Arriving in Da Nang, a bustling coastal city in Central Vietnam, was quite an eye-opener on how much the country has stepped up to catch-up to its economic and tourism potentials. It is, so far, the most impressive emerging boom city that I’ve visited in Southeast Asia.

Da Nang’s beautiful riverside district reminded me of Singapore, but on a smaller scale and without the overly-expensive costs. The city also has unique attractions to boast like the fire-breathing Dragon Bridge and spacious white-sand beaches along its 30-kilometer coastline. If that’s not enough, there are many interesting tourist spots and UNESCO World Heritage sites nearby including Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Temple Ruins, and Hue Imperial City.

I spent the first two nights of my 2-week trip in Central and Northern Vietnam in Da Nang. I had a nice walk along the Han Riverside, at night. It was well-lit with colorful lights and filled with locals enjoying the cool atmosphere. Since I took a full day tour of Hoi An (on the next day after my late evening arrival), I didn’t have enough time to visit the beach or the Lady Buddha on Monkey Mountain. Though, I made sure to visit the Marble Mountains and get a taste of the local cuisine before leaving the city.

Detourista Notes

I’ll be writing more about my experience and travel tips in Da Nang on future updates. In the meantime, here are some quick notes you might find useful if you plan on going.

Consider staying in Hoi An and visit Da Nang on a day trip — Da Nang was nice but, in hindsight, I would’ve maximized my very short visit if I spent the night in Hoi An instead. I decided to base myself in Da Nang because I arrived at Da Nang Airport on a late evening flight and wasn’t willing to spend a lot on chartering a taxi to Hoi An. On my trip, I found out that there were reasonably priced Da Nang Airport-Hoi An shuttles leaving every hour until 12mn, operated by Hoi An Express. Before going on your trip, ask your hotel/hostel about booking the shuttle service for you or contact Hoi An express directly (book your room online at or Agoda). If you’re planning to spend a long trip in Hoi An-Da Nang (3 nights or more), Da Nang could be a better choice because there is a wider variety of things to do, better transport options, not too touristy overall, and generally cheaper.

Marble Mountains on the cheap — The cheapest way to go to the Marble Mountains is by riding an EcoBus Line#1 local bus bound for Hoi An. You can find bus stops along  Le Duan Street. Drop off at the intersection to Marble Mountains found mid-way between the Da Nang and Hoi An route. Walk past Duong Vao A Gate (the nearest entrance) and go up the mountain from One Chon Gate (the entrance nearer to the beach). Buy a one-way ride up the elevator if you don’t feel like walking up the steps, and go down through the other entrance that is nearer to the main road.

Visit Da Nang Bridges at Night — Arrive at Da Nang Riverside by 9 PM on a Saturday or Sunday to see the Dragon (Cao Rong) Bridge breathe fire. During this time, other bridges along the Han River are also lit up with colorful lights. At 1 AM daily, see the Han River bridge swing from its axis to let passing ship pass.

Enjoy Da Nang Cuisine — Don’t leave without getting a taste of the local cuisine in Da Nang. They’re cheap and delicious! Mi Quang 1A located at 1A Hai Pong Street serves delicious Mi Quang, Quang-style noodles.

Previous Destination — Singapore, Hanoi (briefly on a connecting flight)

Where to next? — Hoi AnHue.

You may visit my 2-week trip in Central and Northern Vietnam series page, the Vietnam page, or follow Marcos Detourist facebook page to check for new posts and updates.