VIETNAM

Planning an all inclusive holiday in Da Nang

Oh Da Nang, where do we start. The coastal city in central Vietnam is a base for Ba Na hills, Hoi An and Hanoi. With sandy beaches, hills treks, paddy fields, heritage sites and spectacular bridges, this city has much more to indulge in. Let’s deep dive into planning an all inclusive holiday in Da Nang with a detailed itinerary, cost breakup and useful travel hacks.

Here are the best places to visit in Da Nang with cost breakup:

Linh Ung Pagoda

Located on the Son Tra peninsula, 7 km from Da Nang city center, Linh Ung Pagoda is a must-visit place. This Buddhist temple with a typical Vietnamese architecture also features a 67 meter tall lady Buddha statue. Not only the monument’s charm but the pleasant weather also make you stay back longer. Its one heavenly place to be in!

Entry fee- None. Parking fee is voluntary.  

Dress code- None. You’d be given a sarong to cover your legs before entering the temple.

Timing- 6am to 9pm

Time to spend- 45 minutes to 1 hour. We visited twice!

Pro tip- Try visiting the place in evening when the temple is illuminated. It’s a sight to behold!

My Son Sanctuary

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Looking back at our beautiful travel memory of Vietnam. As we struggle hard during this Covid lockdown phase, we really need to learn from Vietnam that incredibly managed to control it proactively. Unlike other countries, Vietnam had restricted China's entry right from the beginning. They did not wait for the worse to happen. Travellers across the world were scanned at airports and those with the faintest sign of the disease were immediately quarantined. People took to self quanrantine without the Government forcing them to. I couldn't meet my friend @justme__diana as she too had socially distanced herself as a precautionary measure. Those who could not (else how do you make a living), had masks and gloves on. This was in February when the death toll across the world was rising,and Vietnam just had 7 cases and they too recovered. The Govt. was quick in making affordable testing kits, that perhaps helped save a lot of lives. The country has had no casualty so far. Hats off to Vietnam for setting an example to learn from which apparently we will never learn. #covid_19 #covidpreparedness For now, the least you can do for yourself and others is to #stayhome. #Thetravelcurry #Travelgram #Travelholic #Travelbook #Traveller #Instatravel #SeeTheWorld #TravelTheWorld #TravelAddict #TravelIsLife #TravelCouple #WorldTraveler #WanderingSoul #TravelMoments #JustTravel #Globetrotter #LetsTravel #HappyTraveller #TheBestDestinations #TravelInspiration #TravelJunkie #WorldExplorer #instatravel

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The UNESCO World Heritage site My Son Sanctuary is a cluster of Shiva temple ruins. Believed to be constructed by the Champa kingdom between the 4th and 14th century, several temples were bombed during Vietnam war. As the preservation work continues, tourists flock here to travel back in time and praise the efforts of those involved in restoration.

Entry fee- 150,000 VND. This includes access to both the museums, cultural show and a bus ride from the entrance to the site’s starting point.

Dress code- None. Carry an umbrella or raincoat as it rains often here.

Timing- 6am to 5pm

Time to spend- 2-3 hours for exploring the place at ease. It’s worth every second.

Pro tip- Since My Son is 40km from Da Nang, the trip takes half a day. Plan your day accordingly. Best time to visit is early morning.

Marble Mountains

For adventure seekers and trekking enthusiasts, Da Nang’s never a dull moment. The famous Marble Mountains is a cluster of mountains rich in limestone and marble. They have numerous caves which were once frequented by Buddhist monks. The slippery staircases to hills’ summit, hidden trails and massive aged caves welcome you on an explorative journey like never before.

Entry fee- 20,000 VND for Am Phu Cave, 500,000 VND for the rest of the caves including elevator fee.

Dress code- None. Wear comfortable clothes as its humid. Ditch heels for good shoes.  

Timing- 7am to 5:30pm

Time to spend- 2.5 to 3 hours. Trekking lovers can spend more time.

