Da Nang

The coastal city is a rising tourist hotspot with its white sand beaches, UNESCO World Heritage sites and world-class golf courses. 

Da Nang, Vietnam's third city, is fast becoming one of Southeast Asia's newest tourist hotspots. The potential of the long, white sand China Beach combined with the area's UNESCO  heritage sites has finally been realised and a series of big name resorts have opened.

Alongside the 5-star resorts, the Central Coast now plays host to three world-class golf courses, each designed by big names in the game, including Nick Faldo. Offering quality play at low prices, Da Nang offers some of the best value golf in the region.

Every inch the laid back coastal city, Da Nang itself has had a facelift and several distinctive bridges now cross its rivers, providing a colourful light show by night. Da Nang also has its own unique cuisine, a chilled out café scene and some of the best seafood in the country.

A centre of Vietnam's ancient Cham culture, this is a base for visits to the ruins of My Son, a series of Cham temples that date from the 4th century. Meanwhile, the fantastic Cham museum is the place to learn more about this centuries old civilisation.

Just minutes from town is the forested Son Tra peninsula, which is capped by Monkey Mountain, a name bestowed by American GIs during the Vietnam/American War. Da Nang was the major Rest & Recuperation; post for American soldiers troops and the images of fleeing soldiers and civilians at the war's end were some of the most poignant captured, with desperate souls falling to the sea from plane undercarriages.

Today's Da Nang is a world away from those scenes. Along with the instant charm of nearby Hoi An, the Central Coast city has become a seriously enticing destination.


When to go

The best of the hot and dry weather is between January and August. Temperatures can hit the mid-thirties or even higher in July and August, so avoid these times if you suffer in the heat. Over the winter months, notably in October and November, the rains pick up and typhoons are not uncommon.

Visa requirements

Singaporeans and citizens of other ASEAN member states can visit Vietnam for 30 days without a visa. Visitors arriving directly from other countries must arrange for a visa in advance.


Vietnam Dong. There is an ATM in the airport. In town, ATMs can be found easily, while almost all banks offer a foreign currency exchange service.


The best way to reach the city from the airport is via taxi. Numerous firms wait outside - look for the green and white Mai Linh company vehicles. These are always metered. The downtown of Da Nang is very walkable, but for longer journeys taxis - again, use Mai Linh - are necessary. The other option is the xe om motorcycle taxis that can be found on many corners. If you dare to use one then haggle the fare first and always wear a helmet.

Health and safety tips

Da Nang is a very safe city and the reports of robberies and other issues that plague Nha Trang don't occur often here. Some taxi companies are less reputable than others so stick to the Mai Linh cabs. It is not advisable to drink tap water, but ice is generally fine. Da Nang is not malarial, but there is a small risk of Dengue fever, so take standard bite prevention measures.

Emergency details

The nearest Singapore embassy is in Hanoi, No. 41 & 43, Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Vietnam (tel: (84) 9046 96589).

The emergency number for the police is 113. There are many small local police stations dotted around the city, each responsible for its local area.

Basic greetings
English Vietnamese
Hello Sin chao
How are you? Moi vi-uhk te nao?
Fine, thanks Van tot, kam urn
Goodbye Tam bi-uht
Excuse-me! (to get attention, to get past) Sin choo i!
Thank you Kam urn
Yes Ko
No Kog
OK Tot
What's your name? Ten ban la ji?
My name is… Ten toi la…
Pleased to meet you Rat voo-i dew-urk lam kwen
Are you on Facebook/Twitter? Ban ko Facebook/Twitter kog?
Where’s an internet café? Internet cafe ur doh?
Where can I get a taxi? Toi ko tei goi se taxi ur doh?
Where is the bus/train station? Tram se boo-yit/tram se lur-a ur doh?
A one-way/return ticket to… Mot ve mot chi-yoh/koor hoi den…
Do you have a room for one/two? Ban ko fog kog cho mot/hai gew-ur-i?
When's check out? Ki nao tra fog?
Can you recommend a good restaurant/bar? Ban ko te jur-i ti-yoh mot na hag/kwan rew-uru gon kog?
A table for two, please Sin cho mot ban cho hai
A menu, please Cho sem tur-k dur-n
The bill, please Voo-i log cho sem hwa durn
Where's the toilet? Na vei shin ur doh?
Help! Kur-ew toi vur-i!

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My Son

An hour from downtown

UNESCO  listed My Son, nestled under the green slopes of Cat’s Tooth Mountain (Nui Rang Meo), is the site of Vietnam’s most important Cham monuments. It is one of the most atmospheric locations anywhere in the country, with the crumbling ruins set in a verdant jungle. Chosen as a religious sanctuary by King Bhadravarman I in the 4th century, many temples and towers (kalan) were built in this area. There are 11 designated temple groups in My Son, and there are likely to be other groups of ruins that are either unpublicised or undiscovered. Book a tour in Danang and wear comfortable shoes and a hat.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Just 30 minutes from Da Nang, Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO  listed site and one of Southeast Asia's prettiest and most beguiling places. The town is famous for its tailoring, and those in the market for anything from a simple blouse to a three-piece suit will be well served here. However, Hoi An's real draw lies in simply taking a lazy wander around its quiet streets lined with merchant houses. The river front is a particularly special place to enjoy a cool glass of bia hoi - local fresh beer. The local cuisine is delicately flavoured and distinct from Danang's. Countless food stands and restaurants in town serve knock-out dishes.

