Da Nang, Vietnam

This view from our hotel is just what we needed 💕We have been living in cities for the past 3 ½ months and we were desperate for some time by the sea, Da Nang fit the bill.  The city is in the middle of Vietnam and overlooks the East Vietnam Sea, part of the South China Sea.  While the city itself is large, the beachfront area is a little nicer, popular with expats and there are hundreds of restaurants and bars.  Ahhh, but My Khe beach is the best part!!!

During our three weeks in Da Nang we fell into a pretty comfortable routine, something we were craving and don’t get a lot of with our lifestyle.  My Khe beach is ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and we can see it from our hotel room.  There is a paved boardwalk heading north for 6 km that Blair ran along most mornings, while I walked on the smooth white sand beach.  To keep fit we found a 25m swimming pool for me and a gym for Blair at the My An Sports Center just 6 minutes away from our hotel.  The place we are staying is in the walking street area and there are at least 6 or 7 restaurants on every street.  We found a lovely laundry service just around the corner and a favorite beach bar to enjoy an afternoon happy hour.  Below are a few of the views during my early morning beach walks 😎

We had an active social life while in Da Nang seeing a few nomad friends who were here at the same time.  We saw Lance & Lisa who we did the trans-pacific cruise with in October; Christine & Tom who we first met in Kuala Lumpur back in December; then we met new Canadian friends Tracey & James at a nomad meetup.  It’s been a really fun 3 weeks spending time with like minded folks, life is good here!!!

Us with Lance & Lisa (the only folks I remembered to take a photo with, duh!!)

One of the first things we did after arriving was get together with Pete & Juanita, fellow Canadians who have spent 20 months here in Da Nang over the past few years.  They were a wealth of information and advice, they also helped us a few months ago recommending their neighborhood of My An as an area to stay.  We love it here so if you are thinking of coming to Da Nang keep this area in mind.

Da Nang is the 5th largest city in Vietnam with a population of around 1.4 million people.  It’s one of Vietnam’s most important port cities and ranked as the most livable city in Vietnam.  Da Nang has mountains, plains and beaches, many tourist attractions in or near the city and is surrounded by 3 world cultural heritage sites.  There is a lot to see and do here besides sit around on the beach so we were able to keep ourselves as busy, or not busy as we felt like.  Turns out we chose to be not busy 😂 Most days we stayed close to home enjoying the beach, going to the sports center and eating dinner at one of our local restaurants, but we did get out a few times to visit some of the popular sights.

Our first excursion was a half day private tour of Da Nang.  We began with a visit to the Linh Ung Pagoda and the Lady Buddha Statue, 10km northeast of the city on the Son Tra Peninsula.  Standing 67m high, The Lady Buddha is the tallest one in Vietnam and she is standing on a 35m high lotus flower that makes the combined height of the statue over 100m.

From the Lady Buddha we drove to a viewpoint along the Son Tra Peninsula to admire the views of the coastline.

Leaving the Son Tra peninsula we made our way back through Da Nang to the Marble Mountains, a group of five limestone karsts.  The ancient Cham culture revered the karsts as a spiritual site.  Today the Marble Mountains are home to a network of caves, tunnels, towers and Buddhist pagodas.  Huyen Khong is the largest cave housing a massive Buddha and two shrines, when the sun shines through the collapsed ceiling it creates dramatic spotlights inside the cave.

One of the most popular places to go from Da Nang is the Sun World theme park in the Ba Na Hills, about 30km from Da Nang.  The mountaintop location was a popular vacation spot of the French, falling into disrepair when they left.  Enter Sun World Amusement Park Group and they have created the most amazing tourist attraction you could imagine.  At 1,487m above sea level the air is cooler and the only way up the mountain is via the cable cars, holders of multiple Guinness records.  The longest cable car takes around 17 minutes and is 5.8km long!!

  • Beautiful waterfall on the way up


At the top of the mountain is a re-creation of a medieval French village, a tribute to the French colonists of the early 1900’s.  There is even a mini re-creation of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  It looks so realistic with the cobbled streets and French music playing we felt transported to France.

