Fun experiences and things to do in Da Nang in central Vietnam
WHY DA NANG SHOULD BE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST
On my first trip to Vietnam we started out in the coastal city of Da Nang and I instantly fell in love. Nestled between beautiful hills and lush jungle, Da Nang swept me off my feet with it’s dreamy white beach as far as my eyes could see and its super friendly people. If its not already on your bucket list you should start to make room; this city deserves a spot.
Although Da Nang is a popular destination among backpackers it is often overlooked by the biggest crowds, making it an even more special destination. Da Nang is the place to relax at a gorgeous resort, take surfing lessons at the beach, learn about ancient history by visiting epic landmarks, or simply to enjoy all the delicious Vietnamese food. There are a ton of fun things to do in Da Nang and whatever you choose to do I’m convinced you’ll have an amazing time.
Keep reading for my best tips on where to stay, where to eat and things to do in Da Nang!
GREAT PLACES TO STAY IN DA NANG
There is an abundance of great places to stay in Da Nang. Resorts, homestays, hotels or hostels, you name it – whatever travel style you prefer and what price range you’re looking for, Da Nang’s got it. Just remember to book a place with air condition!
HOSTELS IN DA NANG
My first experience with hostel ever was in Da Nang and it went so well! We booked a double room and it was just like a hotel – only more fun and social. We even made some great friends that we’re still in touch with! Highly recommended if you want to get to know people in a natural setting.
The Memory – Danang: Beautiful hotel/hostel with incredible interior design. Located in the city centre but with only a few minutes walk from My Khe beach you get the best of both worlds. Choose between private rooms, dorms or a penthouse apartment – whatever fits your budget and travel style the best.
HOMESTAYS IN DA NANG
Homestays are common and a popular choice in Vietnam, and frankly it’s the best way to truly immerse yourself in the local culture while traveling.
Shine House: Very nice homestay with both dorms and private rooms, located in a super cute building.
HOTELS & RESORTS IN DA NANG
If you’re looking for a more luxurious way of travel for your stay in Da Nang you should book a hotel or resort. Da Nang has a ton of incredible options, here are some of their best ones:
Naman Retreat: World class five star luxury resort located in the southern part of Da Nang, near Hoi An. Enjoy a private beach, outdoor swimming pool and the nearby golfing courses.
19 BEST THINGS TO DO IN DA NANG, VIETNAM
There is a ton of fun things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam. Here are 19 of my best ideas:
1. HANG OUT BY THE GORGEOUS BEACH
Located on the coast of central Vietnam, the city of Da Nang is blessed with a 10 kilometer long white sandy beach known as My Khe. Stretching from Son Tra Peninsula to the Marble Mountains it is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. My Khe is the perfect spot for you relax and read a book, or to try some fun water activities like parasailing, renting jet skis, take surfing lessons and much more.
2. GO TREKKING & WILDLIFE SPOTTING IN THE JUNGLE
In the northern part of Da Nang you’ll find the Son Tra Peninsula, known for it’s lush jungle, Son Tra Mountain, marvelous landmarks and interesting wildlife. In this area you can spot animals such as sunbirds, bee-eaters, red-bellied squirrels, macaques and if you’re extra lucky: the endangered red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus). Although I wouldn’t recommend heading out in the jungle by yourself, it is possible to go trekking in the jungle with an experienced guide.
3. ADMIRE THE DRAGON BRIDGE
While you’re enjoying life in the centre of Da Nang you have to check out the Dragon Bridge. With its 666 meters, it is the longest bridge in Vietnam and it’s shaped like a golden dragon. Every night the bridge is illuminated with colorful lights, and during weekends and special occasions the bridge spits water and breathes fire. A really cool sight you cannot miss.
4. EXPLORE THE LANDMARKS OF MONKEY MOUNTAIN
Son Tra Mountain is one of the most popular areas to explore in Da Nang, Vietnam. Located on the Son Tra Peninsula, the mountain is also known as Monkey Mountain an it cannot be missed when you’re in the city. We headed over to Monkey Mountain our first day in Da Nang and we had so much fun exploring.
One of the highlights is the gigantic Lady Buddha, a 67 meter high Buddha statue located on the mountain which is a really cool sight. The adjacent Linh Ung Pagoda was also a beautiful construction worth visiting. From Monkey Mountain you can also enjoy an amazing view of Da Nang from above.
5. SEE DA NANG FROM A MOTORCYCLE
Going on a motorcycle tour in Vietnam was one of my favorite experiences. You get to see so much of the country side that way, and enjoy the beautiful nature sights while learning about local life in the suburbs of Vietnam. You should definitely explore Da Nang and its surrounding from a motorbike if you get the chance.
One of the most beautiful scenic roads in the country, the Hai Van Pass, is located a little north of Da Nang and its a must for a trip like this. Hey, don’t take my word for it – the crew from Top Gear even said so themselves. Booking a motorcycle tour is easily done in Vietnam, either by asking your hotel or hostel for recommendations or by finding a tour online yourself that suits your needs.
6. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN DELICIOUS VIETNAMESE FOOD
It is impossible to not love all of the delicious food surrounding you while visiting Vietnam, so don’t forget to take full advantage while you’re in the country. Da Nang has plenty of amazing restaurants for you to visit, but I would also remind you to try exotic street food whenever you stumble upon a tasty looking dish while you’re out exploring (which will happen like all the time). Listen to what the locals recommend and be open to trying new things! I swear you wont regret it. Here is a selection of restaurants to check out in Da Nang:
7. ENJOY A RELAXING MASSAGE
One of the things to do in Da Nang that you might enjoy the most is pampering yourself by getting various spa treatments. There are a ton of options to choose from, they are all much more affordable than in the West, and it feels extra good after long days of exploring and sightseeing. How about a body scrub or a volcanic hot stone massage, or a Shiatsu body massage? If you’d rather try the ultimate mud bath & spa experience, popular Galina Mud Bath is the place to be.