China Beach

1km from downtown

China Beach is the name given by American servicemen during the Vietnam War to the 30km (19-mile) stretch of white-sand beach extending from Son Tra Peninsula past Danang all the way east to Cua Dai Beach near Hoi An. The Vietnamese refer to specific stretches of China Beach by different names, like My Khe, Bac My An, Non Nuoc, An Bang and finally Cua Dai just east of Hoi An. The section closest to Danang called My Khe is busy morning and night with locals out to play football, swim or simply bury each other in the sand.

Museum of Cham Sculpture

Corner of Trung Nu Vuong and Bach Dang streets

For an insight into Vietnam’s ancient Cham civilisation, visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Established in 1915 by the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient as an open-plan colonial structure embellished with Cham-inspired motifs, the museum contains the largest display of Cham artefacts in the world. Each room is dedicated to a different Cham era and city of origin. In total, the rooms cover over 1,000 years of Cham history. Perhaps the most famous of all the carvings is the exquisite dancing apsara of Tra Kieu (late 10th century). Visit here before a trip to My Son.

Son Tra Peninsula

The Son Tra Peninsula, also known as Monkey Mountain to US servicemen during the Vietnam War, is a beautiful nature reserve just northwest of Danang. The mountain is best explored by motorbike or bicycle, taking the new road winding around steep cliffs and dense rainforest. Macaques and civet cats are among the wildlife sometimes spotted. A number of beautiful beaches line the coves and simple seafood restaurants with individual seating platforms offer superb fresh seafood. A huge white Buddha now watches over the bay at the start of the peninsula road and a series of steps can be climbed for a closer look.


Cho Han (Han Market)

Corner of Hung Vuong and Tran Phu streets

Hugely popular with Vietnamese tourists, Cho Han is a top place to pick up candied fruits, dried beef (bo kho) – a local speciality – and a good selection of budget tourist trinkets.

Budget $

Indochina Riverside Towers

74 Bach Dang

Da Nang is still lagging behind Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in terms of malls, but the Indochina Riverside Towers offers indoor shopping and a number of larger name brands. This is the place to head for fixed prices and higher end watches, luggage and jewellery.

Budget $$

X Q Da Nang

39 Nguyen Thai Hoc

A small outlet store of Vietnam’s top silk embroiderer, X Q Da Nang which also sells its trademark silk paintings.

Budget $$


La Maison 1888

Intercontinental Sun Peninsula Resort, Son Tra Peninsula

La Maison 1888 has set a new standard on the Da Nang food scene. Housed in the 5-star Intercontinential Sun Peninsula Hotel, it has been established under the  guidance of three-star Michelin chef Michel Roux. He has created an all-new menu of inspired French haute cuisine. The surroundings are in the style of an elegant French mansion, and a number of individual dining areas are modelled on period rooms including the Accountant’s Room  and the Madame’s Boudoir. The bill might make your eyes water, but the service and the culinary experience are worth every dong.

Budget $$$

Truc Lam Vien

8 Tran Quy Cap

Truc Lam Vien serves food in a series of five ancient houses that were transported from the nearby city of Hue. Each is set among landcaped gardens complete with ponds and mini-waterfalls. A huge range of local dishes includes fried squid, grilled prawns and delicately flavoured salads.

Budget $$

Vietnamese Home

34 Bach Dang

Vietnamese Home is a no-nonsense eatery in a quaint garden setting. Popular with expats and locals alike, it serves good-quality Vietnamese classics alongside a few Western choices. Menu highlights include the banana flower salad and whole steamed fish.

Budget $


150 Bach Dang St

A modern, white-washed minimalist bar with an open front, the Waterfront is Aussie-Vietnamese partnership that has created a laid back space to enjoy unique takes on Vietnamese classics and quality international cuisine. The bar is well stocked, offering wines by the glass and a choice of 20 Vietnamese beers. Reserve an upstairs table for a river view.

Budget $$


Bamboo Green Harbourside Hotel

177 Tran Phu St

Not to be confused with Bamboo Green Riverside or Bamboo Green Central, the Bamboo Green Harbourside Hotel is conveniently located across from the Catholic church in the middle of town. The comfortable rooms include air conditioning, hot water and satellite TV. The in-house restaurant serves Vietnamese, Chinese and European food. Breakfast included in the price.

