Da Nang, the underrated province in Central Vietnam. Many travellers look past Da Nang. It’s as if it is treated only as a layover destination instead of a premiere tourist spot. Da Nang should also be in the ranks of other Vietnamese cities. From unusual land formations in the middle of the city to a medieval Europe-inspired theme park located at a hilltop, Da Nang has almost everything a traveller would look for in an adventure.
Here is the list of things you can do in Da Nang:
1. Ba Na Hills Resort
One of Da Nang’s pride is this resort that boasts a hilltop view of the whole province. If you are into old-timey, medieval European kingdoms, then you should visit this.
2. Hoi An
Another quaint place just a bus away from Central Da Nang is Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boats, lanterns and rustic homes will surely transport you to another world—a serene & classic vibe that will make you stay.
3. Quirky and Quaint Cafe
Vietnam is renowned for its great-tasting coffee. Da Nang, surprisingly, has its identity when it comes to coffee shops. It is somehow different from those of Saigon’s. What sets it apart is their quirky interiors. I was taken aback at how modern and industrial the designs are. Totally pleased with them, because they are all instagram-worthy.
4. Banh Mi
No need to explain it further. Banh Mi is a must-try because every place in Vietnam offers a uniquely-flavored Banh Mi.
5. Dragon Bridge
Most beautiful at night, this bridge colors the pitch black sky sapphire blue.
6. Sun Wheel
Romantic view of Da Nang at night. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, this ferris wheel ride will give you the feels with its iridescent lights that swirl round and round.
For the people who finds solace in sea breezes and gentle waves, Da Nang’s beaches can be your go-to spot. You can choose from the long stretch of sandy beaches: Pham Van Dong, My Khe, Bac My Anh and Non Nuoc.
8. Linh Ung Pagoda (Lady Buddha)
Located in the Son Tra stretch, this Lady Buddha is said to be the tallest statue in Vietnam. Not only that it has beautiful sculptures but it also has a stunning view of Da Nang’s coastline.
9. Mì Cay (Spicy Noodles)
When we were in Da Nang, the weather was so unpredictable. One moment it’ll rain, the next would be a little hint of sun. So what better way to cope with it but to eat spicy noodles to somehow warm your freezing body. Da Nang has the best spicy noodles I’ve tasted. It is so spicy, there were tears in my eyes. This is me not exaggerating. I have eaten spicy foods in South Korea but this one, man, it’ll make you ask why you took the challenge of eating it (in a good way, of course).
10. Bún đậu mắm tôm
Another gastronomic experience you can experience in Da Nang is when eat a platter of this heaven. Mostly consisted of green, leafy vegetables, thin white noodles with all sorts of pork that you will have to cook slowly in a small pan.
11. Hoi An’s Lantern Festival
A beautiful celebration during the full moon where people offer fruits and flowers, and burn incense or fake money for their ancestors. If you’re the type of person who is fascinated with colorful, blinding lights then this should be in your Vietnam bucket list.
Every province in Vietnam has a unique way of presenting and cooking pho. So why not try some local pho shops in Da Nang, as well.
13. Tran Thi Ly Bridge
A striking landmark in Da Nang that is built with red cables and illuminates over the Han River at night.
14. Longest Cable Car Ride
Before reaching Ba Na Hills, you need to ride what they call the “longest and highest cable car ride in the world”. Enjoy the sights and overcome your fear of heights.
15. Marble Mountains (Ngũ Hành Sơn)
A group of marble and limestone hills located in Ngũ Hành Sơn District, named after the five elements: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth).
16. Marble Handicraft
Buy souvenirs or just marvel at the artistry of the local people of Da Nang.
Wait, there’s one more thing…
You should also try the food at Da Nang’s airport. I’m sure you’ll love the wide array of offerings they have. From mainstream coffee shops to specialty meals, they probably have it all. Not only that they’re cheap, but the taste are pretty much high-end. It surprised me and ended up salvaging our mini-drama in the airport when we were not able to catch our 7am flight.
So the next time you get to visit Da Nang, you’ll find that there are more things you can do here while you’re in transit to a different Vietnam province. It is just as vibrant and lively as its more famous sisters, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.