We bet you’ve seen the Golden Bridge somewhere on the internet and your excitement is hitting jam’s boiling point for a visit. If you’re planning a trip to this largest city in Central Vietnam, take a leaf out of the locals’ book and add these 20 things on your list to have the most fun while you’re here.
1. Watch the sunrise on the beach
Da Nang is famous for its pleasant long beaches lined with coconut trees, clear turquoise water, fine white sands and gentle waves. Isn’t it such a romantic scene to start your day? Set your alarm. Slip out before 5:30am. Head to the nearest beach and you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable experience. As the sun rises, the city wakes up with the life of over 1.2 million people.
2. Start your day with a bowl of pho
And there will be pho. Vietnamese people love a good bowl of noodle soup in the morning. It’s classic! Slowly sip the long-simmered steamy broth, enjoy the tender nice body of the noodles from the motherland to help ease you into your day.
3. Discover the coffee culture
From the classic Vietnamese drip to more adventurous styles such as egg or avocado or coconut coffee, coffee or ‘ca phe’ has a special place in Vietnamese culture. It was brought to Vietnam by the French during colonial times, once served only to the nobles, French officials or the intellectuals. These days people come up with creative ways to enjoy coffee:
- Avocado makes the coffee very creamy and gives it a very subtle but distinct flavour.
- Egg coffee is made by whipping a raw egg with condensed milk and coffee dripping down into the mixture.
- And last but not least, coconut coffee is a blend of crushed ice, coconut cream and condensed milk. Such lovely treat in the summer heat!
4. Do some shopping at Con Market
This local market hosts hundreds of stalls selling local produce, handicrafts, T-shirts and accessories. Here you can buy souvenirs for friends and family back home, some dried foods, tropical fruits to enjoy on your trip.
5. Get lost in secret alleyways
There’s a village in the heart of Da Nang city and it’s called Da Nang fresco village, a project that covers 1500 meters squared with artworks painted on walls. It’s like a gallery that tells stories about culture, cuisine, depict landscape scenery – altogether make up a unique experience for anyone who happens to be in town. Drop by and get some ace pics!
6. Take photos in front of the pink cathedral
Yes, you read that right. It’s PINK! We must say it was a stroke of genius from Louis Vallet – a French priest – painting this cathedral pink in 1923. It has impressive architectural structures, medieval-style stained glass windows, and statues. The rooster church not only serves as the city attraction but also serves the local Catholic community of 4000 parishioners to this very day.
7. Take a guided Da Nang food tour:
Mi Quang, banh xeo,…Da Nang has so many good foods waiting for you to try. No sweat! We’ve done the digging so you don’t have to. Let us show you the spots that received the most love from the locals.
8. Sunbathe on My Khe beach
Find a quiet time during the day and just go lie on the beach under the shade of a coconut tree, engross yourself in a book and nod off to sleep with the sound of crashing waves. My Khe beach is selected as “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” by Forbes Magazine, for its clear warm water, smooth white sand, blue sky and beautiful coconut trees. Even if you travel with kids, you can still buy yourself some time if you dig a big hole as soon as you arrive. Kids love a hole.
9. Get an incredible massage
Even the lightest massage will release endorphins – the body’s natural pain-reliever to make you feel good, truly unwind.
10. Go on a road trip to Hai Van Pass
There are two ways you can go about it, make a round trip outside of town on a scooter if you are brave and careful enough or go on an organized private tour to not miss out on all the best places.
11. Snorkel in Cham Island
Cu Lao Cham Marine Park welcomes tourists to enjoy a day of scuba diving and snorkeling. The best time to go would be from June to August to explore the marvellous coral reefs and plentiful marine species. You can visit for the day or camp there overnight!
12. Climb the Marble Mountains
Marble Mountains are a cluster of 5 marble and limestone hills located in the South of Da Nang city. You’ll explore the mesmerising caves, carved walls with bullet holes, secret temples, and hidden tunnels of each mountain. Overall it makes a great cultural experience.
14. Ride cable car to Ba Na Hills
The ride from the bottom to the top of Ba Na hills holds 2 Guinness Records—for being both the longest and highest cable car. The views are spectacular and breathtaking. Perched on top of the hill is a French village replica, looking almost like a smaller version of Disney World. A good tip is to explore the village, enjoy all the entertainment first and save the Golden Bridge to just before sunset when it’s less crowded so you can take some instagram-worthy photos.
14. Visit the lady buddha
Do you know who guards the shores of Da Nang and looks after the local fishermen? Beach patrol? Think bigger. Perhaps the tallest thing out there… It’s the Lady Buddha. The tall, white statue that you don’t need eagle eyes to notice in a distance. The Lady Buddha is the tallest statue in Vietnam, surrounded by beautiful gardens and here you can admire the view of the nearby bay.
15. Participate in a beach clean up
“It’s better for the environment” – We hear this a lot these days. There are more and more eco-conscious minds but the majority still fall for the convenience of single-used plastics. Plastic pollution is very real here which is really sad as we have beautiful beaches and we want to keep them clean. If we can control the waste close to us, we can minimise the waste in our oceans. Follow this local organisation called Precious Plastic and keep yourself updated on their next beach clean-up.
16. Have fun at Asia Park
Since when every big city around the world has gotta have a giant Ferris wheel? They even have endearing names such as The London Eye, Melbourne Star,…and in Da Nang we call our wheel ‘Sun Wheel’. It lies inside an amusement park called Asia Park, which is only a few minutes from the city centre. It would be a perfect day for the whole family. There are roller coasters, dining options, gardens to wander in and plenty of attractions to keep anyone entertained for an afternoon!
17. Experience Da Nang’s 3D art museum
Even if you had a mind that can bend spoons, you’d still be tricked. Illusion art has the ability to amaze and inspire, trick people into believing in what they see. Art in Paradise opens 7 days a week. Everyone, no matter what age, will enjoy this fun experience.
18. Have dinner at An Thuong night market
Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Have a stroll around An Thuong night market and you’ll be blown away with the diverse cuisines such as kebabs, hamburgers, tacos, Thai, Vietnamese,…you name it!
19. Have a drink at Waterfront
This riverfront lounge and restaurant is a great spot for river views, sunsets, and fine dining. It’s a relaxing way to end your day full of adventures.
20. Watch the dragon breathes fire
Have you looked at a dragon before? Like really looked at one? Next time you visit Da Nang, stop whatever you’re doing, watch the dragon spit fire/water at 9pm every Saturday and Sunday from the waterfront. Give it your undivided attention. Remark on its perfectly proportioned curves. Observe its graceful shape. Admire its dazzling display of lights. Absolutely remarkable.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to experience all these amazing things on our tours!