Da Nang is comfortably nestled between Hoi An and Hue on Vietnam’s east coast, but unlike the neighbouring towns travellers only stay here for 2 days on average, which is a real shame as there is so much so see and do in Danang! This is the fourth largest city in Vietnam so benefits from fantastic restaurants, shops and tree lined boulevards. There are also beautiful beaches, fascinating culture and archaeological wonders; after all this is the capital of the Champa Kingdom!
Explore the Museum of Cham Sculpture
- Located: 1 D Trung Nuvuon Street
- Admission: 30,000 Vietnamese Dong (Less than 2 US dollars)
The Cham Museum showcases the sculptures from the Champa or Cham people who inhabited and ruled Central Vietnam from 192 AD to 1835. The museum was built by the French with heavy Cham influence showcased in the architectural design. Sculptures and adornment were brought in from temples and towers from all over the region. Sculptures rage in age from the 6th to 17th century. These artifacts and works of art and deal with Buddhist and Hindu influenced materials. Gods, sacred animals, and legends were carved as altars, statues and other temple adornments. Almost 300 different works are on display inside and outside of the main building.
Archaeologists have recently unearthed an ancient Cham tower in Phong Le Village in Danang which is thought to be 1,000 years old. The tower has four gates and four towers and measures 16m by 16m. The site is rich in artefacts as many have been unearthed so far, providing further insight into the ancient Champa kingdom.
Tackle the mighty Marble Mountains
- Located: South of Danang
- Admission: Only one of the mountains is open to be scaled by visitors
The five limestone mountains located southwest of Danang are named after the five elements by an emperor of Vietnam’s past. These mountains once held temples and even pagodas carved deep into the mountains. The French, Viet Cong, and Americans all left their mark on the mountains as lookouts and hiding places. Exploring caves, temples, tunnels and even climbing up the only open mountain offer something different and beautiful to view.
For other things you didn’t know about Vietnam, check out our 10 things you didn’t know about Vietnam. For example did you know that Vietnam is the fastest growing tourist destination?
Relax on the beautiful beaches of Da Nang
One of the more famous beaches is My Khe, or China Beach. This beach was once an R&R location for American troops during the Vietnam War. Today it is still used for relaxing, and enjoying the sun and sand. Beautiful accommodations are available for visitors today, along with clean beaches and a reduced amount of beggars compared to other beaches.
Clear water, white sand and green forests surround the Non Nuoc beach. In 2005 this beach was hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by Forbes magazine. Visitors enjoy surfing on its gentle waves and its proximity to other destinations such as the Marble Mountains.
Discover Danang Cathedral aka Rooster Church
- Located: Tran Phu, City Centre
This candycane pink church was built in 1923 for the French Catholics who inhabited Vietnam at the time. Locals have long called the church Con Ga, or the Rooster Church, because of its copper rooster weathervane. Today Danang Cathedral serves 4,000 parishioners and offers services in different languages. If you wish to attend services, observe the Vietnamese etiquette and come early to avoid having to stand in the back or even in the street with cyclists for services led by the local priest. Papers are printed out to help parishioners follow along with the service.
Marvel at the decorative Buddhist Pagodas
Some of the most striking architecture, culture and history present in Danang is located in its many buildings, especially its pagodas. Pagodas in Vietnam are traditional tiered places of Buddhist worship that hold special sacred articles. Worshippers come to pray and meditate within the confines of the pagoda and its surrounding areas.
Phap Lam Pagoda
Location: 574 Ð Ong Ich Khiem
Hours: 5:00-11.30 a.m. & 1:00-9.30 p.m.
Phap Lam Pagoda is an active Buddhist place of worship. Home to an impressive golden Buddha statue, it is open to visitors and worshippers. The quietest time to enjoy the beautiful architecture and religious art is during the evening hours when other visitors have gone
Pho Da Pagoda
Location: 340 Ð Phan Chu Trinh S of City Centre
Built in 1920’s, Pho Da Pagoda is also an active place of worship located in Danang. Rebuilt multiple times, it is the worship place for many lively Buddhist festivals throughout the year.