At the beginning of June, I arrived in Da Nang on a two hour flight from Hanoi. I was in Da Nang once before in 2012, but did not have the opportunity then to stay more than two days. From what I saw of the city then, I knew I would have to return again soon!
Da Nang has a population of a little over one million, and is the third largest city in Vietnam, after Hanoi and Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)). Da Nang is located in central Vietnam, between the ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An.
Despite its size of over one million population, Da Nang still has a small town, easing going feel compared to hectic paces of Hanoi and Saigon. Occasionally, cattle even roam the downtown streets. But, make no mistakes, a city it is, a beautiful and friendly city. For Vietnam, Da Nang is a relatively new city, dating back about 300 years, compared to many Vietnamese towns that date back 4,000 years.
And Da Nang is located in very beautiful surroundings. Take a mental picture of this! Da Nang has three waterfronts, that is, two riverfronts and an ocean front. The beautiful Han River extends through the center of the city providing two riverfronts (with beautiful bridges) all along the length of the city. Da Nang is also a coastal city, and has among the most beautiful ocean beaches in Vietnam, or anywhere for that matter, and the beaches are located right next to downtown. The Da Nang seacoast and beaches are located along the sheltered and C-shaped Da Nang Bay in the South China Sea, providing for mostly calm and tranquil beaches. Not far to the west of Da Nang, and fully visible from the city, are the Ba Na Hills (hills is a misnomer as the Ba Na Hills are part of a steep and mostly impassable mountain range). To the south of Da Nang, and also fully visible from the city, are the beautiful Marble Mountains. The north side of Da Nang Bay is formed by the Son Tra Penninsula, where the 60 meter tall Lady Buddha is located and fully visible from many locations in the city. Simply put, Da Nang is a highly scenic city located in incredibly scenic surroundings with complex topography.
There is a resort located at the top of Ba Na Hills, accessible only by two cable car systems – the longest cable car system in the world! The mountain terrain is too extreme for road construction. The cable car ride is a bit unnerving because it is extremely steep in sections. In various sections, you get the sensation of going almost vertical.
I stayed in the Da Nang area for seven days. My longtime Facebook friend, Thanh (whom I had never met before in-person) is a native of Da Nang, and she was kind enough to take me around Da Nang sightseeing for several days. Her knowledge of Da Nang seemed limitless! We made the following rounds in the Da Nang area.
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