Budget $


Vo Nguyen Giap Street, Khue My Ward

One of Vietnam’s premier luxury resorts, Furama is located right on My An Beach, which is one of several white-sand beaches on the stretch collectively known as China Beach. The spacious rooms are surrounded by landscaped gardens, and there are two swimming pools (one with waterfalls), a private beach, and a golf driving range. Rooms have all the amenities you would expect in a 5-star hotel. Also has a fully equipped fitness centre and several excellent, albeit expensive, restaurants. Fantastic buffet breakfast.

Budget $$$

Fusion Maia

Truong Sa Street, Khue My Ward

The Fusion Maia offers a one-of-a-kind luxury experience with unlimited spa treatments included in the price. Each room comes with its own private pool, sunken black granite bathtub, fully loaded iPod and free Wi-fi. Further adding to the luxury feel, guests can order breakfast anytime and eat it anywhere they please. A low-rise, low density resort, the Maia oozes class.

Budget $$$

Novotel Hotel Danang Premier Han River

36 Bach Dang St

On the banks of the Han River, the Novotel Danang Premier Han River is the tallest building in the city and offers fantastic beach and city views. All the rooms are decked-out with high quality furnishings and come with floor to ceiling windows. Many rooms include a balcony, making room service a top choice for an evening meal looking out over the city's bridges.

Budget $$

Danang International Fireworks Competition

Late April

First held in 2008, this major event sees teams from around the world battle it out for firework supremacy to the delight of thousands of spectators

Danang Marathon

31 August

A marathon, half marathon and 5km fun run taking in some of the cities iconic sights.

Laguna Lang Co Triathlon

29 March

Vietnam's number one triathlon. The action takes place around the beautiful Lang Co Bay with a 1.8km swim, 62km bike and a 12km run.

Mid autumn festival


Second only to Tet, the Mid-Autumn festival, or Moon Festival, is largely geared toward kids. Expect to see dragon dances around the city.

Sand Danang Sandcastle Competition

28 July

Individuals and teams fill Danang's beaches with a party atmosphere, creating intricate works of art in the sand.

Tet - Lunar New Year


The Lunar Year is the major event in Vietnam, on a par with Christmas and New Year rolled into one. For weeks leading up to it Danang is in a shopping frenzy, but then everything closes down for a week leaving the town at its most peaceful.


Of all the places to bring kids in Vietnam, Danang is one of the easiest to keep them entertained. 


First up, spend the early morning on China Beach. Every day, countless games of football and volleyball strike up on the sand and your kids will be more than welcome to get involved with the local players.


Kite flying is also popular and a sure-fire way for them to score some new friends. The surf is usually quite gentle, but do look for the safety flagged areas for peace of mind. 


Afterwards, take a cab to the Marble Mountain, which always proves a hit. The largest peak, Thuy Son, is covered in caves, winding paths and stairways that are great fun for little ones to explore. They'll also love the climb up to the highest cave, Huyen Khong. To reach it, duck along a narrow tunnel. From the peak the views out to the ocean and across the paddy fields are spectacular.


Next, hail a cab (use Mai Linh company) out to Ba Na Hills. This was originally a French Hill station built as a retreat from the heat, but there is now little evidence of its existence. Instead, a truly amazing cable car ride takes visitors high above the densely forested slopes of the mountain to reach the top. 


The ride is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip, but the fantasy theme park is also a winner with kids. The huge complex includes a dinosaur park, a drop and twist slide, bumper cars and a 360 degree cinema. 

Places to visit:
China Beach, Marble Mountain, Huyen Khong, Ba Na Hills.


For a long but rewarding day, head out of the city for the coastal roads and national parks. The truly adventurous could hire motorbikes, but it will be far easier and safer to opt for a private car and maybe a tour guide.


Start very early and strike north over the Hai Van Pass. Widely regarded as one of the most breath-taking drives in the country, the road is a tourist attraction in its own right. It passes Lang Co Bay, which has white sand, crystal seas and a stunning jungle backdrop. This a picture postcard image of Vietnam.


Continuing north you will reach Suoi Voi, or Elephant Springs. If time allows, stop here for a dip in a series of crystal-clear swimming holes and the cool mountain stream.


Turning inland, Bach Ma National Park is about 30 minutes further on. A treasure trove of flora and fauna, with numerous species unique to Vietnam, it is home to nine species of primate, including various macaques, langurs, loris and gibbons. Tigers and leopards may also still lurk in remote areas.


One of the highlights of the park is the Rhododendron Trail. Reasonable fitness levels are required to tackle the 689 steps down to a spectacular cliff-side waterfall that plunges 300 metres (990ft). Alternatively, take the Five Lakes Cascade Trail for a series of waterfalls and pristine swimming areas.


If you're happy to arrive back in Danang late, then consider the Summit Trail within the park, where you can catch one of Vietnam’s most spectacular sunset vistas

Places to visit:
Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Bay, Suoi Vo (Elephant Springs), Bach Ma National Park.