My name is Ariane and welcome to my Da Nang travel guide! I’m from São Bernardo do Campo, a city close to Sao Paulo. Growing up, I lived in a big city and only had the chance to take a few trips around my home state. My first international trip was to Argentina with a group of friends when I was 22. Before that, I had neither the desire nor the resources to travel.
The dream was to do an exchange after I finished studying engineering and environmentalism. I worked for five years to save money and took an internship in London, followed by living in Dublin where I had the chance to get to know some European countries. That’s when my passion for travel began. I then returned to Brazil and started preparing for a sabbatical year learning how to become a digital nomad. Life on the move fascinated me and I wanted to meet people, see the world and not just live in one place.
This desire to travel led me to visit Vietnam but, to be honest, it was never on my bucket list. I was in Thailand at the time, and talked to the locals and other travelers who recommended Vietnam to me. So I decided to get a one-month visa and start in the south, in Ho Chi Minh City. I delved a little deeper into the history of the country, particularly the war, and then I headed to Da Nang and Hoi An. I fell in love with the city for its fantastic beach, incredible coastline, friendly people and relaxing atmosphere.
Life in Da Nang seemed calm and different. I continued my journey to Hanoi where I visited Ha Long Bay and did the Ha Giang Loop. It was incredible! Because of the visa, I had to leave Vietnam. So I returned to Thailand and it was there that I realized I wanted to spend more time in Da Nang. I returned and it was even better than the first visit!
Why Da Nang is Such a Great Place
Da Nang is different from other cities in Vietnam as it’s located by the beach. It has a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. I love the beach, so I connected with that aspect of the city. What’s more, I loved the theme parks and super structures around Da Nang. The giant Lady Buddha gives off a feeling of protection and the famous Dragon Bridge is a must-visit.
Then there are the night markets and an amusement park in the city center. The staff working in Da Nang are super friendly, unlike other places I’ve been to in Vietnam. It’s also located close to Hoi An, another charming city that attracts tourists and offers incredible tours. I took a cooking class and went on a boat tour on my visit to Hoi An. It’s less than an hour away.
6 Best Things To Do in Da Nang
1. Enjoy the Main Beach, My Khe Beach
Da Nang’s main beach is a lovely stretch of sand along the waters of the South China Sea. Known for its pristine beauty and gentle waves, My Khe Beach offers a perfect blend of tranquility and vibrancy. The 20-kilometer coastline is adorned with coconut palms, creating a picturesque setting. Renowned for its cleanliness, the beach attracts locals and tourists alike for sunbathing, water sports and leisurely strolls at sunset. Lined with bars, resorts and restaurants, My Khe captures the essence of Vietnam’s coast.
2. Visit Dragon Bridge and the Night Market
Experience the allure of Da Nang by visiting the iconic Dragon Bridge on the weekend. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Night Market nearby, where local culinary delights await your taste buds. Indulge in authentic Vietnamese flavors and take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank, surrounded by the city’s lights. This weekend escape offers a harmonious blend of cultural immersion, delectable cuisine and scenic beauty – promising an unforgettable experience in the heart of Vietnam.
3. Watch the Sunset Over Da Nang at Lady Buddha
As the sun descends, casting a warm golden glow on the landscape, the towering statue becomes a silhouette against the sky. Perched on the Son Tra Peninsula, Lady Buddha offers a panoramic vista of the city and the East Vietnam Sea, creating a mesmerizing setting for reflection and serenity. Feel the tranquility wash over you as you absorb the spiritual ambiance and marvel at the breathtaking scenery. A visit to the giant Lady Buddha at sunset is a journey into both inner peace and natural beauty.
4. Take a Trip to Hoi An and Make a Custom Outfit
Embark on a day trip to Hoi An, renowned for its rich heritage and skilled tailors. Immerse yourself in the tapestry of Hoi An’s colonial streets as you explore the bustling markets and narrow alleys. Elevate your experience by indulging in the town’s famous tailoring services, where skilled artisans craft custom outfits. From selecting fabrics to getting precise measurements, this personalized activity promises a memorable keepsake.
5. Do a Cooking Class and Learn About Local Food
While in Hoi An, be sure to join a cooking class to unravel the secrets of the local cuisine – guided by skilled chefs who share their expertise and stories. Delve into the vibrant markets, discovering fresh ingredients that characterize Hoi An’s gastronomic delights. This culinary adventure not only tantalizes your taste buds but also unveils the cultural tapestry of this UNESCO World Heritage site, making for a delectable experience!
6. Venture to the Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge
Visiting the Ba Na Hills from Da Nang takes less than an hour and is well worth it. The iconic Golden Bridge, suspended by giant stone hands, steals the spotlight, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the lush landscapes below. This architectural wonder not only serves as a symbolic gateway to the heavens, but also creates cool and unique photo opportunities. The scenic cable car journey to the Ba Na Hills itself is an unforgettable experience, showcasing stunning vistas throughout.
Tips for Your Trip to Da Nang
Da Nang has several hotels on the seafront that are cheap. I ended up staying at Mio. Hostel (close to the beach). I also recommend The Glomad Danang Hotel for those who want to stay in front of the beach in comfort and at a great price. The best way to get to Da Nang is by plane. It has an organized airport, with direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Another option is taking the bus, which is very cheap, but it can take a long time. Since prices are already low, flying is a good option.
I first visited Da Nang in June which offered pleasant weather. On my next trip, I came in July/August when it was hotter. I suggest going between January and May. If you want to come in October or November, expect more rain. I recommend getting to know the locals of Da Nang, talking to the restaurant owners, asking them to recommend places that the locals like to visit as they always have great tips for local hotspots.
The best way to get around Da Nang is by renting a scooter or motorbike, and riding around the city whenever and wherever you want. Finally, make sure you bring some sunscreen, be open to new opportunities, and when you go to Hoi An be sure to ask for a discount when buying leather or getting clothes tailored as they often increase the prices for tourists!