Da Nang, in recent years, has become a tourist destination famous for its pristine white-sand beaches, lush green mountains, and various recreational facilities. One can choose to stay within the city and still be thoroughly entertained or to embark on an exploration of the surrounding attractions. If you fancy the latter, then be sure to see this guide for the most exciting day trips from Da Nang.
Hue was once Vietnam Capital City for more than 140 years, under the rule of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal ruler of the country. Hue’s contribution to the development of Vietnam’s tradition, culture, and history put it in the first place of the most exciting day trips from Da Nang.
Hue Imperial Palace
Distance from Da Nang: 105 kilometers
Recommended means of transportation:
Note: We advise against going on day trips from Da Nang to Hue by motorbike if you’re not an experienced driver. The Hai Van Pass can be a bit challenging.
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Being the former capital city of Vietnam, Hue excels at cultural and cuisine tourism. You can choose to visit historical landmarks, indulge in various dishes offered at the markets, or pay your respects at sacred temples and pagodas. But it doesn’t mean that’s everything you can experience.
Some say that the journey’s more important than the destination. We don’t know much about that, but we’re sure about one thing: the road trip from Da Nang to Hue is not something you want to miss out on. You can cast your eyes far out into the deep blue ocean while on Hai Van Pass, enjoy the cool breeze from the mountains, and pay a visit to the lush Bach Ma National Park.
A route crosses the lush green Hai Van Pass
Though being unofficial, Thien Mu Pagoda is recognized as one of Hue’s symbols and has made its way into numerous poems and songs. The pagoda takes away all the chaos and hustle of the modern world to grant you precious calm and peace.
Thien Mu Pagoda overlooks the Huong River
Opening hours: 7 AM - 5 PM
There’re a total of seven royal tombs in Hue, with the popular ones being Minh Mang’s, Tu Duc’s, Khai Dinh’s, and Dong Khanh’s. Each tomb represents a different time, showcasing our beliefs and history throughout the volatile reign of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Khai Dinh Tomb is one of the seven Royal Tombs of Hue
Check out The 8 Best Things to Do in Hue for more information!
Emerged as one of the hottest travel destinations in the past couple of years, Hoi An is a town that should be on your bucket list. Conveniently located near Da Nang, we don’t see why you don’t stop by Hoi An for some fun!
Releasing lanterns is a popular activity in Hoi An
Distance from Da Nang: 30 kilometers
Recommended means of transportation: Bus
Hoi An’s an ancient trading town, so you can expect a lot of old buildings, traditional houses, and a slow-paced lifestyle. For anyone who identifies themselves as culture vultures, these activities will make your heart race.
On your day trips from Da Nang to Hoi An, remember to capture the moment on the Japanese Covered Bridge. It was built in the 16th century and features a design that’s the combination of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French architecture.
The Japanese Covered Bridge is Hoi An’s most famous attraction
If you’re looking for incredible souvenirs to bring home, then Hoi An Market’s not somewhere you should miss out on. They offer a variety of the town’s delicacies here, including pork cakes, steamed rice cakes, and Quang noodles.
Hoi An Market is food lovers’ paradise
Address: 19 Tran Phu, Hoi An, Quang Nam
Opening hours: 6 AM - 10 PM
Cu Lao Cham’s a group of islands located in Tan Hiep District, 18 kilometers away from Cua Dai Beach. It’s famous for its diverse ecosystem, pristine water, and rare marine creatures. If you have time on hand, visit Cu Lam Cham to reconnect with nature and rewind.
Don’t miss Cu Lao Cham when you’re in Hoi An
Address: Tan Hiep, Hoi An, Quang Nam
Transportation: You can buy speedboat tickets for VND 400,000/person (both ways) at Cua Dai Beach. The journey takes roughly 30 minutes.
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If you’re looking for a fun bike trip, then Son Tra Peninsula’s perfect for you. It’s considered Da Nang’s most amazing, yet underrated location. Son Tra Peninsula benefits greatly from a conservation act, which negates any big resorts being built there. The only route to encompass the peninsula is a motorbike trek, highlighted by pristine beaches, mountains, and dramatic coastlines.
Linh Ung Pagoda at Son Tra Peninsula
Distance from Da Nang: 10 kilometers
Recommended means of transportation: Motorbikes (motorbike rental fee in Da Nang: VND 150,000 - VND 250,000/motorbike/day)
Located right on Son Tra Peninsula, overlooking the ocean, Linh Ung Pagoda is one of the most sacred places in Da Nang. Locals refer to it as a meeting place of heaven, earth’s spirit, energy, and people’s heart. The Pagoda also holds a collection of statues, one of which being the tallest Lady Buddha statue in Vietnam (over 67 meters).
Opening hours: 7 AM - 5 PM
For locals, fishing was once the dominant business until the rapid development of the city’s tourism scene came into the picture. If you wish to have a peek into that tradition and the old way of life, visit Man Thai Fishing Village.
Tip: Visit early from 5 AM to 6 AM, you can observe the special rituals of the fishermen before going out to the ocean.
Chessboard Peak, or Dinh Ban Co, is the next attraction to admire on Son Tra Peninsula. It’s famous for the statue of Confucius, who greatly influenced Asian cultures. Here, you can have the most scenic panoramic view of the city, bordered by the deep blue ocean.
Parking fee: VND 2,000/motorbike
Located about 40 kilometers to the West of Da Nang, My Son Sanctuary’s a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 4th century. It’s a remnant of the Champa Kingdom, a lost culture that was heavily influenced by Hindu beliefs and practices.
Sadly, the majority of the sanctuary was bombarded during the Vietnam War, hence, only the main complex managed to survive. Now, the temples and structures in this sacred ground stand as a piece of history and culture, boasting the skillful use of red bricks and sandstones.
Dawn on My Son Sanctuary
Opening hours: 6:30 AM - 5 PM
Distance from Da Nang: 60 kilometers
Recommended means of transportation:
- Bus: Route 06 from Da Nang Central Station
- Taxi: VND 650,000 - VND 800,000
Entrance fee: VND 150,000 (for My Son Sanctuary and the Champa Museum)
Visiting My Son Sanctuary, you'll get to see exemplary temples of the Cham people. The temples are dedicated to both Shiva - a Hindu god, and king Bhadravarman. Some of them are well-preserved, while some are now ruins that have been overgrown with grass, which makes the place more of a mystery. Your ticket also includes a trip to the Champa Museum, where you'll get to see how to sanctuary used to look like and the history of the land.
Going on a day trip’s a great way to not only learn about the city you’re in, but also the surrounding cultures and traditions. So, if you're ever in Da Nang and have some time to spare, even if it's just a day, go explore the beauty that is the Vietnam Central Region.
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© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com