Many visitors are so focused on Ha Long Bay and Ho Chi Minh City that they forget to include Da Nang on their itinerary. Their loss is your gain, because this big little city has plenty to offer, most notably its 30km long white sand beach that runs all the way down to Hoi An and is virtually deserted in the day time. Rent a motorbike and follow the beach north to the Son Tra peninsula to explore the coastline, savour the breathtaking views, and relax on a secluded beach (just watch out for monkeys on the way).
At the southern end of Da Nang you will find the Marble Mountains. This is a great half-day trip, wandering up and through the mountains exploring caves and Buddhist shrines. Further south, towards Hoi An, tee up for a game at Da Nang Golf Club, voted one of Southeast Asia’s best courses. In the city center you can wander the banks of the Han River, crossing over its two new bridges. The Dragon Bridge breathes fire once a month and all the bridges are lit up beautifully each night. The riverside itself also comes alive at night with thousands of neon lights, motorcycles and riverside restaurants. Da Nang now offers river cruises with live music.
There are two main markets in Da Nang. The largest and more lively on Hung Vuong St is definitely an attraction of sights and smells. Across the road is The Vinh Trung Plaza. If you want an air conditioned escape from the heat you can have a bite to eat, do some shopping at the Big C supermarket or enjoy a movie on the top floor. If you are up for a few drinks at night there are plenty of small bars along the riverside. If you are after something more local take a trip to the beach and choose from dozens of seafood restaurants along the main road or take a seat on a deck chair on the beach with a can of Bia Larue.
There are three large nightclubs in Da Nang, if you are keen to keep the party going. New Phuong Dong and TV Club have all the laser beams you will ever need! If it’s live music that you’re after, then 17 Saloon has a great nightly cover band.
There are plenty of things to do in Da Nang if you choose to add it to your itinerary.