Da Nang Overview
The beautiful beach city of Da Nang has ancient origins. Traces of this are still to be found alongside the skyscrapers and bridges that proclaim to the rest of the country, and the wider world, that this city is going places.
Many visitors, however, want to go no further than one of its beaches. Shaded by palm trees, white sands give way to lagoons that are as clear as crystal. The views, if not the sand and water themselves, can also be enjoyed from up high in the nearby Marble Mountains. Steps carve the way to the summit although there is also a lift for anyone unable to manage the walk.
Another impressive view of the city is to be had during its neon-lit nights, which are also an excellent time to delve into the streets in search of some classic Vietnamese food. Lucky visitors can plan their stay to see the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival, when fireworks colour the night sky above the Han River and hundreds of food stalls sell every conceivable delicacy.
Things to Do
Perhaps best known for its undoubtedly splendid beaches, Da Nang offers visitors the chance to enjoy them from a new perspective at the top of the Marble Mountains. Afterwards, anyone who's worked up an appetite can try some of the tastiest food in Vietnam.
Climb the Marble Mountains
Five marble and limestone hills form the Marble Mountains. Those who climb the steps to the top are rewarded with panoramic views across My Khe and Non Nuoc beaches. There are also several pagoda temples and Buddhist sanctuaries scattered throughout the mountains.
Take a culinary tour
The city's cuisine has achieved worldwide fame, with dishes and flavours that are familiar to millions of people who have never visited Vietnam. However, in a city that takes its food this seriously, it would be a shame to miss out on trying some of its best street food. Banh xeo -- a fried rice flour pancake filled with shrimp, spring onions, bean sprouts and mung beans -- is one popular delicacy.
See the city after dark
Da Nang's origins might be ancient but it is now a profoundly modern city. Buildings and bridges are popping up everywhere, and none is more impressive than the six-lane Dragon Bridge; one of several bridges spanning the Han River, it is a photographer's favourite. Not only does it resemble a golden dragon but after dark it is illuminated with LEDs. It is a grand culmination to any night-time tour of the neon-lit city.
Calendar of Events
Da Nang's festive calendar is an eclectic mixture of the old and the new. Traditional festivals including, of course, the Vietnamese New Year stand side-by-side with newer events.
Cau Ngu Festival. Also known as the Whale Festival, this is celebrated by local fishermen on the twelfth day of the first lunar month. It begins solemnly with a procession, intended to express the fishermen's gratitude to their guardians and ancestors, before matters liven up with traditional games and music.
Da Nang International Fireworks Festival. Now an annual event, this festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people. They come to see several spectacular shows when fireworks are let off over the Han River against a backdrop of bridges and skyscrapers. There is also plenty of secondary entertainment, including music, food stalls and even paragliding.
Row-skiff racing. Each September, one of Da Nang's newest events takes place when dozens of teams of skiff racers gather on the Han River for the city's very own row-skiff races.