Located along the stunning coast, and nestled quietly between Hue and Hoi An, lies Danang – the City of Bridges and the gateway to central Vietnam. Here, Vietnamese culture, food, and natural beauty have thrived for centuries, making things to do in Danang unique and unforgettable.
Swim through the crystalline waters of the Cu Lao Cham Island UNESCO biosphere reserve one day, and explore the ancient ruins of My Son or the Imperial City of Hue the next, before cycling through the Vietnamese countryside or eating your way through the delectable Vietnamese street food vendors spanning from Danang to Hoi An. Nowhere else in this stunning country will you have access to such a diverse array of history, cuisine, or heavenly views as you will in Danang.
Now the fourth largest city in Vietnam, Danang has developed into an important port city due its central coastal location. Its prime position on the Son Tra Peninsula also makes it the perfect starting point for reaching some of Vietnam’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Hue Imperial City, My Son Sanctuary, and charming Hoi An, as well as cultural treasures like Tam Thanh mural village and the Linh Ung Pagoda.
The views travelling north from Danang to Hue are some of the most magical in Vietnam. Gaze across the mountains and sea from the heights of Hai Van pass or stroll along the pristine sands of Lang Co beach before arriving at the majestic ramparts of the Hue Citadel. Imagine the height of imperial Vietnam as you explore the walled palace of the Hue Imperial City and delve further into the secret life of the royal family within the protective walls of the Forbidden Purple City.
Travelling west from Danang to the Duy Xuyen district of Quang Nam province brings you to the breathtaking My Son Sanctuary. Located in the beautiful Valley of the Kings, this exquisite Hindu temple complex dates as far back as the 4th century and showcases the incredible ingenuity, religious zeal, and cultural reach of the Champa Kingdom. The My Son Sanctuary architecture is truly awe inspiring and should top the list of anyone’s list of things to do in Danang.
A short distance south of Danang is Hoi An, a charming city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tucked within Hoi An Ancient Town lies a network of narrow streets and twisting alleyways that lead you past heavenly cafes, local artisans, and to the famed Japanese Bridge. You’ll feel as though you’ve travelled back in time as you stroll or bike through this quaint and immaculately preserved town.
When it comes to Vietnamese food (Vietnamese street food to be more precise), Danang is a heavy hitter in the local culinary scene. Known throughout the nation for its mouthwatering array of dishes, Danang food is also quickly being recognized by the foodie elite on a global level. Who could resist the alluring flavours of mi quang noodles or the richness of sweet soup with lotus seed?
While Danang food has no shortage of incredible flavours, textures, and aromas, there are a few standout dishes that every traveler and foodie must try during their visit. These local favourites include bun cha ca (aromatic noodle soup with fish cakes), mi quang (warm turmeric noodles), banh xeo (crispy rice pancakes), and the ever-famous Vietnamese che (sweet soup, desserts, or other sugary treats).
A Danang food tour is by the far the best way to experience the exotic tastes and delicacies and of this culinary capital. Hop on the back of a motorbike for a truly Vietnamese experience and see where the locals head to indulge their favourite food fare.
Those looking to explore a different side of Danang will embrace its role as a centre for ecotourism in Vietnam. Visitors can enjoy everything from lounging on Cua Dai Beach, snorkeling in the Cu Lao Cham Island biosphere, marvelling at the lushness of Marble Mountain, cycling through the Vietnamese countryside, and interacting with locals. If you are feeling less adventurous, but still wish to experience one of the most famous Danang attractions for local Vietnamese, take in the scenery from the Ba Na Hills Cable Car – the longest cable car in the world – at the Ba Na Hills mountain resort.
Outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to see Vietnamese culture and the way of life outside the city will love heading off the beaten path. Making your way by bicycle through the rice paddies outside Danang and Hoi An, or heading by boat down the waters of the Thu Bon River, brings to light how many Vietnamese people live. Learn about the traditions of mat weaving, try your hand at making rice paper or banh dap (rice cracker), scramble across an exciting monkey bridge, or get to know the locals in Cam Kim fishing village.
A short drive from Danang to Hoi An brings you to the tropical waters outside the Cham islands, a stunning UNESCO biosphere reserve teeming with marine life. Learn about the lifestyles of the Cham people at the local fishing village before diving head first into the vibrant sea. When it comes to Vietnam islands, Cu Lao Cham Island is unique in that it is a protected habitat. Spend a day basking in the sun, lounging in a hammock on the beach, or exploring the natural world beneath the tourmaline waves.
Discover your next adventure in Danang with TheAsia.com