Da Nang is an excellent base for you to explore the wilderness of Eastern Vietnam. But it's not just a travel town: change is afoot in this once provincial city and you'll appreciate the sparkling hotels and shopping centres that have recently sprung up. Not to mention the wonderful food for sale on every street corner.
1/6Set beside the South China Sea and surrounded by awe-inspiring natural attractions, Da Nang is rapidly changing from a provincial town to a vibrant, modern city
2/6Illuminated at night with a colour-changing display, Da Nang’s Dragon Bridge spews out fire and water and is one of nine spectacular bridges that span the Han River
3/6Trek up one of Marble Mountain’s five peaks for an unrivalled view of Na Dang, exploring scared temples and hidden caves as you go
4/6The Lady Buddha on the Son Tra Peninsula is Vietnam’s tallest Buddhist statue and can be seen from every point of Da Nang City
5/6Bask in the warm Vietnamese sun on China Beach or Non Nuoc as it’s known locally in Na Dang
6/6Discover Da Nang’s secluded bays and breath-taking mountain scenery with a road trip on the Hai Van Pass
Set beside the South China Sea and surrounded by awe-inspiring natural attractions, Da Nang is rapidly changing from a provincial town to a vibrant, modern city
Illuminated at night with a colour-changing display, Da Nang’s Dragon Bridge spews out fire and water and is one of nine spectacular bridges that span the Han River
Trek up one of Marble Mountain’s five peaks for an unrivalled view of Na Dang, exploring scared temples and hidden caves as you go
The Lady Buddha on the Son Tra Peninsula is Vietnam’s tallest Buddhist statue and can be seen from every point of Da Nang City
Bask in the warm Vietnamese sun on China Beach or Non Nuoc as it’s known locally in Na Dang
Discover Da Nang’s secluded bays and breath-taking mountain scenery with a road trip on the Hai Van Pass
Things to do
We've chosen the must-see highlights of this fantastic city.
We've chosen the must-see highlights of this fantastic city.
Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
For art and history buffs, the Museum of Cham Sculpture offers a glimpse into the rise and fall of the kingdom of Champa (7th-19th century). The museum is home to an unrivalled collection of sandstone and terracotta works of art, most of them rescued from ruins across Central Vietnam. Visitors can see how Champa art evolved, with its images of dancing girls, worshippers and mythical beasts.
In terms of specific attractions, the Bà Nà Hill Station is probably the city’s biggest draw. Once a French-colonial retreat, it is now a hotel-resort complex. It is best accessed via the world's highest and longest non-stop cable-car ride, a trip that sees you whizz over jungle, waterfalls and streams. Upon reaching the top, visitors can tour the recently-restored Debay wine cellar. Built in 1923, this unique arched structure is hugely popular with tourists – as is the opportunity to sample a few of its wines.
Hoa Vang District, 30 kilometres from the centre of Da Nang
Danang Golf Club
Designed by Australian golfing great Greg Norman, Danang Golf Club is where reasonable to serious golfers play their game. The 7,160-yard, 18-hole course presents blown-out bunkers, undulating fairways, rugged waste areas, swales and hollows by the sea. The club also offers international cuisine from seven dining venues.
Son Tra, Dien Ngoc Coastal Street, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang
South of Da Nang, each of the Marble Mountains takes its name from one of the five natural elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son (water) is open to visitors. You can go the easy way – by lift – or ascend steep stairs, squeezing through narrow rock formations as you go. Either way, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of the city and beach when you reach the summit.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, Da Nang (8 kilometres south-east of Da Nang city)
Thuy Son caves
On the way down Thuy Son mountain, stop off at the Huyen Khong Cave – used by the Vietcong during the American War. At midday, sunlight streams through an opening in the ceiling, lighting up the cave and its four altars for health, love, money and children. Before leaving the Marble Mountains, visit Am Phu Cave, with its depictions of the afterlife. You can work your way up from "hell" to "heaven" via stairs lined with dozens of Buddhist statues stacked on top of each other in niches in the rock.
Marble Mountains, Nguyen Duc Thuan, Da Nang
Nam O fish-sauce village
Back on the mainland, a more unusual tourist attraction is the Nam O fish-sauce village on National Highway 1. You'll soon notice the scent of this pungent condiment, made from long-jawed anchovies. At one time, the production of traditional-fish-sauce nearly lost out to a more profitable trade in cannons. A subsequent government ban on armaments, though, has seen fish-sauce production restored to village life.
National Highway 1, Hoa Hiep Ward, Lien Chieu District, Da Nang
Previously inhabited by the Cham people, this group of eight islets provides some welcome respite from the urban bustle. Take a taxi to Hoi An and stop at Cua Dai Beach, from where you can take a speedboat or a public ferry to the islands. Once there, jump on the back of a xe om (motorbike taxi) and zip past temples, paddy fields and roaming buffalo. Your driver can drop you off at Bai Chong Beach or Bai Huong fishing village. Trek through jungle bordering the deserted beach, where waves crash against the rockfalls, or swim to Hang En Cave, home to numerous swiftlets prized for their nests. Go scuba diving or snorkelling to experience the beauty of the area's coral reefs.
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