun, go snorkeling, or ride some waves if you are lucky.
If you are looking to spend a few days at the coast, Da Nang is well suited to stay a few days. However, if you are looking for a more cultural experience, we recommend to stay in Hoi An instead. And visit Da Nang, and its attractions, as a day trip from Hoi An or as part of the Hai Van Pass from Hue to Hoi An.
Things to do nearby Da Nang
Da Nang is the gateway to Ba Na Hills, a French village on top of a mountain. Located some 35km east of the city center, it is best reached via a cable car. You’ll find here a well-manicured flower garden, medieval architecture, an amusement park, and the famous golden bridge.
Bana Hills is a good place for taking photos, especially if you have a drone. However, the area is normally packed with tourists, taking away the serenity of being on top of a mountain. Also, some travellers say the facilities don’t look as authentic as they do in pictures. There might not be much to do apart from having a good photo op.
About 9km south of Da Nang is the Marble Mountains, a group of limestone hills dotted with Buddhist sanctuaries. Climbing the steps to the peak will give you an amazing view of the city, but an elevator is also available for those who are not able to hike.
If you want to see the city’s more traditional side, go 20km northwest at Son Tra Peninsula, also called the Monkey Mountain. It is best visited with a motorbike if you know how to ride. At the foot of the mountain is a fishing village worth visiting in the morning, before all the tourists arrive.
Then you can proceed to the winding road up the mountain, surrounded by greenery and with a great view of the ocean. Its most famous landmark is the 67-meter Lady Buddha statue, but you will also find many interesting stops along the way.
Then there is Hai Van Pass or Sea Clouds Pass, a 25-km winding road that connects Da Nang to Hue. Here lies one of Vietnam’s most picturesque views, probably the most beautiful road trip you can have in the region. It is also best travelled on a motorbike, but is reserved for the more experienced bikers. Read more about it in this post that is all about how to plan your trip over the Hai Van Pass.
What to see in Da Nang city
If you don’t want to go too far, within the city center is the Phap Lam Pagoda. With its beautiful garden and towering Buddhist sculptures, it is a quiet refuge in the bustling city.
At night, the city’s highlight is the Dragon Bridge, Vietnam’s longest at 666 meters. Its display of lights already attracts tourists and locals every night. But every weekend from 21:00 onwards, the dragon also “breathes” fire and water for a spectacular light show.