Although the majority of travellers to Vietnam head initially for Hanoi in the north or Ho Chi Minh City in the south, the coastal city of Danang sits right in between the two and receives less attention than it deserves. Danang is a rapidly developing city that is currently ranked third in size for the whole country. Furthermore, with its airport offering excellent transport links across Vietnam and the wider region, it also serves as the gateway to the imperial city of Hue, and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An. Its importance to Vietnam today simply cannot be understated. Formerly a part of the ancient Kingdom of Champa, Danang has cultivated a rich heritage in architecture, cuisine, and fashion.
We have composed a list of the must-see places and tips to make the most of your trip, so stay tuned to discover Danang.
First of all, however, we must mention the Centara Sandy Beach Resort Danang, located on the beautiful Non Nuoc beach just outside the city itself, which is a great base to start your Vietnamese adventure, both around Danang and further afield.
My Son is an ancient Hindu sanctuary. We have chosen My Son to be the first on our list not because of its unusual name, but rather for its unique architecture that has earned recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This Hindu sanctuary is a prime example of the Champa Empire and its civilization from around the 4th to the 13th centuries. Foreign travellers were able to obtain sanctuary passes at the site for around 7 USD each, as of December 2019. As information about the sanctuary in English is not available, visitors are recommended to do their research beforehand or hire a professional guide to maximize their experience.
Ba Na Hills
After exploring the ancient culture of Vietnam, travellers can experience one of the newest projects in the country at Ba Na Hills. It is a mountaintop resort complex that takes you back to the mediaeval era with its elegant castles as well as the stone walls. Visitors can ride the Guinness World Record cable car system, with the widest gap between stations and the greatest change in elevation. Those who are not such big fans of heights can keep their feet firmly on the ground and stroll through the French Village in the resort complex at an elevation of 1,500 metres.
The Marble Mountains
Visitors who would like a glimpse of Vietnamese folktales should travel to the Marble Mountains. According to an ancient tale, a dragon laid an egg in the area. Thousands of days and nights passed before the mysterious egg finally hatched, and out stepped a beautiful girl. The fragments of the shell were left on Non Nuoc beach and eventually grew to form the five Marble Mountains. Of the five mountains, only Mount Thuy is actually accessible to tourists, but from up high in the sky, it offers a stunning panoramic view of Danang.
Linh Ung Pagoda
The pagoda is known for having the tallest statue of Lady Buddha in Vietnam, which was built on the top of a platform shaped to represent a blooming lotus. The pagoda is also known as the biggest pagoda in Danang. It combines a contemporary style with a hint of traditional Vietnamese architecture with the sophisticated sinuous dragons. The locals believe that the Lady Buddha, who faces out towards the sea, will protect the local fishermen and provide them with the strength to deal with even the most dangerous of storms. Today, the pagoda has become a place of worship for monks, nuns, and others of Buddhist faith, as well as one of the most famous places in Danang for visitors.