Da Nang + Hoi An Travel Guide Blog: Things to Do & Itinerary

This is a comprehensive Da Nang + Hoi An travel guide featuring the tourist attractions in Da Nang, things to do, must-try food, and itinerary.

The first time I heard about Da Nang was during the 2016 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Manila, the Philippines presented by the Vietnam Tourism Board. I got interested in this city and I told myself, one day I will be going there.

Da Nang + Hoi An Travel Guide Blog: Things to Do & Itinerary
My Khe Beach / Da Nang Beach

After three years, I finally set foot in Da Nang. It’s, in fact, a lovely place. It instantly became one of my favorite places. It has a city vibe but with less crowd. Thank you to my vlogger friend Hieu of Hieu on the Go for showing me around Da Nang and Hoi An.

Da Nang + Hoi An Travel Guide Blog: Things to Do & Itinerary
At the peak of Son Tra Mountain in Da Nang | Photo and graphics by Hieu On The Go

Visa Requirements to Da Nang, Vietnam

Philippine passport holders can visit Vietnam without applying for a visa as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) for a period of not more than 21 days. For other nationalities, you can check out the official Vietnam Immigration website to apply for an e-visa.

How to get to Da Nang from Manila?

There is no direct flight from Manila to Da Nang, Vietnam. You will have to fly to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City from Manila and take another flight, bus or train from there. Alternatively, you may fly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and fly direct to Da Nang from there. You can check for cheap flights here or search below.

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How to get to Da Nang from Hanoi?

The most convenient way to go to Da Nang from Hanoi is by taking a flight. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Bamboo Airways, and JetStar Pacific have multiple daily flights from Hanoi to Da Nang. The fare is very competitive so it is pretty much affordable. I booked my ticket a day before my flight and it was still cheap. You can book your flight here.

If you prefer to travel by bus or train, you may do so but it will take a lot of time. The travel time is about 17 hours and the fare is around Php900 for the bus and Php1,400 for the train. Book your bus or train ticket now.

Planespotting at Wings Coffee
Planespotting at Wings Coffee

How to get to Da Nang from Ho Chi Minh City?

The most convenient way to go to Da Nang from Ho Chi Minh City is by taking a flight. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Bamboo Airways, and JetStar Pacific have multiple daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang. Alternatively, you can also take an overnight train or bus from Hochi Minh City to Danang and it will take around 17 hours. You can book your plane, bus or train ticket here.

Sleeper bus that travels from Da Nang - Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh and vice-versa
Sleeper bus that travels from Da Nang – Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh and vice-versa

When is the best time to visit Da Nang?

Unlike Hanoi, Da Nang has only two seasons: dry and rainy season. The rainy season usually starts from September to November while the dry season normally falls between December to August. Since Da Nang is a coastal city, the best time to go there is during summer between April and August.

How to get to the city center from Da Nang Airport

Da Nang International Airport is close to the city center so it’s pretty accessible. You can book a car via Klook or book a taxi or Grab when you arrive at the airport.

How to get to Hoi An from Da Nang Airport

The most convenient and cost-effective way of traveling from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An is by booking shared transportation via Klook. It operates between 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM.

Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town

Connecting to the internet in Da Nang

You can purchase a local sim at the airport upon your arrival but it is much cheaper to purchase a sim online and just pick it up when you arrive at Da Nang International Airport. You can buy here.

Where to exchange local currency in Da Nang?

There are exchange centers available at Da Nang Airport. Alternatively, you can also exchange your money in the city.

How to get around Da Nang?

For a solo backpacker, the most convenient and cost-effective means of transportation in Da Nang is Grab bike. It’s cheap and easy to book. If you are traveling with a group, you can book a grab car to your destination.

Watch our Da Nang + Hoi An Travel Vlog

Where to stay in Da Nang, Vietnam?

There are a lot of options when it comes to accommodation in Da Nang depending on your preference and budget. If you are on a budget and want to stay near the Da Nang/My Khe Beach, I highly recommend staying at Chill Box Premier. I stayed here for three nights and I had a pleasant experience. I paid Php2,137 for three nights so that’s basically Php712 per night and the room was huge. It’s less than five minutes walk to the beach. You can check availability and book now.

