Growing bigger and stronger every day, Da Nang is Vietnam’s newest up and coming tourist destination. Though it has always been an important city of the country (with a busy port and strategic central positioning), Da Nang was never a major stop for tourists (other than those moving onto Hoi An). But now experiencing a huge influx in both domestic and international tourism, Da Nang may finally be seeing its day.
Within the passed five years, Da Nang has changed so much that those who visited five years ago would be hard pressed to believe that it was the same city. A brand new international airport kicked off the aesthetic changes, along with the addition of beautiful new bridges, a recently altered skyline and total revamping of the city’s infrastructure... and this isn’t even touching the infinitude of bars and restaurants that have appeared in the last few years. Thanks to these new changes and the spotless kilometers of pristine beachfront, Da Nang is turning into Vietnam’s next top destination.
Reaching the city is painless and cheap with flights, trains, buses (and even cruise ships) coming into Da Nang daily. A trip into the city from the airport takes all of five minutes, and accommodation options are literally endless no matter where you’re looking to stay. The west side of the city (west of the Han River) holds much of the city’s entertainment, shopping and nightlife, while the East side of the city is home to residential areas and the gorgeous beach front. A motorbike (rent one for 4 USD a day) can take you around the city in less than 20 minutes, and the grid-like layout helps prevent visitors from getting too lost.
If you’re uncertain what to actually do when you are visiting the city, here are some local favorite stops. A day is always best spent (by lovers of salt and sand) down by the beach. The sandy shoreline is almost always empty during the day and the East Sea provides some cooling solace from the central heat. Rent some chairs and an umbrella and let your worries melt away. If you need a break from the sun, head into Lotte Mart or Big C to catch a movie, do some quick shopping or even visit the arcade and/or bowling alley if you’re with little ones.
Evenings in Da Nang are anything but dull, with an equal number of delicious Vietnamese food stalls/restaurants and delectable western options as well. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, grilled chicken, pizza, sushi, western-Vietnamese fusion food or even pastries and cakes, Da Nang has a place for it all. Also home to an exciting nightlife scene, head to any of the famous local bars, clubs or cafés for a memorable night out in the central hub. Only a short drive away from Hoi An, Son Tra Peninsula, Lang Co Bay, Marble Mountain and the My Son Sanctuary, Da Nang has some great day trips to offer as well.
So the next time you’re looking for a new Viet-destination, make the stop off in Da Nang. Though the city is still undergoing some changes, it’s quickly turning into Vietnam’s next best thing.