Located in Central Vietnam, Da Nang is known as a commuter city among travellers. Most people don't usually plan to stay here long. They only stay long enough to figure out their next destination.
Things to do
The dragon bridge is an iconic part of Da Nang. To put it simply, it's a bridge with a dragon on it. I hear on weekends, it breathes fire and water at night.
Marble Mountain is their biggest attraction. It's a series of limestone mountains in the city. Head up the steps to the top for a view or visit Huyen Khong Cave to see the big Buddha and temple.
You can get there by taking the local bus to Hoi An for 20,000 - 30,000 dong. Although, when we passed by it, it was so underwhelming we didn't get off the bus. As as foreigner, always confirm the price and make sure you ask for change. We noticed that oftentimes the bus workers would neglect to give back change to non-Vietnamese speakers unless they asked.
About an hour away from Da Nang, is the quaint little town of Hoi An. It's best known for its tailors who make suits and dresses at a low price. Some people also go to find a good shoe cobbler for some leather made goods. It's generally known as the place to go for shopping and has a relaxed atmosphere. Visit at night and walk around the streets with the plentiful lanterns lighting the way.
However, with the amount of tour groups that come in every day, it gets pretty busy walking the streets. Also, if you want to see the Ancient Town, it costs 120,000 dong for the ticket which is valid for 10 days.
If you're interested in seeing Hindu temple ruins from the ancient Cham Empire, My Son might be worth the visit. The temples are dedicated to the god Shiva. It's actually best to get there from Hoi An, where you use a tour or motorbike to get there.
Monkey Mountain (Son Tra Mountain)
If you're motorbiking junkie or interested in an easy rider tour, take a spin around Monkey Mountain. It's known for its viewpoints of the Da Nang and Hai Van Pass, but it's a little out of the town. Unfortunately, there's no monkeys on the mountains.
What to eat
This part soup, part salad dish originated in Central Vietnam and has yellow noodles, vegetables and peanuts. In Central Vietnam, the bowl is only half filled with broth because historically, the people couldn't afford beef bones to create a hearty broth. You can find local restaurants and stands selling it all over Da Nang.
Dong Tien Bakery (Hai Phong Road)
Our favourite bakery that sells a variety of affordable baked good from banh mi thit cha and banh bao thit to sweet desserts. Pick up a tray and try the assorted baked goods!
- Banh Mi Thit Cha (sandwich with meat) - 12,000 - 15,000 dong
- Banh Bao Thit (Steam bun with meat and egg) - 10,000 dong
Where to Stay
Funtastic Hostel (City)
We stayed at Funtastic Hostel at their central Da Nang location, which was decent. They also have a beach location. The common room has a PS4 and bean bag chairs, where you can lounge and watch movies at night. They also offer free breakfast as well as tea throughout the day. It's not a party hostel, so the dorms were pretty quiet at night. I just wish they had more washrooms.