Da Nang is fast emerging as one of Vietnam’s hottest holiday destinations, and for good reason. Once only thought of as a backwater location, it is now undergoing a major reinvention and putting its strengths at the forefront. Today, it is known for its sparkling golden sandy beaches, exciting regional cuisine, and a budding nightlife scene that looks set to rival those at well-known party cities such as Bangkok and Bali.
Ideally experienced over the course of a weekend, visitors often opt for Da Nang travel combo packages to get great deals and to simplify their sightseeing. For instance a Da Nang combo travel package with Traveloka and similar popular online booking services will often already include flights and accommodations to help travelers save even more money. It’s a great option to have when you’re on a tight budget and you want to make the most of your time in Vietnam.
However, a sojourn in Da Nang is not so much about how you get there and where you’ll stay as it is about what you’ll do. Below, we give you a list of attractions and activities to do so that you can maximize your visit to this coastal paradise.
Visit the Golden Bridge and Sun World Ba Na Hills Resort
You’ll want to get up early for this one. Golden Bridge and the resort it belongs to, Sun World Ba Na Hills, tends to get packed with crowds of shutterbugs and would-be Instagram influencers—up to 20,000 of them per day. The sights are worth the steep entrance fee, though, as you pay for the privilege of riding the world’s longest cable car to the aforementioned Golden Bridge, which looks like it’s being held up by a pair of giant stone hands that have been carved out of the mountainside. It’s a popular backdrop for photos, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find it ever empty.
Another cable car takes you to the main event, an amusement park tricked out to look like a quaint French village complete with a castle holding court over the grounds—classically Romanesque- and Gothic-inspired, of course. There are a handful of thrill rides on the premises, as well as a wax museum and a wine cellar. Shopping and dining options abound, and you can actually stay in a hotel in the French village, if you wanted to.
Eat your way through the city
Da Nang is a haven for cheap eats, and the cuisine of the region is absolutely fantastic. Grab a bowl of mi quang noodles, flat rice noodles in an herb-infused broth topped with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, chili sauce and other greens for a breakfast truly befitting a champion. The other heavyweight noodle dish here is bun thit nuong, where cold vermicelli meets grilled pork and peanuts.
Being a maritime city, some of the best local specialties are made with fresh fish and seafood. Try bánh canh cá lóc, thick noodles made with tapioca and rice flour in an aromatic broth topped with generous pieces of snakehead fish and scallions. There’s also the tart cua rang me, deep fried crab in a sweet tamarind sauce. Have we mentioned that most of these dishes all clock in at under US$3?
Pick a beach—any beach
The biggest draws in Da Nang are the beaches. The most popular ones are to the south: one long uninterrupted stretch of sand has been divided into four beaches called Phạm Văn Đồng, My Khe, Bac My An, and Non Nuoc, respectively. Of these, the latter three consistently top the Best of Da Nang lists for their soft white sands, stellar views, and unrivaled location close to the city center.
The best view of the sunrise is from tree-lined My Khe beach, where you can spend the rest of the morning lounging on beach chairs or swimming in the ocean—you’ll find that there’s little to no competition for space. This changes once the evening rolls around, as locals and tourists alike begin to flock to the water after the sun sets.
If you’re willing to pay to play, luxury resort hotels at the Son Tra Peninsula maintain their own stretches of the coastline, and the only people you’ll be competing for beach real estate with would be esteemed guests just like yourself. For no-compromises opulence, look into the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, a full-service vacation destination at the base of Sơn Trà Mountain, affectionately nicknamed Monkey Mountain for its local primate population.
Da Nang International Airport is the city’s primary international gateway. To get around, tourists often opt to rent motorcycles or scooters to zip from attraction to attraction—a convenient (if technically illegal) option in an expansive city where the sights are scattered all over. Another common way of getting around is by using Grab, a ride-hailing app that you can download onto your smartphone. Taxis also come aplenty in the area, but watch out for scams; always insist on using the meter, and never agree to a flat rate.
We hope this guide has given you a few ideas on how to spend a spectacular weekend in Da Nang. Happy trails!