Danang is famous for being ‘the city of 5 No’s and 3 Yes’s’. The 5 No’s are no starving households, no illiterate people, no itinerant beggars, no drug-addicts and no murders for robbing. The 3 Yes’s refer to the fact that every resident has their own house, a stable job and a cultured lifestyle. This leaves no doubt as to why Danang is considered one of the most fulfilling Vietnamese cities to live in.
Airport: Danang International Airport is located just 2km from town. It’s really inconveneient to catch local buses from the airport to the city so you should get a taxi. Taxis can either be booked via your accommodation or caught from outside the airport. A taxi should cost no more than $5 into the city center.
A flight from Hanoi to Danang take just 1 hour 15 minutes and grenerally costs around $110.
Train: Danang train station is 5km from the city center and you can catch trains to most destination from here. Remember that oddly numbered trains go northland the even numbered trains go south, that way you know which side of the track you should be on.
If you really like trains then you can get to Danang from Hanoi on a 16 hours overnight sleeper train for around $42.
Bus: Tam Danang is the new and exceptionally busy bus station located 2.5km from the city. Unless you are planning on traveling to Laos there is no need to pre-book your ticket, just turn up on the day. A bus to Hue takes about 3 hours.
Visit the Lady Buddha
The impressive, pure white 67-meter statue of the Bodhisattva of Mercy, known as the Lady Buddha, could easily be compared to that of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Located within the Linh ung Pagoda on the side of the Monkey Mountain this magnificent 17 story high female Buddha is the highest statue in Vietnam. Each of the floors is dedicated to the worship of a different Buddha and on 17th floor there are a set of steps leading up to Buddha’s head.
There is no entrance fee for the pagoda but donations are gratefully received and as with all pagodas, respectful dress us requied.
Top tip – Bring drinks and snacks, the few surrounding restaurants aren’t great so brong your own food just in case you get hungry.
Hit the Beach
There are plenty of gorgeous beaches in Danang and it’s the perfect place to top up your tan and watch the world go by.
My Khe is arguably the best and certainly the most popular beach, located just 6km from the city center on the coastal road. The water is safe for swimming and is patrolled by lifeguards during the day.
The beach tends to be a little quieter during normal working hours but comes alive when people finish work and want to blow off steam with a game of volleyball. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars if you want to stop for a snack or even have a romantic sunset dinner.
If you prefer somewhere a little quieter then the Red Beach is 14km northwest of Danang center and offers both peace and solitude. The Red beach is so called because of reflection of the fiery sunset across the ocean. IN the evening, the Red Beach is the first place the American Marines landed during the war. Nowadats it’s hard to amagine a military presence when the only other people you are likely to see on this beach are locals hunting for crabs.
Visit the Dragon Bridge.
Recently opened in 2013 the Cau Rong (Dragon Bridge) is a magnificent golden dragon spanning the Han River. At the cost of 1.5 trillion VND this materpiece is an impressive sight, especially at night when it is illuminated by 2500 LED lights. If that doesn’t impress you then maybe the giant dragonhead that sprays both fire and water from its mouth will do the tric!
Ba Na Hill
Only 25km from Danang, the weather here remains fairly cold for the whole year. On cloudy days the whole of Ba Na is misty and covered by a white blanket of cloud. Needless to say, strolling across the hilltop alongside the coulds is an extremely surreal experience.
Ba Na Hill has a beautiful fantasy theme park that provides plenty of entertainment with games, rides and amusement activities but the real highlight of Ba Na hills is the cable car.
Few people know that Danang is home to longest, and highest, non-stop cable car in the world – the Ba Na cable car so if you are scared of heights you might want the rethink this visit.
The cable car system runs frim the foot of the Ba Na Mountain to the peak of the neighboring Vong Nguyet Mountain in the Ba Na – Suoi Mo Tourism Area, anout 40km west of Danang City.
The 5,042-meter cable car eide takes appriximately 15 minutes and is capable of transporting 1,500 passengers per hour. At its highest point the cable car reaches over 1,291 maters above sea level.
My Son Sanctuary
The breathtaking UNESCO site of My Son Sanctuary is located in Danang’s neighboring province of Quang Nam. Located 69km from Danang City center My Son consists of 70 architectural structures and temples nestled amongst the mountains.
Between the 4th and 13th century a unique spiritual culture developed to their gods and holy saints. Even now the grandeur of the structures at My Son reflects the importance of the site and the people who prginally frequented it. My Son was the religious center for royalty and aristocrats.
Up until the 13th century an increasing number of sophisticated temples and towers were constructed. Unfortunately by the end of the century My Son was suffering from attacks by the Chinese and Khmer, eventually the Cham people ware forced to relocate to the Southern province of Binh Thuan.
My Son was abandoned and lay undiscovered until 1898 when a French Scholar came across the site and took and interest in it. Restoration began in 1937 and My Son has regained some of its former glory. All of the constructions are made from red btick and sandstone. The warm red glow looks magical in the light of the sunset.
You can organise trips to My Son from Danang with transport and guided tours included. The drive is between 1 and 1.5 hours from Danang and the views are spectacular. Most tours don’t actually include the cost of the entrance fee into My Son $4.50 for tourists (and a reduced rate for Vietnamese nationals).
Nearby attractions: Hoi An ancient town ( 20km, by bus), Hue ancient capital city (95km, by train, by bus), Cu Lao Cham Island (47km, by bus + boat/ Ferry), Pleiku (340km, by bus or plane)
Mi Quang (yellow rice noodles served with shrimp, pork or fish)
Bun thit nuong (noodles with grilled pork and special sauce)
Banh trang cuon thit heo