Chill Box Premier Hotel in Da Nang
Chill Box Premier Hotel

Must-try Food in Da Nang

Bahn Xeo (savory fried pancake)

When my friend Hieu brought me to Bà Dúõng, I did not have any expectations. He asked me what I want to eat and I told him anything Vietnamese, good Vietnamese food. Hahaha. I never heard of Bahn Xeo before so when we were served with a plate of Bahn Xeo, fresh vegetables, and herbs, and Vietnamese rice paper, I didn’t know how to eat it so Hieu had to show me how. Hahaha. I loved it. It’s really good and it became my favorite Vietnamese dish in an instant. There are Bahn Xeo across Vietnam but I heard the best one is in Da Nang – at Bà Dúõng.

Bahn Xeo (savory fried pancake)
Bahn Xeo (savory fried pancake)
Bah Xeo at Ba Duong
Bah Xeo

My Quang Tho (Quang Noodles in Clay Pot)

As much as I miss eating comfort food, I really wanted to try some more Vietnamese dishes. For dinner on my first night in Da Nang, Hieu brought me to Món Quang, a restaurant that serves My Quang Tho or Quang Noodles in Clay Pot. We ordered the mixed clay pot with pork, beef, chicken, and frog!

My Quang Tho (Quang Noodles in Clay Pot)
My Quang Tho (Quang Noodles in Clay Pot)
My Quang Tho at Món Quang
My Quang Tho at Món Quang

Com Tam (Broken Rice)

On my third day in Da Nang, I was already craving for rice so Hieu brought me to Gia Han to try their Com Tam or Vietnamese broken rice. Com Tam is paired with grilled pork (or chicken) and other meat products. Please take note that this dish is more popular in Saigon.

Com Tam (Broken Rice)
Com Tam (Broken Rice)

Coconut Coffee

Coconut coffee is a popular drink in Vietnam. You can try it at Cong Caphe for an ultimate experience.

Coconut Coffee at Cong Caphe
Coconut Coffee at Cong Caphe

Sô cô la bac hà (Chocolate mint)

If you want to do planespotting, then Wings Coffee is the perfect place for you to visit in Da Nang. It’s a special place really and I had so much fun planespotting there with Hieu for a couple of hours. Don’t forget to order Sô cô la bac hà or Chocolate mint. It’s one of their best-selling non-coffee drinks.

Enjoying a glass of Sô cô la bac hà + planespotting at Wings Coffee
Enjoying a glass of Sô cô la bac hà + planespotting at Wings Coffee

Top Tourist Attractions in Da Nang

My Khe Beach / Da Nang Beach

My Khe Beach is a popular long stretch of white sand beach in Da Nang. It was named by the American troops who visited the city during the Vietnam War for Rest and Relaxation (R&R). It’s a great place to swim and beach bum when in Da Nang.

Son Tra (Monkey Mountain)

If you want to have an overlooking view of Da Nang City, head over to Son Tra Mountain or the Monkey Mountain. It offers a breathtaking view of the city, especially during sunset.

Lady Buddha Da Nang

The Lady Buddha in Da Nang is the tallest Buddha in Vietnam. You can visit this place after or before visiting Son Tra Mountain peak as they are located in the same area.

Chùa Linh Ứng / Lin Ung Pagoda in Da Nang, Vietnam
Chùa Linh Ứng / Lin Ung Pagoda in Da Nang, Vietnam
Lady Buddha from Son Tra peak

Ba Na Hills + Golden Bridge

Experience the French-inspired hilltop resort on one of the world’s longest and highest cable car ride. You can also see a panoramic view of Truong Son as well as cross the iconic Golden Bridge. The tour itinerary is listed below. Please note that this is for reference only and may slightly change depending on the traffic and weather condition. Book Now!

The Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills | Photo by Laslovarga under creative commons
  • 7:30am-8:30am pick up at hotel in Da Nang city center or meet up at a specific location
  • 9:00am arrive at Ba Na Hills cable car station
  • Drop by L’Jardin D’Amour and visit Tinh Tam Garden, French Stable, a 100-year-old pomelo tree, and Old Villas
  • Admire the Golden Bridge
  • Explore Linh Ung Pagoda, Loc Uyen Garden, and Quan Am Pavilion
  • 11:30am drop by Debay Station and visit Nui Chua Peak
  • 12:00pm enjoy a lunch buffet of over 100 dishes at Ba Na Hills restaurant
  • Visit Fantasy Park and Wax Statue Museum (optional)
  • Visit Linh Chua Linh Tu temple
  • 3:30pm-4:00pm depart for Da Nang city center
  • 4:30pm-5:00pm end of tour, drop off at hotel in Da Nang city center or at meet up location

Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge is one of Vietnam’s longest bridges measuring at 666 meters in length. It crosses the Han River and serves as a tourist attraction especially during the night as it is illuminated with colorful LED lights. On weekends, the dragon spits fire at night making it more attractive to both locals and tourists.

