Ask any tour guide about things to do in Da Nang, and they’ll give you the standard list: Cham Museum, Marble Mountain, Han Market, Chicken Church and Linh Ung Pagoda. Look in any guide book and the list is similar. I’m not gonna turn my nose up at any of these activities, but…there’s actually way cooler things to do in Da Nang. Here’s my top 5 things to do in Da Nang, in no particular order.
5 Things to do in Da Nang
Cruise down the Han River
There’s lots of different companies that offer river cruises; I went with the one that’s closest to the Dragon Bridge and it was great. (Update: This was in 2014. They’ve since moved all the boat down to the area in front of the Novotel, and that could change again once the Marina Boat is open.) 70,000 VND ($3.50) gets you an hour’s worth of river cruising, where you can see the city and the four bridges. They also sell beers and other drinks on the boat for 10,000 (50 cents) so don’t hold back.
Happy Hour at Montgomerie Links
I’m terrible at golf, and in fact I’ve never even played an actual round. But I love going to this happy hour. Every day after 4 pm, you can get a bucket of 100 balls, club rental and a pitcher of beer for about 10 bucks. I’m not sure which is harder to get through, the balls or the beer. Watching the sun go down over the Hai Van Pass is pretty amazing too.
Take your pick. There’s music every Friday and Saturday night at Waterfront (including my band sometimes!), Luna Pub at 9 Trần Phú puts on a really fun ‘open jam’ night every other Tuesday. There’s the weekly Wednesday jam session at Minsk Bar (An Thượng 4 & Ngô Thì Sỹ). For some more local flavor, Le Paris at 36 Trần Phú features Vietnamese singer/guitarists doing acoustic covers with kitschy decor. There’s a really fun lounge-style bar called Tiếng Dương Cầm on Hoàng Văn Thụ; quite expensive drinks but if you love Vietnamese ballads, this is the place. Every Saturday Cafe Phượt on Trần Cao Vân has live music as well. And on Sundays, head down to An Bàng Beach (yes, it’s in Hội An) for evening of rock and blues at Soul Kitchen.
Drink on the Roof
HAGL Hotel on Nguyen van Linh and Hoang Dieu has a nice, open-air bar with a terrace, offering views of the city, river and even the beach. A Larue goes for about 70,000 ($3.50), so it’s higher than normal but by no means expensive. Or for a truly 360-degree view of the city, check out the glass-walled sky bar at A La Carte on the beach road near Pham van Dong. Stunning views, the most amazing bathroom I’ve even had the pleasure of using, and with 45,000 VND beers, drinks are a steal.
Drive around Son Tra (Monkey Mountain)
The views are breathtaking, the road is (mostly) great and you can’t really get lost. Don’t want to hire a bike? Get a taxi to drive you around. It might be worthwhile to try negotiating for the hour rather than the meter. Loads of great photo spots and an unparalleled view. Oh, and if you’re really keen, you can even check out the above-mentioned Linh Ung Pagoda!
Looking for more things to do in Da Nang? How about a food tour, where you can try lots of local Da Nang specialties with an expat guide? Let me take you out to try the best of Da Nang’s local food!