Da Nang and Hoi An are the two beautiful cities in Vietnam that receive Asian Townscape Award (2013). They are only 40km far from each other, it’s relatively fast and easy to travel between these two places.
Spending 2 or 3 days in the Ancient Town of Hoi An and the modern Da Nang City is definitely a great idea for a memorable short trip. Here are the best places that you should not miss in you itinerary.
1. Best places to visit in Da Nang:
Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills is undoubtedly one of the most famous destinations in Da Nang. Located about 30km from the center of the city, Ba Na is an eco resort combining relaxing and entertaining area with modern equipment. Ba Na is a perfect tourist destination with four separate seasons in a day: spring in the morning, summer starts by noon, autumn in the afternoon and the winter in the evening. Visiting Ba Na Hills, you have chance to not only discover amazing scene of mountains but also experience the longest and highest cable car in the world. From above, visitors can cover a vast space of superb beaches, the whole Da Nang city, green rice fields spreading to the endless horizon.
The entertaining area is designed for all ages, combined with lots of gardens such as love gardens, a vineyard, a fairy garden, an indoor amusement park named Fantasy Park. Especially, there is a very beautiful village which was built in French architecture, which is always a not-to-be missed stop for photo lovers.
The entrance fee is from 15.5 USD to 24.0 USD and the best visit time in Ba Na is from 9am to 5pm.
Son Tra Peninsula
Only 13 km away from the center of Da Nang City, Son Tra Peninsula is considered as a hidden jewel of this coastal city. This is a typical Vietnam tourism magnet along the coastline: fantastic, untouched natural scene with transparent sea, white sand, and mysterious primitive jungle with a vast diversity of plants and animals. Son Tra Peninsula offers famous beaches as North Beach, South Beach or Buddha Beach. With fresh and cool climate and beautiful natural landscapes with rich flora and fauna, Son Tra converges all the elements for visitors to have fun activities, camping, picnic and fascinating adventure of pristine jungle.
There is no entrance fee and the best time to visit Son Tra Peninsula is from 2pm to 6pm.
Linh Ung Pagoda
Located in an area known locally as Bai But or Buddha’s Sanctuary on Son Tra peninsula, Linh Ung is rated as the most magnificent work of this kind in the central city of Da Nang, in terms of architectural and artistic value. The pagoda is famous for its beautiful 67-metre-tall Goddess of Mercy statue standing on a lotus-shaped platform. Thousands of visitors visit it to enjoy the panoramic view on the sea with the Marble Mountains in the back.
My Khe Beach
My Khe Beach is located about 6km east of Da Nang and about 24km north of Hoi An. It was voted by Forbes magazine as one of the most attractive beaches on the planet. It is an ideal and huge beach with smooth sand and a slight slope. With a coastline stretching to 90 meters, blue and clear waters, fine white sandy beaches, and high-end hotels, My Khe is an ideal destination for anyone. Also, there is a great selection of water activities, which makes your trip to My Khe become more fun and memorable.
The most important trading point of Da Nang City, Han market is popular among local and tourist alike. Located at the grand intersection of Tran Phu Street, Bach Dang Street, Hung Vuong Street and Tran Hung Dao Street, this famous market holds a very important position in the history of the city. It is also ideal for those looking for some special souvenirs before heading home. It is very easy to reach Han Market by taxi or motorbike. Don’t forget to visit this market on your trip to discover more about the busy daily life of locals in Da Nang.
The Dragon Bridge
The Dragon Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of Da Nang City. Don’t forget to visit and see the amazing performance of the bridge, when the dragon built on the bridge can breathe fire in 2 minutes and 3 minutes of water breathing after. Fire and Water Performance is an incredible highlight of the city which is at 9.pm every weekends and holidays.
Taking a seat on the coffee shop at Danang riverside Hotel, or at some local drink shops on t he riverside are the great way for watching the show.
2. Best places to visit in Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town is no doubt one of the most attractive destinations of Vietnam. The ancient and peaceful town is not only well-known to Vietnamese people but also loved by thousands of travellers through many years. In 1999, UNESCO formally recognizes Hoi An as a World Heritage Site.
Hoi An is one of the few places you will still find genuine Vietnamese architecture, but is also a harmonious integration of other architectural styles influenced by the Japanese and Chinese traders who settled there in the past. It is home to many temples, pagodas and the ancient homes that bear its very unique mark. Coming to Hoi An ancient town, tourists are offered a lot of interesting activities. One of the most popular thing to do is strolling around Hoi An’s rambling market streets- lined with centuries old houses, boutique and famous tailors. Don’t forget to visit art galleries and lunch in one food outlets, watching the timeless scenery unfold before your eyes. And finally, get a couple of lanterns as souvenirs. Spend a day in Hoi An Ancient Town and you will have one of the most memorable trips.
Located 15km from Hoi An city, Cham Island is a group of 8 small islands, which has been recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve (Cu Lao Cham Marine Park). This ideal destination is endowed with marvelous topography of mountain slopes and biological diversity. Cham Island has been an untouched paradise for adventurers with its wide variety of leisure activities in a picturesque and pristine setting. It is also a cultural-historic site, which grows along with the establishment and development of Hoi An City.
3. Special cuisine in Da Nang and Hoi An
Banh xeo (cripsy pancakes)
Turmeric powder, not eggs, lend this iconic southern dish its yellow color. Banh xeo is named for the sizzling sound its batter makes on the skillet.
Com ga Hoi An (Hoi An chicken rice)
This is a signature dish in Hoi An. A dish of chicken rice is mouth-watering with its pleasantly yellowed rice topped with hand-shredded chicken and herbs. It is served with a small bowl of soup containing some chicken giblets like heart and liver.
Cao lau (rice noodles)
Cao lau is a rice noodle believed to have been invented in Hoi An. In a way it has some things in common with Chinese and Japanese noodles. It is eaten with lots of herbs and vegetables which greatly enhance its flavors.
Mi Quang (Quang noodles)
A trip to Da Nang is not complete without Mi Quang. Quang noodle originated from Quang Nam province. This dish is made with rice noodle and variety of herb, lettuce and the flower of bananas.
Banh trang cuon thit heo (Sliced pork rolled with rice paper)
This is one of Da Nang delicious specialities. It is a combination of fresh ingredients such as belly pork, fresh vegetables, slices of cucumber and green bananas. All things are wrapped in soft rice paper and eaten with dipping sauce.
Che is traditional Vietnamese sweet dessert soup or pudding. Varieties of Chè are made with mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, jelly (clear or grass), fruit (longan,mango, durian, lychee or jackfruit), and coconut cream. It’s great snack food to escape the heat of the bustle city in a hot day.
Visiting Da Nang and Hoi An is a perfect idea for your holiday in Vietnam. Hopefully our suggested itinerary will help you make your 2-3 days trip as enjoyable as possible.
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