Few people think of Da Nang as a travel destination and it is such a shame. Mostly used as a connecting city to Hoi An or Hue, Da Nang has so much to offer. It has some of the best beaches in Asia, friendly people and great food. Being the third biggest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is still not crowded compared to its rivals Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Make sure to add this awesome city to your travel list and visit it while it’s still not busy. Below is my one day itinerary to Da Nang, Vietnam.
1. Marble Mountains
Duration (getting there + visiting): 3-4 h
If you are staying only one day in Da Nang, The Marble Mountains are a must visit. The Marble Mountains are 5 rock formations (marble & limestone) situated at about 10 km from Da Nang. The hills were named after the 5 elements of nature: Thuy (water), Hoa (fire), Moc (wood), Kim (metal) and Tho (earth). The legend says that a dragon emerged from the sea and laid its egg on the beach and the remaining egg shells were transformed into the Marble Mountains.
What makes them special and a unique place to visit is that here you will find an amazing combination of culture, spirituality and nature.
Out of all the 5 mountains, Thuy Mountain is the most popular one and the most accessible to tourists. It is the perfect place for a relaxing walk and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Thuy Mountain has spectacular views over the other 4 mountains and an amazing system of caves and pathways.
What not to miss
Huyen Khong cave
As you will enter the Huyen Khong cave, you will have to descend quite a few stairs but meanwhile, you will be struck by the amazing light coming from natural holes in the ceiling of the cave. In this cave you will find a beautiful Buddha statue and the old Trang Nghiem Tu Temple, built in 1825.
Depicting spooky scenes, you will find some interesting sculptures hidden in the Hell cave. As the name suggests, this cave is an illustration of, you’ve guessed it, hell.
Good to know:
Entrance fee: VND 40,000
Elevator: you can take the elevator for VND 15,000 one way or you can climb the stairs by foot for free.
Opening hours: 07:00 – 17:30
2. Linh Ung Pagoda
Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 -3 h
Situated on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Linh Ung Pagoda is a must see in Da Nang. On sunny days, you can see the big, white statue of Lady Buddha (67m high) from the beach in Da Nang. The statue of Lady Buddha or Goddess of Mercy is believed to protect fishermen from all the dangers they may encounter while on the sea and it is the tallest statue in Vietnam.
While entering the Linh Ung Pagoda, you will have to pass through a massive three door gate. After stepping on the other side of the gate, you will discover a beautiful garden with bonsai trees and the pagoda itself. If you want to visit the Linh Ung Pagoda, do not forget to take your shoes off!
What I loved about this place was the feeling of calmness it gave me. It is definitely the place to go to clear your thoughts while enjoying an amazing view.
Good to know:
As a plus, if you make a stop on the way to the pagoda, you will have the chance to enjoy an amazing view over the city of Da Nang and the fishermen boats. The best time to enjoy this view is at sunset (for the exact location, click here). Don’t forget your camera home!
3. My Khe Beach
Duration (getting there + enjoying the sun): 1-2 h
Your one day itinerary to Da Nang should definitely include My Khe Beah! I’ve seen many beaches in Asia but My Khe is in my top 3 so far. My Khe beach has about 1 km long and it is well know for its white, clean beaches and blue water. The first thing that came to my mind when I arrived on the beach was: “Am I in Miami?”. With tall business buildings and hotels following the beach it is easy to get confused.
A quiet place, safe for both adults and children, My Khe Beach must definitely be on your list when visiting Da Nang. It was even voted as one of the 6 most beautiful beaches in the world by Forbes.
4. The Dragon Bridge
Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 h
Watching over the Han River, the Dragon Bridge is 666 m long (I have no idea if it is a coincidence or not, but this is certainly interesting) and it was opened in 2013. If you are visiting Da Nang on a Saturday or Sunday, make sure to pay a visit to the bridge at 9 pm since it is beautifully lit and it breathes fire and water.
How to get around Da Nang
My number one recommendation, as everywhere in Asia, would be to rent a scooter. It is the cheapest (about $5) option and the most convenient one. This way, you will have all the freedom in managing your schedule.
Even though, the scooter is faster, you can also rent bikes. However, keep in mind that reaching the Linh Ung Pagoda is quite difficult by bike since to get there you will have to bike on a steep road.
Another option would be to travel by taxi. Taxis are available anywhere in Da Nang, but the best chance to get one are the touristy places. The first rule of traveling by taxi is telling your taxi driver to start the taxi meter. The price for 1 km can be anywhere between VND 12,000-15,000.
There is also Uber available in Da Nang but I wouldn’t recommend it. The drivers tend to accept the order and then cancel it. It happened to me for about 10 times.
Da Nang is a beautiful city and it has so much to offer. The culture and nature create a beautiful duo that will make you fall in love with this city and wish to come back. I hope that this one day itinerary to Da Nang will come in handy when visiting the beautiful Da Nang.
May the travel bug bite you!
More about Vietnam:
- Top 6 Instagrammable places in Hoi An – click here
- An alternative half day trip from Hue – click here
- Koh Rong or Phu Quoc – which one to choose – click here