Da Nang is sometimes overlooked in a travel itinerary but that would be a big mistake for this city is not only the most liveable city in Vietnam, it is home to so many hidden treasures. If you are planning to visit this city, spare a day or two to explore some off-the-beaten-track locations.
Let’s forget about the gorgeous My Khe Beach or the breathtaking scenery of Marble Mountain for a moment. It’s time to delve deep inside the true beauty of Da Nang on foot with these three secluded charms.
Ghenh Bang Reef
It is not easy to find Ghenh Bang Reef. But once you discover the way, the astonishing landscape is a big reward. This reef is a part of Son Tra Peninsula, which is located about 20 kilometers from Da Nang city center. Since tourism is still not developed here, the wildness of the beauty from mother nature still remains. This place is a dream adventure land for those who want to jump from the cliffs into the navy blue ocean, go diving, and gaze at the colorful corals under the water.
Since there isn’t any gear available such as goggles or scuba equipment to support you, just hold your breath and go. You can also go to the market in town and buy cheap goggles and snorkeling equipment. If you are traveling in a group, why don’t you hire a tent from Da Nang city and go camping on the seashore of Ghenh Bang? Such activities will make your trip a memorable one. Last but not least, you should also check out Bai But (a beach) as well. The water in this area is so clear that you can see the picturesque rocks under the water’s surface.
How to get to Ghenh Bang Reef from Da Nang
It will be easier if you find a local friend to join you as they can speak Vietnamese and help talk to the villagers. If you want to explore it by yourself, here is your guide:
From Da Nang, you will go to Linh Ung Pagoda. When you arrive, continue driving to the first road junction. Keep going straight for three to four kilometers. You will see a small cart with sign board on your right that reads “Ghenh Bang, Bai Lo”. This is where you should stop. Park your bike here so you can walk to Bai Lo Beach. Then you can camp at Bai Lo Beach or go left to Ghenh Bang. The rocky way will be very slippery so be careful if you don’t want to get hurt. Check out the map here.
- Don’t forget to bring a hat and some bottles of water when you visit Ghenh Bang Reef
- If you go camping, prepare with food, bug spray, and a jacket. Carry some board games or cards for your late night.
- You should leave the reef before it gets dark (in case you don’t want to stay overnight). Otherwise, you might get lost.
May Treo Waterfall
The forest to the west side of Da Nang is a good place for those of you who thirst for an actual trekking trip. Beside Gieng Troi waterfall, May Treo waterfall is another spectacular off-road sight you should visit. The name of this waterfall is itself poetic. When lying on the ground listening to the call of wildlife, he looked at the mountain from a distance, with clouds covering the summit, as if someone spent hours hanging the white spongy clouds there. His heart immediately fell in love with the impressive landscape. To mark this special moment and feeling, he named the waterfall May Treo (Hanging Cloud).
The surrounding area of this waterfall is covered by the green color of trees, mossy rocks, and mountains. At May Treo waterfalls, not only can you soak in the cool water but you can try fishing for your lunch or dinner. As the atmosphere is quiet since not many people come here, it’s a great chance for you to reconnect with mother nature and listen to the harmonies of the birds and cicadas, known as the great artists of the forest.
Read more: Incredible Images of May Treo Waterfall
How to get to May Treo Waterfall from Da Nang
May Treo waterfall is nestled in the western forest of Da Nang. The best way to start is from Hoa Ninh and Hoa Bac of Hoa Vang Ward. These areas are about 18 to 30 kilometers away from the city center. You can expect to trek for around eight to ten hours going through the forests, the way is quite dangerous and easy to get lost if you don’t know they way well. Since you can’t locate the waterfall on any map, the only chance to access to May Treo is to book a private trekking tour with a local travel expert.
Mr. Hoang has organized many trekking tours, mainly for Vietnamese. You can contact him via his phone number 090 542 2142 if you wish to conquer May Treo waterfall after reading this article.
- A knife or machete is an important tool for any trekking trip to the forest.
- A lighter is very helpful, especially when you want to cook a meal in the wild. Otherwise, you’ll have to light a fire like the ancient people.
- A plastic bag is not good for nature, but it will save your phone from water. Don’t leave any plastic behind.
- Sleeping bag (if you wish to stay longer), bug spray, long sleeve top, and trousers are something you should also have with you.
Suoi Mo – Hoa Bac Waterfall
Yet another beautiful spot an hour out of Da Nang, this waterfall is usually silent during the week with only the sound of the rushing water and the swaying trees. The water is crystal clear, with big round stones glinting below the surface.
This feels like the real jungle, the real Vietnam, and a real experience. There are fun cliff jumping spots and snacks are always encouraged but as this waterfall is still pristine with nature’s wildness, please remember to pack your trash out. Huge flat rocks mark the boundary of the pools, good rocks to lay out and soak up the sun. Sometimes the saltiness of the beach water can be too much, and this fresh water is cleansing.
It only takes a small hike to reach the highest waterfall, sometimes through water buffalo and the branches of many healthy trees. Be patient when you must clamber over rocks and be aware that you might just fall into the water. But this is part of the fun.
How to get here from Da Nang
The way here is a little bit confusing. Drive out of the city as if you are heading to Bana Hills but don’t turn into the main entrance. Once you ride through the small village which is marked by a dirt road off the side of the highway, you will see a big valley, a small bridge crossing a body of water. Take the bridge and go left at the fork. Keep driving until you see a much smaller bridge over a creek, go right into what seems like somebody’s driveway (right before the small bridge). You will notice that the real road ends, and a dirt road begins.
Make sure your bike is ready for this, and drive away. It’s an adventure. You will know you’re in the right place when you find a gate and a path beyond it. This is where you should park your bike. There is a trail through the jungle and depending on the time of year, it can be completely covered. You should walk the path up the jungle but then follow the river down on your way home. Check out the map here.
- Check your bike before you embark, it will be traveling through dirt, rocks, and big ups and downs. Sometimes it’s nice to have a friend on the ground ready to push the bike up steep hills.
- Bring water, snacks, and even food to grill. You may never leave.
- When climbing through the jungle be aware of bugs and animals. They’re around.
- You don’t need to lock your bike as you will be parking in the middle of nowhere, but make sure it’s to the side of the road.
- Depending on the time of year, the dirt road could be washed out due to monsoons. Try to make it as far as possible, but you might have to walk farther than anticipated.
If you feel a little tired from the rumbling big cities and the noisy tourist attractions, why don’t you make a quick escape to slow down a little bit? You will have more time to yourself to listen to your heart and understand your body and mind better. May this off-the-beaten-track adventure draw a smile on your face, when you sit at home and recall the best memories from Vietnam.