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Once seen only as a port city and not much else, in recent years, Da Nang has been attracting tourists from all over the world. This is in large part thanks to the city’s long history, which includes an ancient kingdom spanning back to 192 AD, French colonization, and playing an important role for the U.S. in the Vietnam War. With remnants spanning these many eras, plus beautiful nature, great food, and glimpses of the country’s future, the city is an excellent Southeast Asia travel destination. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam.

By Anh Nguyen

Iconic Bridges

Nicknamed “The City of Bridges”, it’s only right to look at the two which stand out above the rest.

The Golden Bridge

Since opening last year, The Golden Bridge has been popping up everywhere on social media and in photographs due to its elegant and unique design. The walk bridge swings out over a precipice in the mountains that are 4,500 feet above sea level and much of Da Nang. The most iconic feature though is that the bridge appears to be held up gently by two giant hands. This is one of the first projects completed as a part of a $2 billion investment to bring more tourism to the region.

By Prapaporn Somkate | Shutterstock

Dragon Bridge

After seeing the bridge that whisks traffic across the Han River, the name becomes obvious. The bridge, which provides the shortest route into the city from the international airport, is shaped like a great yellow dragon. The most exciting feature though is that the dragon breathes fire every Saturday and Sunday at 9 PM.

By hiep.vo | Shutterstock

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Natural Highlights

With the convergence of river and sea, plus green mountains rising behind the city, Da Nang is a perfect representation of Vietnam’s striking good looks.

The Marble Mountains

A collection of five limestone and marble mountains rising from seemingly nowhere, the Marble Mountains are supposed to represent the five elements (Tho-Earth, Hoa-Fire, Kim-Metal, Thuy-Water, and Moc-Wood). Thuy is the most accessible to tourists and has a series of caves and temples that can be explored on foot.

By Mike Fuchslocher | Shutterstock

My Khe Beach

Just outside of the city, My Khe is considered to be one of the best beaches in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia in general. The pristine white sands and luxury resorts just off the water have contributed greatly to tourists finding their way to Da Nang. Those looking for adventure can snorkel or rent jet-skis, and those looking to chill can grab a beer and relax the day away under an umbrella.

By TBone Lee | Shutterstock

Son Tra Mountain

At the north end of My Khe is Son Tra Mountain. Nicknamed Monkey Mountain, visitors can take a scooter to the base, then hike around and hope to see some of the monkeys that make it famous.

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By thaihbn | Shutterstock

Places of Cultural Significance

Ba Na Hills Sunworld

A strange collision of Da Nang’s historical influences, walking around Sunworld tourists are met with a town that was modeled to look like a European city but has Buddha statues on almost every street. The hill station is located in the mountains to the West of Da Nang. To get there folks can journey on the long and scenic cable car ride from the city.

By Olesia Grachova | Shutterstock

Linh Ung Pagoda

Just off My Khe Beach, this pagoda is home to a Lady Buddha statue that stands 220 feet tall. The huge white statue looms over the clear waters and was originally built to give fishermen protection and luck in rough seas.

By Efired | Shutterstock

Museums

Art in Paradise

Located near Da Nang’s biggest seafood market, the Art in Paradise Museum is extremely fun and interactive. The museum is made up entirely of 3-D art. Walking through, it’s clear this place was perfectly designed to take a silly picture.

Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Fifth Military Zone Museum

This is the ideal spot to come and learn about the many struggles that have defined Da Nang and Vietnam’s past. The military museum showcases equipment and photos from conflicts like Chinese occupation, the First Indochina War, and the Vietnam War. The Ho Chi Minh portion of the museum highlights information about the incredibly influential Communist leader.

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By Jimmy Tran | Shutterstock

Museum of Cham Sculpture

Da Nang’s most popular museum, here holds the world’s largest collection of Cham artifacts. The Cham were an indigenous people in Vietnam and Cambodia that formed their own kingdom from the 2nd to 17th century. Besides Cham memorabilia — which includes Hindu statues — the museum also is housed amongst French colonial architecture.

Day Trips

All within about 60 miles of Da Nang, these stops are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

My Son Sanctuary

Unfortunately, U.S. bombs felled much of the My Son Holy Site during the war, but what remains is fascinating. The ruins are from the ancient Champa civilization and have many detailed Hindu carvings in their walls. The area is best experienced with a guide who can also point out the many craters of the bombings, in addition to the historic value of the site.

By Pree Iamchae | Shutterstock

Hoi An

Easily, one of the most well-preserved Asian cities anywhere, Hoi An is free from the traffic and pollution that inflicts many modern cities of Vietnam. The bustling canals and unique atmosphere are an absolute ‘must’ when visiting Da Nang.

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By 1tomm | Shutterstock

Hue

One of Central Vietnam’s best stops, Hue was once a hub for Imperial Vietnam. Nowadays, it’s a fascinating place to explore, charming, but also eerie when reflecting on its role in the Vietnam War.

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By Efired | Shutterstock

What to Eat

Since Da Nang is still growing and designing itself for tourists, it doesn’t yet have the abundance of activities found in other bucket-list cities. What it does have it plenty of excellent food that can rival any cuisine in Asia.

Bun Mam – Affectionately called “Vietnamese gumbo”, Bun Mam is a fermented vermicelli soup made with shrimp, fish paste, and other herbs. It is somewhat similar to Hue’s signature dish Bun Bo Hue: noodles with shrimp paste, lemongrass, pork knuckle, ginger, and other spices.

Mì Quang – Another soup, this one is a mix of rice noodles, meat, and herbs, while the broth is flavored with turmeric.

Canh Ga Chien Mam – Roughly translates to sticky fish sauce chicken wings. Delicious!

By xuanhuongho | Shutterstock
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