  • The Cathedral


From the French village we took a short cable car ride down to the next level where the Cau Vang, or Golden Bridge is located, probably the most visited spot on the entire mountain.  The iconic pedestrian bridge is only 150m long and connects the cable car station to the nearby gardens and provides plenty of space to take in the views.  The bridge has stainless steel railings treated to appear gold and is supported by two giant hands made of wire mesh and fiberglass but look like stone.  It’s really quite stunning!!

And no French village is complete without a wine cellar 🍷 We made our way there through a lovely walkway to enjoy a glass of wine as we overlooked the gardens.  Feeling refreshed after our wine break, we walked down to see the lady Buddha statue.

Da Nang is well known for its Dragon Bridge, the undulating steel is shaped into a Ly-Dynasty dragon figure, the symbol of prosperity in Vietnamese culture.  The bridge took 6 years to build and opened to traffic on March 29, 2013, to coincide with the 38th anniversary of the city’s capture by north Vietnamese forces.  Aside from the amazing architecture, the bridge is famous for a fire and water performance every Fri, Sat and Sun at 9pm.  We did not see the fire and water show during this first visit to Da Nang so we will plan on it next month.

Not far from the Dragon Bridge is the Han Market, the busiest and noisiest market in Da Nang.  In the old days, Han Market was a modest trading venue for small businessmen.  In 1990 a new market was constructed, consisting of two spacious floors with an area of ​​28,000 square meters.  The market officially opened in March 1991, with 576 stalls and 36 kiosks and is popular with locals and tourists.

There are so many restaurants in our neighborhood that we are spoiled for choice.  For variety we tended to alternate Western food with Asian food so here are some of our favorites:

  • Umm Bahn Mi Cafe – sandwich place
  • L’Italiano – pasta and pizza
  • Bikini Bottom – burgers and tacos
  • Windsor Tea House – English tea house with homemade scones
  • Touch of Thai – great Pad Thai
  • Eco Green Cafe – incredible salads
  • Roadhouse – pizza and burgers
  • Hanh & Ken – Vietnamese food
  • Maia Beach Club – beach bar with a great Pina Colada

You may have noticed I said this is our first visit to Da Nang.  Well, we like it so much here that we decided to come back for another month after our visit to Hoi An.  Our original plan was to fly to Hua Hin, Thailand for a month but we were feeling unmotivated to travel and asking ourselves why we would leave here for another beach location, so we just decided to stay here.  A fellow nomad said it perfectly ‘traveling long term needs some time outs’.  So we will take a time out and come back to Da Nang, but not before we spend 3 weeks nearby in the ancient city of Hoi An…..






Our half day tour of Da Nang was with Explore Vietnam at a cost of 955,500 VND (USD $39) each.  The tour included a driver and a guide.

Our day trip to Ba Na Hills was with Dacotours and cost USD $69 each for their 8 hour small group tour, maximum of 12 people.  Even so, we ended up waiting around for people and at one point decided to do our own thing and met the group later.  In hindsight we would have been better off doing it ourselves with a private driver.



8 thoughts on “Da Nang, Vietnam

  • April 21, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    For a longer stay in Hoi An I’d recommend staying outside the old town, in a village like Cam Chau. It’s in the middle of the rice fields, (which they are harvesting right now), has a great local market ((Ban Le) and a good variety of restaurants and coffee shops. Gyms and great yoga studios and less tourists too. Halfway between the town and the beach.

    • April 21, 2024 at 10:07 pm

      Caroline, when we left old town we stayed at An Bang beach which was perfect. Lots of restaurants in the area and a short bike ride to the rice fields. I imagine it would be lovely and peaceful in Cam Chau.

  • April 18, 2024 at 3:31 pm

    Well geez….I was leaning more toward a month in Hoi An but now you might’ve changed my mind. Hmm.

    • April 18, 2024 at 10:14 pm

      Yea, one month in Hoi An might be a bit too long. It’s overrun with tourists, especially in the evenings.

  • April 15, 2024 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    • April 15, 2024 at 9:03 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope this helps if you are planning a trip over this way.

  • April 15, 2024 at 3:09 am

    DaNang really wasn’t on my wish list, but this post has definitely changed my mind!!

    • April 15, 2024 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks! It’s a great place to spend some time, and save money. There is a lot to see in the general area using Da Nang as base for sightseeing.


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