Da Nang

On the south central coast of Vietnam lies Da Nang, a major port city and transportation hub for those making their way up or down the country’s lengthy coastline. While many of Vietnam’s tourist destinations are easily explored simply by wandering the streets, Da Nang requires a little more ingenuity. The Da Nang Museum of Cham sculpture is one such place with works dating as far back as the 7th century, it’s worth finding.
 

Da Nang was a popular destination for American GIs on their rest and relaxation breaks during the Vietnam War. China Beach, which is located 10kms from the city centre was especially popular and although more developed now, remains a beautiful spot to relax and swim. From October through May, the long stretch of beach is the place to surf in Vietnam and other watersports are popular here too.
 

Great views of the city and the coast can be appreciated from the Marble Mountains that sit 8kms to the south of Da Nang. Steep steps or an elevator can take visitors to the very top. Similarly, the Son Tra Peninsula which is 10kms from the city, also offers terrific views and a motorbike ride through the region is a great way to appreciate the landscape.  

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Languages Vietnemese
Time Zone UTC+7
Population 1,007,400
Currency Vietnamese dong
Area 1,285.4 km2
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Dining

There’s no shortage of street side cafes in Da Nang where the restaurant scene is mostly geared towards locals. Like most places in Vietnam, delicious Pho (noodle soup) is easy to come by on the streets of Da Nang. The streets and alleys between Cham Museum and Han Market are particularly good for enjoying Vietnamese food at very reasonable prices. Visitors eager to try a local Da Nang specialty should order a dish called Be Thui. Veal is slowly roasted or steamed over charcoal, with the meat then wrapped in rice paper with vegetables and herbs or simply dusted with rice powder and eaten with dipping sauce. More dessert than caffeine pick-me-up, Ca phe sua nong, or Vietnamese-style coffee is the perfect way to finish a meal. Sweetened with condensed milk, it’s sinfully rich. With only a small expat community calling Da Nang home, there isn’t much in the way of traditional Western food or fine dining. A handful of establishments are located around Tran Phu Street, Bread for Life is a good option that also helps to support projects for people with a hearing impairment. The food is great, the prices fair and the cause is worthwhile too.

Shopping

When it comes to shopping, Da Nang has two central markets and a handful of shopping malls. Han Market is located near the Han River and is easy to find. Established in the 1940s, not a lot remains of the original market, which was refurbished in 1989. Here you will find fabric, clothing and footwear inside a two-storey building that’s easy to explore and open until 9pm. Con Market is a familiar sight for those who have shopped in South East Asia before. Hundreds of stalls selling everything from cheap clothes to household goods and reproductions of high-end brands. Located near the San Chi Land Stadium the outdoor market is open seven days. There are a number of souvenir shops in Da Nang selling arts, crafts and ceramics, but for a more authentic reminder of Vietnam, visit the Non Nuoc Village. The village sits at the foot of the Marble Mountains where stone carving has been a traditional profession since the nineteenth century. Visitors can watch as the souvenirs are carved from stone and can have items especially made. Da Nang has not yet fully embraced the concept of Western-style shopping malls. The cities newest shopping centre, the Zen Plaza is one of the few places designer clothes and luxury goods are available in Da Nang.