Cocktail of marbles, beaches and a golden dragon to the old pathways.

A visit to the Danang Town and the Golden Fire Dragon


I am not an Einstein, but this equation is not difficult to solve even for one who struggles with math as much as me:

         (White sand beaches + (gateway to ancient cities X ancient townships) + mountains + golden dragon) / overflowing VCs = ?


You got it right. The answer is Danang, the beautiful coastal city in central Vietnam. Yes, we are once again in Vietnam and it is time to explore and celebrate more of its charm.


Yay! Time to celebrate
Here are several interesting facts on Danang.
  • Danang is the 4th largest city in central Vietnam. 
  • Many names have been used in the past to refer to Danang. These names were mainly related to the Han river. In Cham (the language used by the Kingdom of Campa in Central Vietnam), Da Nak is translated as "opening of a large river”. 
  • Two things that come to my mind when one mentions Danang. First, its beautiful soft sandy beaches and  second the sky-blue seas that it is blessed with. Danang is the perfect choice for beach lovers. You would be spoilt for options here. Danang has a 90KM long coastline. The more popular beaches for travelers are Non Nuoc, Bac My An and Xuan Thieu. Additionally, some of these beaches are close to the city.
Non Nuoc


  • December and January are the coldest months and have the most rain fall. That explains the wet, windy photo shots. It gets hot from April to August, ideal for those who love the sun. 
  • As mentioned earlier, Danang is ideal for those who love the sun and for the beach lovers. It is also correct to note that tourism is a vital source of income for Danang. However, it is not only famous for its beach resorts but also for being the gateway to access other important sites in the central region. There is a wide range of accommodation here, especially along the beachfront. In recent years many resorts have been built to cater for the increasing tourist demand. It’s the perfect place to treat yourself after backpacking in Hoi An.  I got a good hotel deal and so I did just that 😊.

  • If the sun is too much and you decide you need some cold air, head to Ba Na hills. This is a hill station at the west of Danang city. You can get to the Ba Na resort within 45 minutes by taxi.  From here, use the world’s longest non-stop single track cable car to get to the famous picturesque Ba Na Hills resort and then to the French village. There are nine gardens here. It will take you more than a day to visit and take them all in. I have to save this for my next trip so stay tuned. 
  • The Marble mountains is a cluster of marble and limestone hills in the south of Danang. This place is known for its stunning beauty, but one would need to climb a bit for that view. It is located near the city. The taxi ride is just about half hour from the centre.   
  • Danang has recently hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in December 2017. Many economic leaders attended this important event. Below is one of the welcome displays just a few kilometres from the airport. 


  • Danang Coffee – Coffee is hugely popular, need I say more. 😊. The typical coffee atmosphere is street-coffee style. It is common to see small wooden tables and chairs indoors and outdoors in these joints. The concept is simple, and it transports you back to the days when things were less complex. People of all ages, young and old, sit together with a glass of coffee each and chat or text. 
Local Street Coffee


  • Danang is indeed the transportation hub for central Vietnam. Danang is well connected, so you can opt to travel by any of the following ways:

           
   By Air
  • This is the most popular travel mode for international travellers.
  • The Danang International airport is the 3rd largest in Vietnam. During the French days it was known as Tourane Airport. Later in 1957, the name was changed to Danang Airport. Between 1959 and 1975 this airport was the air base (during Vietnam War) for the central region. At that time, it was the busiest airport in the world.
  • Air Asia flies daily to and from Kuala Lumpur to Danang and currently runs a promotion for its flight booking on Traveloka Malaysia. For the best Air Asia airlines promodo not miss out checking this page.


Rain or Shine, I'll take you there. 

        By Land
  • Rail – Danang is a major station along the north-south railway line (Also known as the Unification Express).
  • Road –
  • Excellent expressways run through the city. These connect Danang to Hanoi in the north, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in the south and Laos in the west.
  • Thuan Phuoc Bridge (that crosses the lower Han River), is the longest suspension bridge in Vietnam. It was completed in 2009
  • For biking enthusiasts, here is something to consider. There are 14-day cycling trips from HCMC to Hanoi via Danang covering very interesting and educational sites and spots. 
  By Sea 
  • Danang has a large port which also serves passengers and cruise liners. 


