Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
For art and history buffs, the Museum of Cham Sculpture offers a glimpse into the rise and fall of the kingdom of Champa (7th-19th century). The museum is home to an unrivalled collection of sandstone and terracotta works of art, most of them rescued from ruins across Central Vietnam. Visitors can see how Champa art evolved, with its images of dancing girls, worshippers and mythical beasts.
Bà Nà Hill Station
In terms of specific attractions, the Bà Nà Hill Station is probably the city’s biggest draw. Once a French-colonial retreat, it is now a hotel-resort complex. It is best accessed via the world’s highest and longest non-stop cable-car ride, a trip that sees you whizz over jungle, waterfalls and streams. Upon reaching the top, visitors can tour the recently-restored Debay wine cellar. Built in 1923, this unique arched structure is hugely popular with tourists – as is the opportunity to sample a few of its wines.
Danang Golf Club
Designed by Australian golfing great Greg Norman, Danang Golf Club is where reasonable to serious golfers play their game. The 7,160-yard, 18-hole course presents blown-out bunkers, undulating fairways, rugged waste areas, swales and hollows by the sea. The club also offers international cuisine from seven dining venues.
South of Da Nang, each of the Marble Mountains takes its name from one of the five natural elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son (water) is open to visitors. You can go the easy way – by lift – or ascend steep stairs, squeezing through narrow rock formations as you go. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the city and beach when you reach the summit.
Thuy Son caves
On the way down Thuy Son mountain, stop off at the Huyen Khong Cave – used by the Vietcong during the American War. At midday, sunlight streams through an opening in the ceiling, lighting up the cave and its four altars for health, love, money and children. Before leaving the Marble Mountains, visit Am Phu Cave, with its depictions of the afterlife. You can work your way up from “hell” to “heaven” via stairs lined with dozens of Buddhist statues stacked on top of each other in niches in the rock.
Previously inhabited by the Cham people, this group of eight islets provides some welcome respite from the urban bustle. Take a taxi to Hoi An and stop at Cua Dai Beach, from where you can take a speedboat or a public ferry to the islands. Once there, jump on the back of a xe om (motorbike taxi) and zip past temples, paddy fields and roaming buffalo. Your driver can drop you off at Bai Chong Beach or Bai Huong fishing village. Trek through jungle bordering the deserted beach, where waves crash against the rockfalls, or swim to Hang En Cave, home to numerous swiftlets prized for their nests. Go scuba diving or snorkelling to experience the beauty of the area’s coral reefs.
Nam O fish-sauce village
Back on the mainland, a more unusual tourist attraction is the Nam O fish-sauce village on National Highway 1. You’ll soon notice the scent of this pungent condiment, made from long-jawed anchovies. At one time, the production of traditional-fish-sauce nearly lost out to a more profitable trade in cannons. A subsequent government ban on armaments, though, has seen fish-sauce production restored to village life.
Da Nang Cathedral
Da Nang Cathedral was built by French priest Louis Vallet in 1923, with a pink-painted edifice that earns its reputation as one of the most unique catholic churches in Vietnam. Standing at 70 metres, it’s also known as Con Ga Church (Rooster Church) due to the imposing bell tower that’s topped with a rooster weathercock.
Dragon Bridge in Da Nang
Dragon Bridge in Da Nang is the longest bridge in Vietnam, offering a dazzling display of lights, fire, and water that no first-time visitor to Da Nang should miss out on. Measuring at 666 metres in length, it is located in Da Nang City and constructed in the shape of a golden dragon.
Fifth Military Division Museum of Da Nang
The Fifth Military Division Museum of Da Nang was built in 1977, offering visitors a glimpse of Vietnam’s tumultuous past with extensive displays of war relics, news articles, and photographs taken by soldiers of the Fifth Military Division. The museum also commemorates Vietnam’s most beloved leader with a replica of Ho Chi Minh’s residence and a separate Ho Chi Minh Museum.
Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass or Sea Clouds Pass offers an impressive landscape of verdant mountains and clear blue skies, overlooking Da Nang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, and South China Sea. Crossing over a spur of Truong Son mountain range between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City, it stands at 500m above sea level, making it the highest pass in Vietnam.