One of Central Việt Nam’s many gems – Đà Nẵng. It is filled with beauty, adventure, and culture. I left Đà Nẵng with no doubt in my mind that I would be back. It has a little something for any type of person: whether you’re a city, beach, or mountain lover. Here are the things I did during my trip to Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam:
The Dragon Bridge
If you are planning a trip to Đà Nẵng, be sure to plan it around a Saturday or Sunday to ensure that you don’t miss the show at Dragon Bridge. The Dragon Bridge itself is really neat, but at 9 PM every weekend it spits fire and water. I’m. Sold. While you’re waiting for the show you can walk along the river, get dinner, and watch street performances.
Golden Bridge in Bà Nà Hills
If you’re coming to Central Việt Nam, you can’t not take a short trip to Bà Nà Hills and see the Golden Bridge. I was skeptical at first, especially since I was visiting during the cold and rainy season, but it really is amazing – sunny or not. On a sunny day, you will have a view of Bà Nà Hills from the bridge. I went on a cloudy day so I did not have a view, but it did feel like I was floating on clouds. Even though I didn’t have a view at the top of the mountain, I still had a beautiful one while riding up in a cable car. If you’re worried about transportation to Bà Nà Hills from Đà Nẵng, don’t. It was very easy to book a Grab there and my driver and I ended up swapping numbers so he just parked and waited for me to get done – easy enough.
Mỹ Khê Beach
I can honestly say that this was the best beach experience I have ever had. Since the Vietnamese either avoid being outside midday or keep themselves covered to avoid tanning, the beach was pretty much empty. There were only a few tourists, some fishermen, and me. The beach is clean and you have a beautiful view of Sơn Trà Mountain and Lady Buddha watching over you.
I went through a tour group called HomeTown Free Tour for my visit to Marble Mountain. It’s a group of University students who volunteer as tour guides in order to practice their English – and it’s free! A tour guide from HomeTown picked me up from my hotel and took me to Marble Mountain. She was able to explain the elements of the mountain to me, including many facts about Buddhism. For those who don’t know, Marble Mountain is one of Đà Nẵng’s most popular attractions. I only had time to visit one of the five mountains, but I will definitely be back to visit the other four. There is a cave entrance leading into the mountain and inside contains many Buddhist shrines. There are stairs that lead to ‘hell’ with multiple displays showing punishment for each wrongdoing. There are also stairs that lead to ‘heaven.’ The stairs to ‘heaven’ are very steep and can be slick if it has rained, but they are well worth the climb as they lead to a beautiful view.
I went with a guide from HomeTown Free Tour to visit Linh Ứng as well. She took me on a drive through the winding road of Sơn Trà Mountain, where you’re able to see the ocean and all of Đà Nẵng. I unfortunately didn’t see any monkeys while driving along the road, but have been told they are pretty common (it is also nicknamed ‘Monkey Mountain’). Once we got to Linh Ứng I was in awe. The pagodas are filled with mesmerizing shrines and people who have come from all over the world to worship. There is a beautiful garden, courtyard, and of course – the Lady Buddha. Lady Buddha is said to be facing the ocean as to keep the local fisherman safe from harm and is one of the three Lady Buddhas located in Đà Nẵng. This site is so full of history and culture, it would be easy to spend hours here.
If you want to have the best spa day of your life for dirt cheap, Việt Nam is your place. I started my day off at Herbal Spa with a massage and facial. It was the most relaxing few hours and only cost $41 USD. I then headed to Beachside Nails to get a gel manicure and pedicure for only $15 stinking USD. That’s a total of $56 USD for a full day of pampering! You won’t hear any complaints from me.
Places to eat:
- Bà Mua for some yummy mỳ quảng – I got mỳ quảng cá lóc (mỳ quảng noodles with fish and egg). Mỳ quảng is a Central Việt Nam specialty and possibly the best dish I have ever had.
- Taco Ngon
- If you’re wanting to eat like a local and feeling something sweet, visit the Bắc Mỹ An market and try some avocado ice cream. If avocados aren’t your thing, don’t worry. This market has many other food stalls for people to enjoy as well!
I had originally booked with a hostel, but cancelled it last minute and booked a hotel room at Bao Anh Hotel instead. It’s only a two-minute walk to Mỹ Khê beach (I had an ocean view from my room) and also within walking distance of numerous cute coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. It was clean, modern, and the staff was always friendly and helpful.
If you want to know more about my trip to Đà Nẵng or my life in Việt Nam, please feel free to contact me!
Until next time,