What do you do when you want to have an exciting yet relaxed holiday? Visit Da Nang in Vietnam! Travelers often overlook Da Nang, which is a shame as it has a lot to offer.
We recently packed our beach-ware and consciously left the iPad and laptops back home. It was time to soak in the sun, sip on some fresh coconuts and discover the amazing flavors of Vietnam. With no plans other than roaming the streets and a couple of must-see on our list, we reached Da Nang, only to be completely blown away by its beauty.
1. Pristine Beaches
I could easily spend a lifetime on the pristine beaches of Da Nang and never be bored for a minute. Clear blue skies, white sand beach, breathtaking sunsets and a vista which is pure nourishment for the soul. The best beaches in Vietnam are found south. From Hue south to Phan Thiet is a stretch of great beaches. Many are rarely visited and hard to reach. Below are some amazing beaches to visit.
Non Nuoc Beach is beautiful to spend a lazy afternoon with miles and miles of glorious sand and hardly anyone to see.
China Beach is located south of Da Nang and close to the Marble Mountain. It is one of our favorites!
2. Oh So Amazing Fooooood
We overate – everyday! There is no way you can say no to the savory rice pancakes or the spring rolls with fresh herbs, and Pho! Not only this, Vietnamese are passionate foodies, so even if you picked a random place to eat, it is a guarantee that you won’t be disappointed at all. A visit to the local markets will show you the variety in food and wealth of local ingredients. Localized international food is a fad and it sure does justice to every heavenly bite. Fresh fruits, sugarcane juice, coconut water are some delicious ways to keep yourself hydrated while touring the city. The best experience for me was home-made coconut ice cream I had from a small local shop in Hoi An. Our other recommendations I have listed below.
Happy Heart Café
If you are looking for some Western food after maybe eating rice for months, then this is a must go place. They serve a variety of dishes, from pizza, burgers to delicious breakfast and one of the best coffee’s in town!
Tam’s Pub and Surf Shop
Looking for waves, good food and good vibe? Visit Tam’s Pub. She is such an amazing woman with always a nice story to tell. She cooks all the food herself and it is Yummy!
3. Touring Da Nang
The main attractions are Marble Mountains and the Temple of Lady Buddha. This will introduce you to the deep rooted Buddhist culture in Vietnam and the amazing marble works show the craftsmanship of the locals. However, the city in its very modest way will make you fall in love with its colorful character. Just a walk on the streets will introduce you to the cultural extravaganza.
Don’t miss out the weekend show at the dragon bridge when it actually emits fire and water. It’s totally safe and a wonderful show!
If you’re are bored with a cheap beer in your hand and sand in between your toes, then driving the Han Van pass is a must do. It is one of the best coast roads in the world, a 21km mountain pass between Da Nang and Hue. The road offers some of the most incredible ocean views in all of Vietnam. Be prepared to have your adrenaline spike as the route takes you along a winding road.
4. The Beautiful Ancient City of Hoi An
Hoi An is just a short ride away and worth a visit. It will forever remain one of my fondest travel memories. Beautifully preserved part of the city which speaks volumes about the days gone by and local talent. Streets filled with handicrafts and souvenirs, paintings showing the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam, old temples, silk production houses and a smile at every face. To add to that wealth is authentically prepared Vietnamese food at every corner. A visit to the local Silk Museum was a fantastic experience. Take a boat ride across the river to fall in love with every aspect of this small village.
Surrounded by rice fields, it’s a gorgeous view in every direction. Take a cooking lesson or watch how they carefully make thread paintings of such complexity, find out about their love of boats and admire their craftsmanship in every handicraft you see. One more thing that fascinated me was the beautiful murals on the walls of old temples. Just spectacular!
Interested to read about the hidden gems of Hoi An, check the must things to do in Hoi An.
5. The Most Hospitable People
Anywhere we went, there was one thing constant – the amazing hospitality of people. A genuine smile on every face. The way they will show you around and explain about their country shows how proud they are of their culture. Courteous, soft spoken and aware of the challenges a traveler might face. Just make sure you ask their permission before clicking pictures and they will be happy to be photographed.
There is so much to see and do that 4 days was just like a peak over the fence, but what an amazing experience!