8. CLIMB THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS
The Marble Mountains are a cluster of five mountains or hills located 20 minutes south of Da Nang. The five mountains consist of marble and limestone, and are named after the five elements: Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Tho (earth), Hoa (fire) and Kim (metal). It’s a really cool area to explore as all mountains have caves, tunnels and grottos. Perfect for an adventure!
There are also several Buddhist sanctuaries for you to discover and you can even climb the summit of Mount Thuy. We did and the view was amazing, I highly recommend it! Marble Mountains are easily reached from Da Nang by local bus or through a tour company. Remember to bring cash to get in ($1 entrance fee) and in case you need additional water while climbing all 156 steps to the Thuy Son summit in the heat.
9. VISIT NON NUOC FINE ARTS VILLAGE
By the foot of Marble Mountains you’ll find Non Nuoc Fine Arts Village, a market village where you can admire and purchase marble goods and sculptures from more than five hundred workshops and retailers. The village dates back to the 18th century and is a fun area to check out when you’re in the area, even if you’re not there to shop.
10. SHOP FOR LOCAL TREASURES
As much as I love to collect my precious fridge magnets, shopping for more authentic souvenirs was a lot more fun while backpacking through Vietnam. In Da Nang I recommend checking out popular markets like Han Market, Con Market and Son Tra Night Market. Here you can find all sorts of things like exotic foods, clothes, jewelry, toys or local art. If you’re looking for more of a mall experience you can pop by the Vincom Center– it even has its own ice rink.
11. ADMIRE DA NANG FROM ABOVE
If you’ve read any of my travel guides before you know that I love to see a new city from above when I’m traveling, preferably while eating & drinking. Da Nang was no exception to the rule and it actually has quite a few options to choose from. Here are some recs for you:
12. LEARN TO COOK THE LOCAL CUISINE
Enjoying all the delicious Vietnamese food is fun and all, but how about learning the skill yourself while you have the chance? It’s a fun activity while traveling and something that will come in handy once you’re back home. Attend the best cooking class at Grand Mercure Da Nang and learn from professional chefs.
13. VISIT MY SON SANCTUARY
An hour drive south from Da Nang you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage site My Son Sanctuary. It is an old spiritual center of the ancient kingdom of Champa, and the temples were used to worship and make offerings to the Hindu gods between the 4th and 13th centuries. Surrounded by mountains and the sacred Thu Bon River, My Son Sanctuary is also known to be one of the most stunning sights in central Vietnam.
14. HAVE A BLAST AT ASIA PARK SUN WORLD
If roller coasters are your thing you should consider visiting Asia Park Sun World Da Nang. Have a blast while trying out the many exciting rides and attractions like the Queen Cobra, take the Sun Wheel for the best view and eat as much as you can at their huge buffet. My best tip is to book an open ticket, so that you can go another day in case it suddenly rains the day you planned to go.
15. RELAX & HAVE FUN IN A WATER PARK
Want to enjoy a relaxing mud bath, get to feel the adrenalin rush through your veins in a water slide, or maybe both in the same day? The Nui Than Tai Hot Springs Park sounds like the perfect place for you. Located within the Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve, this park is a great option for those seeking both relaxing and thrilling experiences. Especially great for families or groups with different interests, where everyone gets to do what they want.
16. WALK THE GOLDEN BRIDGE
A couple of hours west of Da Nang you’ll find the magnificent Golden Bridge of Bana Hills. This architecture gem rose to social media fame quickly after construction was finalized in 2018 and with good reason. It’s a pretty cool sight isn’t it? Unfortunately for us the bridge wasn’t done when we were in Vietnam, but I hear it’s definitely worth a visit!
17. EXPLORE LIFE BELOW THE SURFACE AT CHAM ISLANDS
A few nautical miles off the coast of Da Nang and Hoi An you can visit the wonderful Cham Islands. Once under close military supervision and closed to visitors in the past, this cluster of eight islands is now known as a paradise for snorkelers and other adventurers. Spend a day swimming and admiring the colorful marine life, and explore life below the surface by snorkeling or underwater walking. An amazing day trip option from Da Nang or Hoi An!
18. GO ON AN ADVENTURE TO HUE
Two hours north of Da Nang lies world famous Hue, Vietnam’s former capital. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993, Imperial City Hue is a popular place to visit in central Vietnam due to its importance in Vietnamese history and its many historical monuments.It was established as the capital of Vietnam in 1802 and functioned as a political, religious and cultural centre under the last royal dynasty of Vietnam, the Nguyen Dynasty.
Hue consist of a complex of hundreds of ruins and monuments for you to admire, such as The Citadel, The Forbidden Purple City, The Royal Tombs, Flag Tower and several pagodas and temples. You should definitely visit Hue if you’re even the slightest interested in history or architecture! The best way to see Hue from Da Nang is by booking a guided tour, so you won’t miss out on important info.
19. VISIT MAGICAL HOI AN
45 minutes south of Da Nang you’ll find the most charming town of Hoi An. Filled with old yellow houses, self-crafted lanterns, no heavy traffic and a calm atmosphere, Hoi An is the perfect place to relax and explore. There are so many fun things to do in Hoi An and it’s very accessible from Da Nang. Take the local bus if you’ve got a few days to spend there, or book a day tour directly from Da Nang if your time is limited.
Related: My Full Guide To Hoi An
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