Da Nang is located on the stunning South China Sea coastline with the Annamite Mountain range providing an impressive backdrop to this vibrant and friendly city. Its ancient roots can be traced back the Champa Kingdom in 192 AD; this fascinating heritage is documented at the Museum of Cham Sculpture where terracotta masterpieces dating from the 7th century are on display. Follow this with a visit to the My Son archaeological site, set in a remote forested valley, where many of the museum’s sculptures originated from. There are a total of four World Heritage Sites within easy access of the city, including My Son and the imperial City of Hue.
Da Nang has an interesting mix of old and new buildings: along the Han riverfront there are modernist hotels, luxury villas and top class contemporary restaurants. If you venture further into the the city, you can find fine examples of French colonial architecture, wonderful old merchant houses, traditional Vietnamese temples such as Cao Dai and plenty of interweaving alley-ways to explore. The city has 10 bridges that connect its two sides: the fire-breathing Dragon Bridge is a landmark not to be missed especially when it is illuminated at night.
There is an abundance of beautiful palm fringed white sandy beaches along the over 18 miles (30 km) of Da Nang’s coast. China Beach is a popular destination with abundant water sport facilities such as surfing and water-skiing, spa resorts offering pampering treatments and international quality dining establishments. Alternatively, visit picturesque Lang Co Beach for a quieter, more peaceful location with swimming in the ocean on one side or in the crystal clear waters of the turquoise lagoon on its other side.
The best time of year for sun seekers is April through to September: the seasonal tropical storms occur in October to November. January to May, when the temperatures are pleasantly cooler and the dry season starts, tends to be the cheapest time to visit the area. There are many other natural wonders not to be missed: the spectacular limestone Marble Mountains and the Ba Na Hills cable car ride to the 1487 meter high summit.
The pavements of Da Nang are pedestrian-friendly and exploring on foot is a good way to soak up the authentic atmosphere of local markets and lifestyle. There are bus services to outlying areas and cities further afield, as well as train routes from Da Nang Station on the The Reunification Express to Hanoi and Hoi Chi Minh. There are a wide variety of exciting tours available around the city from locals guides on foot or motorbike to organised minivan tours to experience the nightlife, local cuisine or historical aspects of this thriving and characterful city.