How to Spend 1 Day in Da Nang
Often overlooked in favor of Hoi An, Da Nang promises visitors a wealth of cultural and natural delights. In just one day, you can experience hidden temple caves, ancient ruins, and colossal shrines to Lady Buddha, plus one of the most exciting nightlife scenes in Vietnam. Here’s how.
Morning: Sightseeing in the city
Kick-start your time in Da Nang with a visit to Han Market, a traditional shopping complex that offers a glimpse into local life. Browse stalls selling traditional Vietnamese goods and enjoy a crusty banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) for breakfast before taking a walk over Dragon Bridge, which spouts fire and water on weekends. History buffs can delve into Da Nang’s ancient past at the Museum of Cham Sculpture and the Dong Dinh Museum, while food lovers can master the art of Vietnamese cuisine during a cooking class at a local home.
Afternoon: Mountains of marble and monkeys
In the afternoon, discover Da Nang’s religious heritage on a guided tour of the Marble Mountains and My Son Sanctuary. Scramble into Buddhist and Hindu cave temples and explore the 4th-century ruins of My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site hailed as Vietnam’s answer to Angkor Wat. For sunset, head to the summit of Son Tra Mountain (Monkey Mountain) for the best coastal panoramas. Here, you’ll also find the Linh Ung Pagoda and the 220-foot-tall (67-meter-tall) statue of Lady Buddha and great opportunities for spotting wildlife.
Night: City of lights
Once the sun has set, immerse yourself in the neon glow of Da Nang on an evening food tour, during which you’ll visit eateries that devote their energies to perfecting just one or two dishes. To admire the city lights as you eat, book a Han River dinner cruise and float downstream while you feast on Vietnamese classics. If you’re looking to explore Da Nang like a local, you can book an evening sightseeing tour, which whisks you around the city on the back of a scooter and takes you to local haunts that few first-time visitors get to see.