The Vietnamese city of Da Nang is increasingly becoming a popular travel destination in Southeast Asia for its beauty, culture and geographical location. With a river and seafront and the mountains at the back, this travel hotspot is located between Hanoi and Saigon. While travellers once passed Da Nang to reach Hoi An, the rising development and the future plans of the city now attracts lots of tourists who spend their holiday here.
Being the third-largest city of Vietnam, Da Nang offers a variety of options for food, accommodations options, along with cultural opportunities for you to enjoy and explore. Being a city with rich historical and cultural background, you have several sightseeing options in Da Nang, that includes several hundred year old pagodas, Buddhist religious sites and shrines, colonial buildings built by the French, national parks, and serene beaches. For a tourist visiting Da Nang, all of this gets complemented by several high-quality accommodation options.
With so many activities and important tourist locations being there in the city, you must plan your trip ahead. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, Da Nang has several beaches to choose from. During May and September, the lovely beaches of Da Nang such as My Khe Beach and Lang Co Beach attract lots of tourists, who enjoy activities like surfing, snorkelling, and jet-skiing. Along with the beaches, the World Heritage Sites of the city are quite a crowd-puller and are also easily accessible for the tourists that are visiting the city as they are mostly within a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Being a popular holiday destination for tourists across the globe, Da Nang suits tourists of all tastes, styles, and budgets.
With Da Nang being a large city with several interesting and unique features of each neighbourhood, in the end, it becomes a matter of your choice and preference; as to where you would prefer to stay- close to the sea or the river, as both are equally good, attractive and interesting. So, let us look at some of the places where you can plan your stay in Da Nang.
My Khe Beach
My Khe Beach forms the seaside boundary of the Son Tra district. Lined with resorts, this 9km long beach is going through constant changes and is upgrading itself to make its mark on the world map as one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the world.
As it regularly comes up in magazines as one of the best beaches of the world, the My Khe Beach’s vast stretch and the long beach’s soft sands led the New York Times magazine to describe it as the “Miami of Vietnam”. The up-and-coming skyline on the Vo Nguyen Giap, which also happens to be the beachfront drive, does give the beach a vibe that is worthy of the title. With changing time and development work going on, the My Khe Beach stands as a symbol of the bright future that lies ahead of Da Nang. The popular tourist destination is loved by the Chinese and the South Koreans for being a large and attractive neighbourhood in a tropical city with a beach. Da Nang’s My Khe Beach is starting to get popular amongst Australians as well.
With its location being close to the city centre, it’s understandable if you would love a neighbourhood like this, and staying here is a wise choice as along with easy accessibility, it also lets you enjoy your time at the beach during the holiday. Known for once being a popular spot among the American soldiers during the US-Vietnam War, My Khe Beach remains crowded during the weekends as well as weekdays, as it is loved by the locals and the tourists.
Along with its own beauty and the beach vibe, its location plays a huge role in its popularity. It is just a 10-minute drive from the Son Tra Mountain or the Monkey Mountain. This means that tourists attractions like the Linh Ung Pagoda and the Goddess of Mercy are within your easy reach if you plan your stay in this neighbourhood. Places and tourist attractions like the Hue Imperial City, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Phing Nga Caves are also easily accessible from the My Khe Beach neighbourhood as buses and taxis ply to and fro.
My Khe Beach has several options when it comes to food and hotels, catering to every taste and price range, and thus letting tourists have their preferable option of stay, food and drink during their holiday. It is perfect for those who are wishing to spend your holiday close to a beach and close to the Da Nang City Centre as well. It is also a nice place to stay as you can get seafood at a varied price range and get yourself involved in beach activities like surfing, jet skiing and snorkelling. That being said, it is always crowded with tourists during the weekends and the holidays, so if you are someone who wants a peaceful stay, My Khe Beach might not be your best option as it is a lively neighbourhood filled with energy.
Da Nang City Centre
The Downtown area of Da Nang, or the City Center area is right between the Han River and the airport. So the travellers who opt to stay here, find themselves close to the airport and prominent beaches of Da Nang like the My Khe Beach and Non-Nuoc beach. This is mainly a business and administrative area, and along with street food, you can find the best restaurant, bars and club options of the city, along with a lot of variety.
If you are here in Da Nang for the first time, prefer staying close to the river in the area between the Han River Bridge and the Dragon Bridge as this is where the life of the city lies. Along the riverfront, The Han Market remains the central point of action of the neighbourhood. The Han Market is a lively place that opens up early morning for business. Along with your regular grocery items, you can find your souvenir items of unique designs that you would like to take back home for your loved ones, that too at a reasonable price. If you are looking to explore the city or plan your trips from here, you can find travel agents near the market selling long-distance bus and train tickets.
