Now our time in Vietnam has come to an end, we’re going to wrap everything up into lovely little blog posts for your guys, to hopefully inspire you to visit one day, or to help you find the best places up and down the country for your trip. Vietnam has been a major eye-opener, but in all the best and beautiful ways and we can’t wait to share more stories and experiences with you!
Da Nang was one of our favourite locations in Vietnam, maybe due to the stunning, affordable accommodation we managed to find, the nearby white sandy beach, or the amazing food on every corner. We were in the prime location, and we couldn’t recommend it enough!
We’re really excited to share with you the modern, budget hotel we stayed in, yet it wasn’t so budget! Spotless rooms, amazing showers, SUPER comfy beds, freshly cooked breakfast, private rooftop bar, 5 minute walk to My Khe Beach, bars and restaurants all along our road, and a small, quaint night food market right within walking distance. We were pleasantly suprised with the area.
Can you have a guess at the hotel price? Try just £14 per night, you can’t go wrong!
We found Hanami Hotel on Hotels.com for the best price we’ve found so far, but you can also check out Agoda too which has amazing deals. They both vary so it’s just a case of keeping an eye on both and comparing prices. We personally love hotels.com for the loyalty rewards system which has saved us about £50 in our first month, which for backpackers on a budget in Asia, is A LOT.
TIP: You also get an extra bonus rewards night on hotels.com if you leave a review! This means you get a free night’s stay at a hotel of your choice, you just redeem it at checkout. You must be an email subscriber and mobile app user.
There’s no better feeling than dropping your bags in your new hotel room to go explore your street to see what’s what, just to find an abundance of FOOD! Plenty of funky, modern bars and restaurants, your trusty 7/11, and the cutest little night food market. The market was only small comprising of about 13 stalls, but was a very unique find to crush the food cravings. Here you can choose between hot dogs, tacos, burritos, crepes, macaroons, chicken and chips and plenty of local beer.
We had a good chat with Julien who newly owned the amazing hot dog stall at the market, who was a former employee for Gordon Ramsey – how crazy is that! His restaurant got closed down in France and now here he is, in the cute little city of Da Nang creating the most delicious hot dogs around, with all the toppings under the sun. We didn’t manage to get a photo of the hot dogs as they were gone in a flash, so you’ll just have to go a try one for yourself!
Veda’s Kitchen serve THE best curry! Oh my. We still talk about it today and can’t find one in Thailand anything like it. Slightly above our budget but still super cheap, you can dine outside and enjoy the world go by. Be warned, it’s spicier than at home (of course) and Luke found that out the hard way haha! His Tikka was crazy hot, but my butter chicken dish was spot on – so creamy and the perfect texture, and far from spicy. Great quality food and a lovely, cosy little restaurant with friendly staff.
We had a meal at Burger Bros but was pretty disappointed after all the hype we saw online. Luke’s beef burger was pretty average for the price, and my chicken burger definitely wasn’t chicken – I almost threw up! Very fatty, funny tasting dark meat. We would suggest avoiding “chicken” in this particular place.
My Khe Beach
A little further down the road from the night market, you’ll reach the beautiful My Khe Beach which was just a 7 minute walk from our hotel, and definitely a must for our Da Nang Guide.
Stretched with palm trees and bars, and plenty of places to sit, this was one of our favourite beaches so far and is classed as Vietnam’s most picturesque beach – it definitely made it feel like a holiday! It was quiet, clean, and although not in Da Nang Bay itself, it’s sat in a gulf with the peninsula of Thọ Quang curving around to your left, and Hoi An in the distance curving out to the right, making it feel a lot more charming and relaxed.
We took an afternoon to explore the Marble Mountain and it’s caves, reaching the peak of Thuy Son just in time for a stunning sunset. Marble Mountains is a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located in Ngũ Hành Sơn District, with only one of them being open for tourists – just ask your Taxi driver to take you to the Marble Mountain, and they’ll take you straight to the entrance where you can either enter through the cave, or pay a little extra to take the elevator to the top.
Plenty of articles online suggested visiting first thing in the morning to beat the crowds and have plenty of time to climb, also to not be descending in the dark. We made the brave decision to ignore this advice and go at around 2pm, and we’re glad we did. Yes we were out of season (October), but there were not many people there at all – already gone home maybe? We peaked the summit for sunset, and descended soon after with all the paths illuminated which was a relief (we still don’t recommend staying when it’s too dark!).
In terms of the “climb”, it’s very built up with lots of paths and steps (156 steps to be precise), so you don’t need to worry too much about that aspect, however you do need to be fit as it’s quite the walk – half a day to explore at a nice pace is recommended. You can take pit stops on benches, exploring caves and pagodas on the way, so lots of opportunities to take a break and stay out of the direct sun. There are street vendors scattered on the way selling fruit, crisps, water and other beverages, but still take a bottle of water with you initially, you’re gonna need it!
You pay 40,000 VND (£1.34) each for a ticket at the entrance, and a further 15,000 VND (50p) to use the elevator to skip all the steps if you need to. The ticket and staff stated the closing time was 5pm, which we were sceptical about as we didn’t want to miss sunset, nor get locked in – However, most people were still at the peak past 5 and there were no problems getting back down as there are no gates. You should then be able to find taxis waiting outside for stragglers for a ride back home.
Now how’s this for History… During the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese actually hid their hospital in the Marble Mountains, with the American Air Facility probably within earshot from it! They were never discovered – very clever and feels amazing to have been there!
Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary
We didn’t manage to see Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary which is such a shame as it looks magical! It’s a small cluster of beautiful abandoned and ruined temples located close to Hoi An, which were built between the 4th and 14th Century. They are believed to have been constructed by the Kings of Champa, to dedicate to the worship of the God Shiva.
They are very colourful being made out of red brick, and this spot could definitely be mistaken for a film set of Tomb Raider (which was actually filmed at Ta Prohm temple, located in Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia!)
Let us know in the comments below if you have been here before! Share your experience and let us know if you have any tips 🙂
We hope our Da Nang Guide comes in handy on your travels, and if you can manage to squeeze the above things into your trip then you’ll definitely come away feeling fulfilled. Enjoy your visit, stay safe and please let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about Da Nang.
Kelly and Luke
One half of ROUND THE WORLD WITH US!