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72 hours in Da Nang

Da Nang is Vietnam’s fourth-largest city. During the Vietnam War, it was a base for American soldiers and still today remnants of that time can be seen in the diverse culture, culinary styles and cuisines that emanate from this region. Da Nang is just 29 kilometres south of Hoi An, and it is a 90-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

It is much quieter than Ho Chi Minh City and doesn’t have the UNESCO World Heritage site label of Hoi An, but it is emerging as a tourist destination in its own right, with no shortage of amazing sights and things to do.

Sit and sip iced coffee on the riverfront promenade, as the locals do, and you will instantly feel at ease.

Da Nang is the nature capital of Vietnam with blankets of forest-covered hills that flow down to the white sandy beaches. There’s water everywhere you look, which means the seafood here is incredible. Hoot Holidays has put together this guide to make it easy for you to spend 72 hours in Da Nang.

 Day one

 Get rid of any jet lag by starting the day with a swim at the five-kilometre Non Nuoc Beach, Da Nang’s most famous strip of sand.

Then it’s time to take a trip up Hai Van pass, made famous by Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew when they described it as one of the world’s best winding mountain roads.

For dinner, why not do some restaurant hopping along the river or bayside promenades?

Da Nang is famous for its seafood and here you can order your dinner straight from the tank to the plate. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.

Finish the day by watching the fireworks on the Dragon Bridge. The six-lane bridge spans six kilometres over the Han River, and is the longest bridge in Vietnam, with fireworks filling the night sky every weekend.

 Day two

 You will get the best view of Da Nang from the mountaintop resort complex at Ba Na Hills. To get there you need to ride the cable car. It’s not just any cable car. According to the Guinness Book of Records it is the world’s longest non-stop cable car, carrying you above the amazing Da Nang forest.

When you reach the top, you will instantly feel the temperature drop. The cable car starting point is 25 kilometres from Da Nang. It will cost you about $35 to ride the cable car, and while you are there, take time to explore Fantasy Park, a family-friendly attraction inspired by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.

It’s time to eat. When it comes to food, Da Nang is known for two dishes - chicken and rice medley com ga and the noodle dish mi quang. Food is not expensive here and it is possible to spend less than $15 per day and be completely satisfied. Head to Ba Vi on Le Dinh Duong as they are known to create the best mi quang in Da Nang.

 Day three

 Spa or golf? Why choose when you can do both. 

BRG Da Nang Golf Resort is often voted as the best course in Asia. Designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus, it is 20 minutes from Da Nang on the way to Hoi An.

There are two par 72 courses and you could be forgiven for thinking you are playing either a links course in Scotland or a course on the Australian sand belt area. 

The Galina Da Nang Mud Bath & Spa is open from 8am to 8pm and is located on My Khe Beach. You can relax in the mud baths and hear the waves pounding the beach in the background. 

Just before dusk, join the locals who head to the beach for raucous games of volleyball. Try a local beer and some quail eggs served straight from a cooler box by the beach vendors.

Watch as the fisherman prepare to head out into the South China Sea to catch the nightly dinner of squid and prawns. The fishermen have been doing this the same way for many generations.

 Where to stay

 Centara Sandy Beach Resort Da Nang 

Relaxed. Great beach. Peaceful. These are the words most often used by guests when reviewing this property. The beachfront resort is a 20-minute drive from Da Nang airport and there are also shuttles that take guests to the ancient town of Hoi An.

The resort itself sits on 42 acres of manicured gardens and fronts Non Nuoc Beach – a stunning stretch of silky sand overlooking the Son Tra Peninsula to the north and the Marble Mountains to the west.

There’s a plethora of private beach resorts in the area - and two of Vietnam’s best international golf courses. The Vietnam East Sea is clean and perfect for swimming during the dry season from April to September. There are four different dining options with the aptly named, The World, with its Vietnamese cuisine open from 6am until late.