Combining beach and city in one location, Da Nang is a breath of fresh air.
Rapidly emerging as one of Vietnam's most popular up-and-coming destinations, a visit to Da Nang should not be missed. A dynamic destination on the banks of the Han river, this one-time provincial backwater is now Vietnam's third largest city, and one of the most progressive and forward-looking places in the country. A unique collision of old and new, futuristic skyscrapers vie for space with striking French colonial architecture and centuries-old temples, and traditional wooden fishing boats ply the bay alongside speedboats and modern pleasure craft. Combining a glorious 30 kilometres of coastline with verdant natural parks, half way between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and invitingly close to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hoi An and the imperial capital, Hue, it's a dream destination for lovers of culture and relaxation.
The sense of energy is palpable. Vibrant by day, this thriving metropolis truly comes into its own at night. An explosion of colour and neon light, tourists can enjoy any number of glittering rooftop bars and spirited clubs as well as bustling night markets where you can treat yourself to some of the delicious street food Vietnam is famed for. For something even more spectacular, head to the stunning Dragon Bridge - the longest steel bridge in Vietnam - which breathes fire and water from its mouth each night.
Visitors here are well placed to enjoy some of Vietnam's most inspiring scenery. The city benefits from easy access to My Khe Beach, a pristine stretch of white sand voted among the world's best beaches by Forbes magazine, and surely the most picturesque in the entire country. South of the city lie the Marble Mountains, a series of marble and limestone hills which locals liken to the shape of a resting dragon. A renowned pilgrimage site, the whole area is filled with amazing Buddhist temples and pagodas to discover, as well as plenty of caves, tunnels, and grottoes to explore.
A trip to Da Nang wouldn’t be complete without a jaunt to the nearby Son Tra Peninsula. Standing almost 700 metres above sea level, the best way to experience the spectacular views is in the local style atop a moped or scooter. Nicknamed 'Monkey Mountain' by the occupying American soldiers during the war, this breathtaking national park is home to some of Vietnam's most incredible wildlife including long-tailed macaques, pygmy lorises, and the endangered red shanked douc langur.
Da Nang's monsoon tropical climate means that it enjoys mild temperatures throughout the year. The temperatures peak between May and September, and conditions can become hot and sticky. The temperatures during the winter months can be quite cool, with plenty of rain received September through December. The best time to visit Da Nang is between February and August, when the skies are sunny, rainfall is lower, and humidity levels aren't too high. The long wet season means that you may see some rain whenever you visit, although showers are generally short.