For starters, Danang captivates your attention with its impressive skyscrapers, chic bridges, and luxurious resorts catering to people on an indulging vacation. And the list continues. Danang is one of those cities of Vietnam that you find easy to go around and at the same time, a lot of attractions keeps you occupied in any way you want. Being a prime city in the centre, Danang is a face of modern Vietnam blessed with nature’s wonder. So without much ado, let me take you through the top things to do in Danang, one of the top places to visit in Vietnam and a must or any Vietnam itinerary.
Top Things To Do in Danang
1. Explore the City
You can easily spend an entire day exploring Danang skylines and the shopping malls! Well, maybe not a whole day if you don’t shop, but what I mean is there is definitely enough to see and exploring the city shoudl be top of the list for top things to do in Danang,. Three bridges form the major attractions, which are also located in the heart of the city of Danang. The most popular and the biggest of all the three is the Dragon Bridge, which looks stunning during the day as well as at night when it is lit. The Han river bridge and Thuan Phuoc Bridge run in parallel and can be seen. The skyline of Danang from these bridges is fun to watch.
If you want to sit and enjoy the view beside the river, take the road to the right once you cross the Dragon Bridge. You’ll find many locals strolling or relaxing on the benches. This street also has many restaurants which serve Vietnamese as well as other cuisines. I didn’t have the time to visit one and hence can’t recommend any of them specifically, but I am sure there are good ones. After all, who doesn’t love the food while in Vietnam?!
If you love amusement parks, then Asia Park is the one that you would want to visit. The other popular park that draws a lot of visitors including the locals is the Sun Wheel.
2. Be a Beach Bum
One of the reasons why I just loved Danang was its beaches, and the proximity of these to the city. The beaches are so easy to reach that you could turn into a beach bum the moment you arrive in Danang. Without missing the comforts of the city, you can have all of the beaches for yourself either to grab a book & beer or indulge in activities like surfing or parasailing. The beaches are a main attraction, and one of the top 3 things to do in Danang for sure.
The most populur beaches are the ones close to the centre – My Khe Beach, Than Binh, Bac My An Beach and Non-Nuoc Beach. Xuan Thieu Beach is the farthest of all of the beaches. It’s also a small harbor and you’ll find a lot of fishermen at work if you are there in the evening, apart from witnessing the sunset which is lovely!
Beach lover and heading south? Be sure to check out the best beaches on Phu Quoc Island!
3. Do Some Day Trips
Being in the centre, Danang is the base to explore the other destinations of central Vietnam. You can also base yourself in Hoi An like I did, but it’s a bit farther to travel from there than from Danang.
Anyway, wherever you are, do not miss checking out these places whether on day trips or visiting each of them individually!
- Day trip to Hue
Home to many of the UNESCO heritage sites, Hue, the Chinese city of Vietnam is a must visit place if you are into history, architecture and culture. Thanks to the rich architectural and historical influence of the Chinese kingdom, you will notice how unique the town is from the other cities of Vietnam.
You can start the day early from Danang by renting a bike or opt for a group tour to Hue that would take you all the heritage sites in a day.
- Day trip to Hoi An
Hoi An, the heritage town of Vietnam is just 25km away from Danang, making it a popular choice to visit. But seriously, Hoi An is definitely so much more than a day trip! There is a lot to see, enjoy and know in the ancient town of Hoi An, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a day trip from Danang if you have at least 2 to 3 days to spare.
However, if you are running short of time, you can opt for a day trip that would cover most of the sites in the ancient town and the local markets.
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- Day trip to My Son temple
My Son is the Cambodia of Vietnam. The temple ruins of My Son amidst the thick canopy of forests surrounded by the lush mountains is worth a visit for both the ruins as well as the beautiful landscapes, and it takes more than half a day from Danang if you go on a day trip.
These ancient Hindu temples built during the medieval times were very important and popular between 5th and the 14th century when the Champa empire ruled most parts of Vietnam. The temples stand as a testimony to the grandeur that once existed in the jungles.
- Visit the Marble Mountains
Marble Mountains is one of the most popular attractions of Danang, but for some reason I found it to be too boring and felt that it is just a hype. If you check the pictures on the internet and decide to go, be prepared for a disappointment because it isn’t how it looks, unfortunately. The good thing is that it is not very far, and you can get a view of the coastline from the mountaintop, which I think are the only things to look for in the Marble Mountains.
There are many small temples within the complex once you reach the top. You can spend about 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your interest levels, and it is better to go early in the morning as it can get hot in the afternoon.
4. Go Biking – Adventure time!
Danang is popular among the bike riders for two of Vietnam’s best and dangerous passes, which are on every adventure seeker’s list. Each of these passes needs a day to do it comfortably, although you can combine both on the same day.
5. Son Tra Peninsula
Son Tra Peninsula is known for its intriguing curves, gorgeous views of the coast and the lush green mountains away from the city of Danang. Known for its connectivity to the rest of Vietnam in the early days, today Son Tra Peninsula attracts the bikers and day trip seekers.
Monkey Pass is the stopover in Son Tra Peninsula for the view, and the ride is thrilling and too enjoyable if you love driving!
6. Linh Ung Pagoda
Linh Ung Pagoda is on the hill outside the city of Danang, and the statue is visible from almost all of the beaches along the coast. The drive to the Pagoda itself is lovely, and most people combine it with their ride to the Monkey Pass as it’s on the way. It’s worth stopping over to have a glimpse of the tall Buddha statue and also the views from the Pagoda.
7. Drive the Hai Van Pass
Hai Van is the most challenging of the two passes, and also the most visited by the bikers. Not only is this route flanked by stunning views, the road beckons danger for the reckless drivers. The weather can pose additional difficulties if you are there during the monsoon or storm seasons, but the road trip is every bit worth doing!
Make sure to have the map ready, and plan well for your ride or you might end up like me where I had to cut down my ride to the Hai Van Pass for not adequately planning!
If you plan to do all or most these, you need at least a week to cover. Depending on where you base, you can add or take out a few attractions that are not mentioned here.
Whatever it is, Danang will win your heart for its charm, beaches and food on your Vietnam trip! Know of any more fun things to do in Danang? Please leave a comment!