Dragon Bridge over Han River in Da Nang
Dragon Bridge over Han River in Da Nang

Top Activities to Do in Da Nang

Han River Night Cruise

Klook.com

Cooking Class in Da Nang

Klook.com

Top Tours and Activities to Do from Da Nang

Hoi An Day Tour from Da Nang

Hoi An Ancient Town is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam. It does not have a commercial airport and the nearest airport is in Da Nang. Hoi an is approximately 30 minutes away from Da Nang by car. If you stay in Da Nang, you might want to explore Hoi An on a day tour. You can explore the iconic landmarks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and see a one of a kind combination of Vietnamese as well as Japanese and Chinese architecture. If you want a hassle-free experience, you can book a tour from Da Nang.

Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An
Hoi An

When in Hoi An, make sure you visit Faifo Coffee and proceed to the rooftop. It’s an instagrammable place, so get ready with your camera for your #travelgoals. Do not forget to order a cup of coconut coffee.

At the rooftop of Faifo Coffee in Hoi An with Hieu
At the rooftop of Faifo Coffee in Hoi An with Hieu

Hue City Day Tour from Da Nang

Enjoy a Hue City day tour from Da Nang and experience and learn about Vietnam’s old capital. See the historical sights and explore the royal tombs and the Hue Citadel. You can also visit one of the country’s most famous monasteries, the Thien Mu Pagoda. Book this tour! [Read: Da Nang to Hue bus schedule and fare]

Hue, Vietnam | Photo by Falco/Pixabay

Basic and Useful Phrases in Vietnamese

English is not widely spoken in Vietnam especially in the suburbs, here are some useful words and phrases in Vietnamese to help you communicate with the locals. Big thanks to my friend Hieu of Hieu on the Go for helping me out with the translation.

EnglishVietnamese
YesDạ
NoKhông
Thank youCảm ơn
You’re welcomeKhông có chi
HelloXin chào
How are you?Bạn khoẻ không?
GoodbyeTạm biệt
What is your name?Tên bạn là gì?
My name is GlenTên tôi là Glen
Nice to meet youRất vui khi gặp bạn
Do you speak English?Bạn có nói tiếng anh không?
I don’t understandTôi không hiểu
How much is this?Cái này giá bao nhiêu?
Too expensiveMắc quá
Can you reduce the price?Giảm giá được không
OneMột
TwoHai
ThreeBa
FourBốn
FiveNăm
SixSáu
SevenBảy
EightTám
NineChín
TenMười
Turn leftRẽ trái
Turn rightRẽ phải
Go StraightĐi thẳng
Good morningChào buổi sáng
Good afternoonChào buổi chiều
Good eveningChào buổi tối

Da Nang + Hoi An Itinerary

This is a sample Da Nang + Hoi An Itinerary. I did not include my expenses for this leg of my Vietnam trip because my Vietnamese friend Hieu toured me around Da Nang and Hoi An so most transportation costs are free and some food expenses were shouldered by him. Overall, Da Nang is quite cheap and a backpacker-friendly city.

In Hoi An with Hieu
In Hoi An with Hieu

Day 1: Arrival in Da Nang from Hanoi

1:00 PM – Arrived in Da Nang from an hour flight from Hanoi via VietJet
1:30 PM – Checked in at Chill Box Premier Hotel
2:30 PM – Late lunch at Ba Duong (Bahn Xeo)
3:30 PM – Hieu drove me to Son Tra (Monkey Mountain) where we waited for the sunset
6:00 PM – Visited the Lady Buddha Da Nang
7:00 PM – dinner at My Quang Tho

Day 2 – Beach Bumming in Da Nang

8:00 AM – Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 AM – Beach Bumming at My Khe Beach
1:00 PM – Lunch at Jollibee in Da Nang
2:00 PM – Watched a movie (Joker, yay!)
7:00 PM – Dinner, haircut, and went back to the hotel

Day 3: Explore Hoi An

8:00 AM – Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 AM – Beach bumming again at My Khe Beach
1:00 PM – Lunch at Gia Han
2:00 PM – Visited Hoi An
6:30 PM – Drove back to Da Nang
7:30 PM – Dinner

Day 4: Depart Hoi An to Nha Trang

8:00 AM – Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 AM – Beach bumming again at My Khe Beach
11:30 AM – Check out at the hotel, went to the mall, lunch, coffee
3:30 PM – Met Hieu at Wings Coffee
6:00 PM – Depart Da Nang 🙁

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