Da Nang, Vietnam. This Place Took us By Surprise

Julie Vietnam 21 Comments

Da Nang, this small city of Vietnam, is located at the midpoint of the country, right on the ocean. Tour books don’t highlight this city as a worthwhile place to visit so I was planning on skipping right over it while in Vietnam. During our time in Hoi An, we visited Da Nang more than once, and we quickly learned that Da Nang is unexpectedly awesome.

We got our first taste of this town when our flight from Ho Chi Minh City landed here. Da Nang, Vietnam is an up and coming metropolitan city, with skyscrapers, modern bridges, mountain scenery, and some of the best beaches we have seen yet. For four days we stayed in the very touristy and totally awesome Hoi An but decided to devote some of our time to visit Da Nang.

Da Nang, Vietnam

For an afternoon, we hired a driver to give us a tour of Da Nang. Little did I know that Da Nang, Vietnam is home to China Beach, the site of R&R for American troops during the Vietnam War. I also had no idea that Vietnam is home to so many gorgeous beaches. It’s kind of silly, actually, since Vietnam has a tremendous amount of coastline.

The beaches are wide, sheltered by palm trees, and almost deserted at this time of year. Temperatures in February make it up to 80 degrees during the day, decent beach weather. So where are all of the people?

China Beach Vietnam

Da Nang Beach Vietnam

Boats on the Beach

Da Nang Beach

Boats Beach Da Nang

Lady Buddha

Our next stop was the see the Lady Buddha, a giant Buddha overlooking the beaches of Da Nang. What we liked seeing more than the Buddha were the Chinese style buildings sitting around it.

Lady Buddha Da Nang Vietnam

Da Nang Vietnam

Da Nang Vietnam

Marble Statues

Da Nang Vietnam

For dinner we ate at Limoncello, an awesome Italian restaurant located in downtown Da Nang. Our family will never tire of Italian food and it is our go to cuisine when we tire of meal after meal of local food. A nice glass of wine (or two!) is also much appreciated by the adults.

The Dragon Bridge

The next big Da Nang surprise? The Dragon Bridge. How cool is it that there is a bridge here constructed to look like a dragon? The bridge is constantly changing colors, from yellow to blue to green to turquoise. What makes it even more special is the fact that the dragon breathes actual fire at 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday nights. Too bad we were here on a Monday.

Da Nang Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge Vietnam

Marble Mountain

Our brief tour ended with the Dragon Bridge, but we would travel back through here again several days later when driving from Hoi An to Hue. Along the way we stopped at the Marble Mountain, a religious site located in a limestone karst mountain just south of Da Nang.  Here we saw more Buddhas, more temples, and another view out over the city. The Marble Mountain was low on the excitement meter and not worth going out of our way to see.

Hai Van Pass

Just north of Da Nang sits a small mountain range that seems to rise up out of nowhere. We passed over these mountains on the way to Hue, traveling up winding roads along the ocean for better than expected views over Vietnam.

Sign at Hai Van Pass Vietnam

Lang Co Bay Vietnam

Lang Co Beach

Not too much farther north is Lang Co Beach, another wide, deserted stretch of coastline. This beach was not as clean as the beaches closer to Da Nang, but this place has some serious potential.

Lang Co Beach Vietnam

Da Nang is worth a quick look, at least half a day, for people staying in Hoi An for several days. This city is expanding like crazy, and with such beautiful beaches nearby, I have a feeling that we will be hearing a lot more about the city of Da Nang in the years to come.

Post updated March 2018.


Comments 21

  1. It’s a surprise that you were in Danang with children and you didn’t take them to Bana Hill and Nui Than Tai waterpark.

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  2. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but
    after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  3. I’ll be spending a month in Vietnam this fall and I will be stopping in Danang between Hue and Hoi An. How long would you recommend spending in Danang?

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      You only need one day in Danang. This is more than enough time to see the big sites, explore the town, and view the Dragon Bridge at night. – Julie

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      Thank you, Kruse! We did a lot of what is on this list. Our favorites were the Dragon Bridge and Son Tra peninsula. Cheers! Julie

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      Yes, Hoi An was one of our favorite spots in Vietnam. Great town, great beaches, great food…not to be missed! Cheers, Julie

  4. It’s such a good place to travel , the people are friendly, the price is reasonable and there are many beautiful long seasides. Highly recommended!

  5. I love your family pictures- so creative! The poses of Tim + kids are so uplifting! Julie, I also just love your photography! I liked the little dragon statues + the dragon bridge. Thank you! Does Kara ever get to play soccer w/ local children?

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      We have been playing a lot less soccer than we originally planned. But we still carry around her soccer ball. It has been through a lot on this trip, mostly due to multiple passes through airport security, but none of us wants to part with it.

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