Pro tip- Go for fresh coconut water from the shacks inside the premises. Your little contribution is of boundless help to the locals.   

Hoi An

Around 30km from Da Nang, the ancient town of Hoi An is frozen in time. Cut through canals, the town has a beautiful blend of tradition and cultures which is evident in the French style colonies, Japanese bridge with pagoda, Chinese shop house and royal temples. Great for shopping, eating and chilling, Hoi An comes alive at night when the glittering lights sweep you away.

Entry fee- None. Pay only for vehicle parking.

Dress code- None

Timing- Open from morning till late night

Time to spend- For those staying close by can spend the full day here. 2-3 hours is an ideal time to explore the ancient town.  

Pro tip- Don’t forget to tour the adjoining opulent rice paddies and catch a glimpse of traditional Vietnamese farming.

Dragon Bridge

As the name suggests, the bridge with a flying dragon figure is an iconic structure of Da Nang city. Standing tall across the Han river with a 666 meter long dragon, the bridge is also a principal road connecting the city to the airport and other cities. It is not a destination but surely a landmark that no one can miss. The bridge looks the best at night with its dazzling light-effect.

Entry fee- None

Dress code- None

Timing- Open 24 x7

Pro tip- The dragon breathes fire and water every Saturday and Sunday at 9pm. Its worth watching.

Tran Thi Ly or the Rope bridge

Among the latest additions of landmarks in Da Nang, Tran Thi Ly certainly gets your attention. The 731-meters long cable-stayed bridge, inaugurated in 2013, has inclined pylons towering at 145 meters. Equipped with modern technology, these pylons change colors at night that creates a fascinating visual over the river.   

Entry fee- None

Dress code- None

Timing- Open 24×7

Time to spend- As much as you want   

Pro tip- There is a bustling cafe on the parallel road before entering the Tan Thi Ly bridge. Try local beer and lip smacking fast food there.

My Khe Beach

Imagine a beach in the middle of the developed city. Stretching at 9km, the white sand beach is popular for surfing and day picnics. Also, it is a port for major commercial boats. The twinkling lights of these ships are visible in dark. The photogenic My Khe Beach is a terrific place to unwind at, feel the breeze caressing your face and watch the waves washing the shore. The all year pleasant weather is a cherry on the cake.  

Entry fee- None

Dress code- None

Timing- Open 24×7

Time to spend– As much as you want.   

We were in Da Nang for three days. Allow yourself more time to tour the city at leisure. Here is an average cost breakup for the all inclusive holiday in Da Nang:

Accommodation– A decent three-star hotel in Da Nang costs Rs 3500-4000 per day. We stayed in Mitisa Hotel, which costed us Rs 6000 with breakfast for three nights.   

Food– Around 150,000 VND for lunch and dinner for two people per day. DDownload the app named GGRAB and order food from here. It’s a food delivery app like Zomato which is quite economical. And vegetarians, fret not! Though hotels have lesser vegetarian options, Grab gets you a variety.

Renting a scooter– 100,000-150,000 VND per day. You can book taxi from GRAB app which is cost efficient.

Entry fee to monuments or historical sites are mentioned above.

A day-wise detailed itinerary for the all inclusive holiday in Da Nang

Day 1- Land in Da Nang, hotel check in. Post lunch rent a scooter and spend the day at Linh Ung hill temple. On the way back stop at My Khe Beach.

Day 2- Leave for UNESCO world heritage site My Son Sanctuary. Return in evening, relax at a coffee shop. Visit the world class bridges at night.

Day 3- Visit Marble Mountain in first half. Post lunch leave for the ancient city Hoi An. Visit Da Nang night market for shopping.

Day 4- Visit Ba Na hills, Golden bridge and Military museum

Day 5- Early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi. Check out from hotel.

P.S- We had planned this trip months in advance. Fortunately we returned on time before the pandemic outspread in February. Till everything settles and we start traveling again, please stay home.

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