On the East Sea of Vietnam lies Da Nang, the fifth largest city in Vietnam, a country known for its beaches, Buddhist pagodas, rivers, and bustling urban landscapes. With wide sweeping beaches, tantalizing street food, and the epic Hai Van Pass that traverses the Annamese Mountains stretching from Laos to Vietnam and northeast Cambodia. At the mouth of the Hàn River, the well-sheltered city is at the heart of various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the old town of Hội An, the Mỹ Sơn ruins, and the Imperial City of Huế. Da Nang hosts some of Vietnam’s luxury hotels and resorts. The warm My Khe Beach sweeps south from the mountainous Son Tra Peninsula. It affords blue skies, powdery white sands peppered with swaying coconut palms, and crystal clear waters. The densely forested hillsides of the Son Tra Peninsula are home to the critically endangered red-shanked douc langur, a brightly colored arboreal and diurnal old-world monkey.
The Cham people once ruled much of central Vietnam, and archaeologists have excavated many of their ruined temples around Da Nang. The impressive Cham Museum of Sculpture houses the world’s most extensive collection of Cham sculptures. The Marble Mountains are a collection of five outcrops crowned with atmospheric pagodas, a mere 15-minute drive from the city. Set out early in the morning to explore hidden caves and ancient shrines.
Da Nang is a dream destination for food lovers with seemingly endless seafront eateries and street food stalls. A must-try is Mi Quang, a delicious dish of rice noodles, pork, shrimp, quail eggs, peanuts, and fresh herbs, or bánh mì, a crispy freshly baked baguette filled generously with butter, pate, pork slices, fresh and pickled vegetables and lashings of sweet chili sauce.
The best time to visit Da Nang is between March and May and September and October when the weather is warm. There is little rain between June and August, and the waters are clear and calm. The rainy season is between November and February so that you can expect long days of moody weather. Da Nang International Airport connects to major cities in Vietnam and international flights making it an accessible destination for a short-haul holiday. Transport within the city is abundant, with numerous taxis and ride-hailing apps. Motorbike, car, and jeep tours are available to Marble Mountain, the Son Tra Peninsula, Hoi An, and Hai Van Pass.
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