I’ve been living in Vietnam for about six months now. During this time, I’ve been lucky enough travel to various locations in this country and see some pretty cool places. One of my favorite cities I’ve been to is a beach town in center of Vietnam called Da Nang. It’s one of the largest and most developed cities in the country with many sky scrapers and modern-styled buildings. Visiting Da Nang was the perfect combination of adventure with beautiful beaches and unique places to explore.
Bumming on the Beach
I’m not much of a beach gal in general, but I really enjoyed my time here. The sand was super smooth, the weather was perfect, and the beaches weren’t overly crowded. There’s so much beach to explore with cafes and bars on the beach, there was always something to do. My friends and I decided to buy a couple bottles of Da Lat red wine and enjoy a night out on the shore.
It was a great time, except for one thing; sand fleas. They got me bad. My friends were smart and all put on bug spray before hand, but I somehow lost the memo – rookie mistake. Some good beaches to look out for include Man Thai Beach and My Khe Beach.
The High Life
Accommodation wasn’t too expensive in Da Nang. I managed to get an Airbnb in a high rise apartment building for $45usd a night. You can definitely find cheaper options, and more expensive options. But this was perfect for what I was looking for. I also decided to rent a motorbike to get around on, this was the best decision for me as public transportation wasn’t as available and I didn’t want to taxi everywhere.
Getting Higher in the Ba Na Hills
After relaxing at the beach, I took an hour long road trip to increase the elevation of my travels, literally. Ba Na Hills is basically an amusement park on the top of a mountain. It begins with a cable car ride that takes you up the mountain side to different levels, each with separate attractions. The cable car was absolutely gorgeous surrounded by trees and waterfalls.
I did so much in the eight hours I was there. I saw castles that looked like they were taken out of a Harry Potter movie. There was some downhill action in the Alpine Coaster. I really enjoyed walking around the French Village, everything was just so cute. Honestly, every inch of this place is adorable. I could have wandered here forever. The only negative is that it was super crowded, but that’s to be expected at an amusement park.
Climbing the Marble Mountains
The next thing I did in Da Nang was get a little close and personal to some marble. It’s a major attraction in Da Nang, so it was pretty busy. I bought my ticket and took an elevator, yes you heard me right, up the mountain to the view top. You can choose to take the stairs all the way up, or take an elevator. Of course, I took the easy route. But there’s tons of walking and exploring to do on the top with the various caves and religious sites. Some of them are actually in the caves. It was a really interesting place to explore.
Discovering the Buddhist Temple
Getting to this place is almost as fun and the actual destination. The drive here is amazing, I had to stop every few kilometers to take in the the views of the coast. After parking a taking a short walk up to the pagoda, the statue was as impressive as the views.
Cruising the High Van Pass
The High Van Pass is full of beautiful things to see in Vietnam. Some of my favorite views of Vietnam were seen on the the High Van Pass. It’s a road connecting Da Nang to Hue. For 21 kilometers, it carves through mountains and flies over clifftops with dramatic views below. It’s a really popular road trip, so I met other fellow drivers. You can choose to hire a guide to take you through the pass, or rent a motorbike and do it yourself. I did the latter. It was rewarding trek that I will never forget.
When I visited Da Nang, I literally contemplating living here instead of my originally planned Ho Chi Minh City. The city had so much to do between the beach, the hills, and the mountains. It’s a gorgeous area and I could not stop looking at it. But nonetheless, my journey forward continued. Make sure to contact us if you need help planning your trip to Vietnam, and check out our post on visiting Ha Long Bay.