The neighbourhood has a wide range of accommodation, dining and drinking options as well as expansive shopping complexes. Towards the north of the Han River Bridge, on the riverfront side, you can find several luxury hotels, if that is what suits your style. Also, riverfront lounges and rooftop bars with beautiful and spectacular views of the Han River and Dragon Bridge are where you find the drinking options with an active and busy nightlife.
If you are looking for exploring the neighbourhood and visiting the historical sites, make sure you visit the Da Nang Cathedral, Phap Lam Pagoda, and Cham Museum. But do keep in mind that the traffic here does get a bit congested.
Non-Nuoc Beach is loved by tourists who are looking to escape busy city life and have fun at the beach. Just a 10-minute drive from Hoi An, this neighbourhood is home to a large number of resorts and luxury hotels. Although there are several food options for a varied price range, you don’t want to miss out on the restaurants that are visited by the Michelin-starred chefs. If you want to pamper yourself, soak up the sun on the beach or indulge yourself in the spa treatments in the several parlours available here.
Once here, you can visit the Marble Mountains, which is home to the famous 17th-century Buddhist sanctuaries and pagoda temples and has several sacred limestone caves along with local handicraft villages. You can also spend time at the banks of the Co Co River, also known as the Stork Neck River. Both of these are quite accessible from the neighbourhood as it is a 10-minute walk from the beach.
If you are someone who would prefer a quiet stay, away from the rush and noise of the city centre, Non-Nuoc Beach would be the private place for you to stay.
The Resort Coast
Located in the southern district of Da Nang, in the Ngu Hanh Son District, this section of the beach stretches from the Vo Nguyen Giap road till the beachfront. About 28km in length, the beach stretches from Son Tra in Da Nang to Cua Dai in Hoi An, and reports say that with the new development projects that are going on on the entire coastline till Hoi An, it may soon be referred to as Greater Da Nang.
The Resort coast sort of starts with the Premier Village Da Nang Resort in the northern side of the beach, and has the Marble Mountains in the middle section and goes on till the Cocobay Resort, that’s at the southern border area of the city. That is, on the southern side of the Marble Mountains, the beach continues and is known as Non-Nuoc Beach.
This place is more of resorts and large properties. With mainly being about the urban lifestyle, this neighbourhood is all about resorts. So, if you wouldn’t mind spending your holiday in a luxury hotel and resort, this neighbourhood is perfect for you as there are several resort options available here.
The Son Tra Peninsula
Known for being the neighbourhood for having the large, famous and visible landmark- The Lady Buddha Statue, The Son Tra Peninsula marks the northern end of the beach of the Da Nang city. It is a green headland that remains a conservation area with plans of development in the near future.
Also, when it comes to staying and accommodation options in this neighbourhood, it is quite like the Resort Coast neighbourhood- perfect for the ones who would prefer a luxurious holiday. That being said, unlike the resort coast, there’s quite a lot that you can do here.
Being a long peninsula with white sand-filled beaches and vibrant forests, the beautiful landscape and the picturesque landscape makes the place a must-visit for the travellers visiting Da Nang. Once here, you can explore the historical sites of the neighbourhood and enjoy the panoramic view of the summit. Tourists often get themselves in forest activities as they dive into nature and have an experience that is unique in every way.
Like Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Son Tra Quan Am or the Son Tra Goddess of Mercy is an important landmark of the Da Nang city, present in this neighbourhood. Important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations are also there in this neighbourhood, like the But Pagoda, Quan Am statue and Linh Ung pagoda. The Son Tra Quan Am statue is an important figure of spirituality and religion as it 17 stories high with each floor having 21 Buddha idols, representing peace and spiritual life.
If you are visiting Da Nang to explore the city and intent on exploring the Son Tra Peninsula, you can rent a scooter or a motorbike for yourself as the areas around the Banyan Tree, or the Lighthouse are not accessible by taxi. Also, since the roads are mostly empty and lack traffic, it is quite safe for you to drive or ride your bike. If you are with your family, then you can rent a taxi and visit Man Thai Village, Linh Ung Pagoda, Ban Co Peak and the Banyan Tree.
Along with the lack of accommodation options, expect the few resorts and 5star luxury hotels at the beginning of the peninsula, the neighbourhood also lacks shops for you to buy food and drinks for yourself.
With all being said, it should be noted that Da Nang is still a developing tourist destination, with most of its development projects nearing completion. So, it would be quite common for you to notice construction works as several entrepreneurs and big businesses are pouring into the city and investing to fill up the vacant places with shops and hotels.
Da Nang is divided into six districts. With most of the major tourist attracts being close by, and as the city is filled with world heritage sites, you can explore the city by navigating on foot. Or you can easily book a car for yourself or find a taxi, as navigating in the city is a breeze as the city lacks traffic compared to other popular cities. In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Have fun exploring this lively city of Vietnam, as there’s a lot for you to see and do.