Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city, and is located on the Eastern Sea coast, midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the largest city of Central Vietnam.
The city itself has neither the atmosphere of Hanoi nor the hustle-bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, but has its share of sights and is close to the ancient cities of charming Hoi An and the imperial capital of Hue, making it a popular vacationing spot for those looking to explore the attractions of central Vietnam or soak up some rays while hanging out on the city’s beaches.
Da Nang has grown rapidly in recent years and reached a population of over 1,000,000 people in 2014. There are many remnants of the “Vietnam War” leftover in Da Nang. On the way to the popular tourist spot; South Vietnam Sea, the ruins of a military base remain in the form of helicopter hangars, although these are now more easily spotted at the airport, which serves both civil and military flights.
Da Nang is often overlooked by tourists but is one of the most friendly in all of Vietnam. The famous My Khe Beach, otherwise known as China Beach for American G.I.’s, is monthly sprouting new high-rise hotels. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam are found here, and some of the friendliest people.
Until relatively recently, Da Nang was somewhat hostile to foreigners, a consequence of the attitudes of those who then controlled the provincial government. In the early 90s, however, this changed, and since the late 90s the provincial [actually autonomous city] government has been enthusiastically pursuing foreign investment and developing infrastructure. Da Nang has some of the best roads in the country — the coast road is at least four lanes from northern provincial boundary to southern provincial boundary. Compared to either Hanoi or HCMC, traffic in Da Nang is always relatively light, although huge trucks blare along every now and again and there are brief ‘rush hours.’ Development is visible and rapid; the city has expanded tremendously in the last ten years, and the skyline bristles with construction cranes. There are now at least three large supermarkets as well as a Metro wholesaler.
The hottest months of the year are May through August, when the temperature can get to as high as 40 degrees Celsius, and it is generally very dry. There are usually tropical storms in October and November.
Da Nang is also ideally positioned between Hoi An (40 minutes south) and Hue (2 hours north). Stop by and soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the unspoilt golden sandy beaches on the up and coming eastern part of Da Nang (Son Tra peninsula). Deck chairs and sun loungers can be rented on the beach for VND 20 – 30,000 per two hours. Do not forget to take your towel, etc. A handful of showers exist near where the deck chairs are.