What many visitors to Da Nang fail to realize is that the city is actually fairly new. Da Nang (originally named Tourane) was built as a replacement port town for Hoi An, which had fallen into disuse due to major silting of the river channel. The itinerary outlined below is designed to give visitors to Da Nang a taste of the older history of the region, as well as a view of modern day Vietnamese life in Da Nang.
Day 1 - Hoi An Walking Tour
Hoi An was the original port town serving the region. Unfortunately, the river course became clogged with silt, making it impossible for sailing ships to gain access to the port. At the time this happened technology was not far enough advanced to offer a solution, so the city was simply relocated (to the location of current day Da Nang). Walking around the ancient city of Hoi An allows the visitor to take a look at how Da Nang started, where it came from. There are many old Buddhist temples in the city center, as well as an ornamental Japanese bridge. Many excellent craft shops can be found in Hoi An, perfect for holiday shopping!
Day 2 – Da Nang Walking Tour
Day 1 was about ancient history, Day 2 is about modern history as we head to the streets of Da Nang. Explore the colorful and vibrant local markets and take some photographs from the Han River Bridge. Most visitors will notice a stark contrast between the older, quieter town of Hoi An and the boisterous, busy modern City of Da Nang.
There is probably no other pair of towns in the world which have such an interlinked history as the ancient City of Hoi An and the modern City of Da Nang. Visitors will find the contrast between the two quite fascinating.
One of the delights of staying in the City of Da Nang is the fact that visitors are so close to several areas of outstanding natural beauty. Not only are these regions close by, they are also readily accessible to anyone who is willing to do a little walking or hiking. The suggested itinerary below will allow visitors in Da Nang to experience some of the best natural countryside Vietnam has to offer.
Day 1 - Marble Mountains
The first day is the hardest day, and begins with a trek up the Marble Mountains. These five peaks tower over suburban Da Nang, with each of them associated with one of the five natural elements, wood, metal, fire, earth and water. The trek up the mountains is rewarding, with many hidden places to discover. There are also many interlinked caves. Many of which are safe to explore (although it is not recommended that lone travelers enter the caves).
Day 2 - Son Tra Peninsula
Following a day trekking up the Marble Mountains most people will find that visiting the area of Son Tra Peninsula is a great way to relax and recoup their energy. The entire region is a protected wildlife and nature zone. Within the 30,000 square kilometer peninsula there are many rare animals and plants to be discovered.
Day 3 - Ba Na Hills & Mountains
Day 3 sees the visitor trekking once again, although this is a much easier trek than the Marble Mountains. There is a two stage cable car which assists people in reaching the summit of Ba Na Mountain. There are plenty of ancient pagodas to explore, as well as the breathtaking view from the suspension bridge.
Visitors to Da Nang are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which natural highlight they would like to visit. By taking three days to explore the ones mentioned above you can be sure that you are seeing the very best of them.
Although Da Nang is not as well developed as other cities in Vietnam with regards to tourist attractions, it does have several excellent museums which are unique to Da Nang. The itinerary below is designed to give a visitor to Da Nang a whirl wind one day tour of these three museums.
8am – Head into the city and visit the Da Nang General Museum, which can be found on Le Duan Street. This is a tranquil venue, set inside wonderfully sculpted Bonsai gardens. The exhibits inside depict the story of Da Nang and the legends of the area.
11am – Move on to the Ho Chi Minh Museum and explore Uncle Ho’s Stilt House and Aquarium. This unique museum is a tribute to the life of Ho Chi Minh. Within the museum you will find plenty of information about the life and history of Ho Chi Minh, as well as an exact replica of the house he lived in whilst staying in Hanoi. The gardens make the perfect place to break the day for lunch.
1pm – After taking lunch in the grounds of the Ho Chi Minh Museum you will need to take a local taxi out to the Museum of Cham Sculpture. This is only a short drive from the City of Da Nang. This is a large museum with over 150 examples of Cham Sculpture covering over ten centuries. Many of the sculptures were found in the My Son region, and were moved to the museum so that they could be viewed more easily.
These three museums are entirely unique to Da Nang. None of them are particularly large, so it makes perfect sense to fit them all into a single day. The largest of the three is the Cham Sculpture Museum, and this is left until last so that visitors can spend as much time as they need at the museum at the end of the itinerary.