Travel Guide Vietnam: Da Nang
The coastal city of Da Nang fascinates its visitors with a mix of historical-cultural elements and beautiful destinations in nature. Learn more in the following blog.
Da Nang is the fifth-largest city in Vietnam, located at the country’s east coast at the mouth of the Han River.
Da Nang is an attractive travel destination due to its large, white beaches, a multitude of restaurants and cafés and interesting cultural sites. If you are passionate about nature, you should not miss a visit to Son Tra Mountain or and Da Nang’s coastal region.
If you are interested in the rich Vietnamese culture, you will surely be attracted by Da Nang’s centuries-old pagodas, French colonial buildings or the Marble Mountains. All in all, Da Nang’s attractions are a good mix of historical elements and beautiful nature sites.
not certain, from 192 AD
On the east coast of central Vietnam, on the delta of the Han River.
approx. 1,300 km² (Da Nang Province)
Wide range of accommodation options, from basic and high-end hotels to budget backpacker hostels
Relaxing on one of the many beaches, enjoying cultural offerings and sights, trying Vietnamese cuisine, exploring the surrounding natural landscapes
Best travel time
February to July, especially February and March
Son Tra Peninsula with its beaches and Monkey Mountain, Marble Mountains, Dragon Bridge and Golden Bridge, Hai Van Pass, proximity to Hue, Hoi An and My Son
Visiting Da Nang
Location of Da Nang
Da Nang is located on the east coast of central Vietnam on the South China Sea. The Han River flows into Da Nang Bay directly at the city. About 90 km to the north is the city of Hue, 30 km to the south the city of Hoi An. During the time of French colonial rule, Da Nang was also known as Tourane.
During the Vietnam War, Da Nang served as an important navy and air force base for the US military. At that time, Da Nang slowly developed into one of the largest cities in South Vietnam. Today, almost one million people live in the country's fifth largest city, which is also the capital of the province of the same name.
Da Nang is characterized by a tropical monsoon climate. There can be distinguished between two seasons: a shorter dry season from February to April and a longer rainy season from May to January. In summer, temperatures can climb to well over 30°C, while in winter they are usually around 25°C.
Accommodation and activities in Da Nang
Da Nang has a wide range of accommodation with hundreds of hotels and hostels. The available hotels range from simple and rustic to upscale and high-end. Those who prefer a classic backpacking atmosphere can stay in one of the countless hostels. Accommodation is spread throughout the city, many of them right on the beach.
Travellers in Da Nang can get to know the city and its surroundings through a wide range of activities. Cultural sights – such as the Golden Bridge at the Bà Nà Hills Resort, the Dragon Bridge, the Bodhisattva statue or the Cham Museum – are just as diverse as hiking opportunities and nature-based destinations that offer idyllic views. The highlights below describe a selection of particularly interesting destinations in more detail.
Travel time for Da Nang
The best time to travel to central Vietnam, and therefore Da Nang, is generally between February and July/August, as strong typhoons can hit the region during the rest of the year. October to December in particular prove to be less suitable travel months for Da Nang due to likely heavy rainfall.
February, March and April are the months with the least precipitation, whereas the period from May to September is the warmest, with temperatures reaching 30°C and more. Overall, however, there are no major temperature fluctuations throughout the year – there is a hot and humid tropical climate practically all year round – and average temperatures are around 26 to 29°C.
Highlights of Da Nang
Son Tra Peninsula
About 10 km northeast of the city of Da Nang lies the Son Tra Peninsula off the coast of the South China Sea. Travellers should not miss out on a visit to Son Tra because of the beautiful coastline and the mountains that are perfect for hiking.
The highlight of the island is certainly the so-called Monkey Mountain: from the highest point of the peninsula (just under 700 m), views of the surrounding landscapes and the sea are inspiring. As the name suggests, encounters with the monkeys living there, mostly langurs, are quite common.
To the north and south of Son Tra, there are also several beaches worth visiting, where you can relax and enjoy the view of the turquoise water. The Nam Ô Beach and the long beach south of the peninsula, which is made up of different sections, are particularly worth mentioning.
Located south of Da Nang, the Marble Mountains, which despite their name are mainly made of limestone, are five solitary rocks up to 100 metres high. They are named after the five elements metal (Kim), earth (Tho), fire (Hoa), wood (Moc) and water (Thuy); only the latter is accessible to visitors and can be climbed to the top.
Various caves, tunnels and stony vaults can be found in each rock. A special attraction are the Buddhist and Hindu rock grottos, a collection of numerous temples, pagodas and Buddhist and Hindu figures that can be marvelled at during a discovery tour of Thuy Rock. Those who climb all the way to the top can also look forward to great views of Da Nang and the surrounding landscapes.
Hai Van Pass
The Hai Van Pass forms the meteorological divide and thus the natural border between North and South Vietnam. The pass is about 20 km long and reaches almost 500 m in altitude. From its highest point, visitors are offered a beautiful panoramic view of the sea to Da Nang and the Son Tra Peninsula on clear days. Most days, however, Hai Van Pass is shrouded in clouds – not surprisingly, it is also known as Ocean Cloud Pass. It is located about 25 km north of Da Nang.
Hue, Hoi An and My Son
Da Nang proves to be an optimal starting point for excursions to the ancient imperial city of Hue, the city of Hoi An and the temples of My Son.
With its numerous pagodas, lakes and gardens, Hue is a sight itself, but as a visitor you should not miss the Citadel and the Forbidden City, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
The city of Hoi An, about 30 km away, also has a fascinating historic old town, which is worth seeing and was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
From Hoi An, you can head to the 3rd century temples of My Son, 35 km away, which date back to the Cham culture.
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