In terms of tourism, Danang, for travellers like you and me, serves as a gateway to several UNESCO world heritage sites. Danang has so much more to offer than just being this gateway. Unfortunately, its beauty and importance is often overshadowed by the other ancient jewels that surround her. These jewels are the Ancient Town of Hoi An, My Son Ruins and the Imperial City of Hue.  


·    What did I do in the city? 😎

Visited the Han Market

This is a large wet and dry market complex where one can get various local products like; vegetables, meat, snacks, clothes and souvenirs at reasonable prices under one roof. Bargaining is allowed, but there is no guarantee you will win the bid.

 Tried some local coffee


    We had some good coffee at Highlands Coffee before exploring the city. I couldn’t decide which coffee to choose from – they offer several standard options. We went with the hot cappuccino. Highlands Coffee is a home-grown coffee chain. It originated as a packaged coffee business in Hanoi in 2000. This local coffee chain also offers a fairly good choice of petite cakes and light meals in their menu.


At Highlands

Took a City Rickshaw ride

I found this very entertaining. The friendly people on the streets were as  animated as we were. They waved at us and snapped photos of us. We did the same, snapped photos of them and waved back. We started the one-hour tour at the Han Market. Just a tip – agree on the rate and time before you start and keep to that agreement. The important sights along this route were the:



               Danang Cathedral

This Cathedral was built in 1923 by a French priest named Louise Vallet. Because she stands tall (70 meters high), she is known as Con Ga Church (Rooster Church).
Dressed up.


Dragon bridge

I regard this as one of the most prominent landmarks in Danang. The bridge was completed and opened to traffic in 2013. It is called the dragon bridge because of its shape. What’s more interesting - the dragon breathes out fire and water every Saturday and Sunday nights at 9PM. So, get your cameras ready for those night shots.

Waiting .....

Cham Museum

The museum displays exhibits dedicated to the period of the Champa existence (7th to 15th century). It is noted that this is the only museum of its kind dedicated to the Champa era. It was founded in 1915.



Ho Chi Minh and the Fifth Military Zone Museum

If you haven’t been to any other museum in Vietnam, then this would be the place to see Vietnam’s interesting political journey. It’s not as big as the ones in the bigger cities in the country. However, it has sufficient good exhibits and pictures.

          

Ruling Party Office Complex

This is a large administrative building complex. Pictures are not allowed even outdoors, so I don’t want to get my rickshaw driver into trouble.

Eden Hotel

According to my rickshaw driver, this is a very famous hotel in the city centre.

Pho Da Pagoda

This is a very serene (Buddhist) pagoda temple built in 1927. Apart from being a place to worship, many monks and nuns have been trained here. During our visit, we saw many school children reciting prayers.
For peace

Lunch @ Tuc Don

This is a local, 100% Buddhist, vegetarian restaurant right opposite Pho Da Pagoda. After one hour of rickshaw ride and when you are hungry the Vietnamese language no is longer a problem. The food here was the cheapest and tastiest food I have had in Danang. I would come back here again.

Vegetarian noodles


I will cover more on Marble mountains and Ba Na hills in another trip. Yes there will be more from Danang.

Till then enjoy your cuppa and the PyeongChang2018 games. May the fire of the golden dragon be within each participant as they compete for honour and glory. Book your tickets to Danang and let’s travel to the Ancient City of Hoi An next. See you there.
💗💙💚💛💜💗

6 comments:

  1. Interesting! i visited Da Nang a couple of years back...Very nice place...A nearby place called Hoian is very beautiful too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Its is, one of my all time favourites. :)

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  2. The place must be really cool...
    I should put it my Must go list.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is, and colourful too. :)

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  3. Can't wait for the post of Ba Na hills :)

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  4. The gardens are lovely, got to plan a trip to Danang again ;)

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