While cities such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi get all the headlines and are widely regarded as the nation’s most travel-worthy cities, in reality, however, there’s actually so much more to see and do in Vietnam.
One such hidden gem is none other than Da Nang. Located in the central area of Vietnam and brimming with gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, and iconic landmarks, Da Nang is one such travel destination where old meets new. So, whether you’re the adventurous kind that loves exploring ancient ruins or someone who wants a more laid-back experience like taking #ootds with the backdrop of spectacular views, here’s why Da Nang is the perfect vacation destination offering the best of both worlds.
Explore 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Da Nang to get a glimpse into the region’s historic past
1. Take a trip back in time at Hoi An Ancient townReflecting a fusion of indigenous and foreign influences, Hoi An is a well-preserved trading port dating back to the 15th century offering an eclectic mix of religious sites, cosy cafes, and shophouses.
What to expect:
- The town is comprised of traditional wooden buildings, canals, and alleyways in a river and seacoast setting offering romantic views.
- Go cafe-hopping and hunt for souvenirs at the seemingly endless amount of aesthetically-pleasing cafes and shops.
- Take a stroll at night to watch lanterns cast a magical glow over the town.
- You can even hire a boat manned by local ferrymen and spend a romantic evening with a loved one on a river cruise.
- Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, an ornamented bridge that was constructed by the Japanese in the 1590s to link the Japanese community with the Chinese quarters.
2. Explore the Complex of Hue Monuments to dive into Vietnam’s historic pastLocated in and around Hue City in the Thua Thien-Hue Province, Hue was once the seat of power of the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam.
What to expect:
- The complex is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its temples, pagodas, imperial tombs, iconic palaces, beautiful landscaping and much more.
- Visit the imperial city, a citadel-within-a-citadel which once housed the residence of King Minh Mang and his royal concubines. Fun-fact: only eunuchs were allowed within the palace as they wouldn’t pose a threat to the Emperor’s concubines.
- It’s also known as the Purple Forbidden City and is built based on the Forbidden City in Beijing. Sadly, many buildings were destroyed during the French and American wars but restoration works are ongoing.
- Pass by the Ngo Mon Gate and capture unique #POTDs at various photos spots. This was once the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure reserved only for the emperor.
- Explore the final resting place of the Nguyen emperors by visiting the imperial tombs of Khai Dinh, Minh Kang, and Tu Duc and learn about their personalities through the various architectural styles.
3. Discover the ancient ruins of the My Son SanctuaryMy Son Sanctuary dates back to the 4th century and once was the political and religious capital of the Champa Kingdom.
What to expect:
- The construction of the tower temples spanned over 10 centuries and was built to honour Hindu deities such as Shiva, Krishna, and Vishnu.
- Be awed by architecture of the temples which is comprised of fire brick and stone pillars decorated with sandstone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
- You’ll also find a museum filled with wall posters explaining the history of My Son and a cultural dance show depicting the Cham culture.
- Reach the temple grounds early in the morning (ideally before sunrise) to avoid crowds and have the place all to yourself for a more relaxing experience.
Visit iconic landmarks and enjoy the multitude of exciting modern sites Da Nang has to offer
4. Take a stroll on Love Lock Bridge with a loved one & catch the impressive pyrotechnics show at the ‘Dragon Bridge’ at nightDa Nang boasts various super Insta-worthy bridges that are just too beautiful not to visit. Here are two you must not miss:
- Visit the iconic Dragon bridge at night to catch spectacular neon light shows and a pyrotechnic show during weekends after sunset!
- The bridge is 666 metres in length making it the longest bridge in Vietnam.
- Inspired by other famous padlock bridges in the world, the Love Lock Bridge is another popular spot for lovers to write their names on padlocks to be placed on the bridge as a sign of their undying fidelity.
5. Unleash your inner Indiana Jones as you explore caves and tunnels at the wondrous Marble MountainsLocated in south Da Nang, the Marble Mountain is a cluster of five marble and limestone hills.
What you should know:
- The mountains are made of fine quality marble and limestone.
- Each mountain is named after the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
- Hike up the Mountain of Water and explore a number of 17th-century pagodas.
- Dotted across the mountains are Buddhist sanctuaries which are noteworthy places of interest. Be on the lookout for a special circular cave and make your way to the summit to enjoy panoramic views of the land below.
- There are tales of the caves containing bullet holes which were used by the Vietnamese to spy on American troops relaxing on My Khe beach below.
6. Go on a French-themed escapade at Ba Na HillsFounded in 1919 by French colonists, Ba Na Hills is a hill station and resort boasting various tourist spots and mesmerising views.
Here’s what to expect:
- Stroll through the French Village that’s complete with cobblestone streets and European-style buildings making you feel like you’re actually in France.
- The cable car up the resort offers scenic views and even holds several Guinness World Records.
- It’s home to Fantasy Park, Vietnam’s largest indoor amusement centre – perfect for letting your inner child out!
- Visit the famous Golden Bridge and capture unique selfies with spectacular views as the backdrop.
7. Spend a relaxing evening at My Khe BeachFamous for its pristine white-sand beaches and dubbed as the Hawaii of the east, My Khe is a must-visit for any beach bum.
Here’s what you can expect:
- The beach is famous for its blue skies and smooth white sand and is a well-kept beach loved by the locals and tourists.
- It got its name from American troops who named the beach when they visited it during the Vietnam war.
- It’s listed as one of the world’s most attractive beaches by Forbes magazine and is also a well-known surf spot.
- Expect to see loads of luxurious hotels and world-class restaurants that line the beach.
8. Immerse your artistic side by visiting the aesthetically-pleasing Tham Thanh Mural VillageJust an hour’s drive south of Hoi An, Tham Thanh Mural Village is a worthy day trip to catch mesmerising artworks and immerse yourself in the relaxing atmosphere of the countryside.
What to expect:
- The murals were painted by Korean volunteers in a collaboration with the locals of Quang Nam Province.
- The purpose was to build a better community by telling the stories of the local people through works of art.
- There are about 30 houses or so clustered closely together with incredible life-like images depicting scenes of nature, family, pop culture, and the local way of life.
- There is even a beautiful beach nearby with boats featuring attractive artworks on them!
Well, if you’re itching to visit this mesmerising city, then you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to think twice thanks to this amazing promo from AirAsia.
From now till 29 February 2020, AirAsia Big Members can experience the sights and sounds of Da Nang from only RM99 onwards.
Best of all, the travel period is from now till 30th June 2020, which coincides perfectly with the mid-year school holidays for families and working adults to destress and enjoy a fun-filled vacay.
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