Danang is a port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, in between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It is the country’s third largest city and is starting to become one of the popular seaside destinations in Vietnam. Surrounded by mountains on its West and the sea to its East, Danang is near natural sites such as Marble Mountains and historical destinations like My Son.
The city’s origins trace back to 192 AD during the era of the Champa Kingdom. During its peak, the Cham Empire reached as far as Vung Tau in the south. However, Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer influences led to the end of the Champa in the 15th century. The city also served as an important sea port for the Spanish, French and Americans during their time in the area, which also led to the rapid growth of the city.
Tourism is an important sector in Danang’s economy, being near to the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Hoi An as well as the temple ruins of My Son. That is not to say Danang lacks any attractions though. The Cham Museum displays weathered but still highly skilled artistic sculptures of Shiva (an important Hindu God), garudas (mythical bird-like creature), nagas (mythical serpent deity), lions, monkeys, and elephants, many of which were recovered from My Son.
About 10 kilometers South of Danang are Marble Mountains, a group of five limestone formations filled with caves and marble crafts depicting mystical creatures and images of Buddha. There are also paths leading up to the top of one of the mountains (Thuy Mountain) which offers scenic views of the city and its shoreline below.
Just off the shore of Danang are the Cham Islands. It is one of Vietnam’s popular island escapes featuring coral reefs, quiet sandy bays and limestone formations. The islands are also forested, presenting a wide range of flora and fauna. Some of the world’s best bird’s nest soup can be found at these islets.
In addition, visitors can enjoy a short transfer to Hoi An, a beautiful small city that retains a lot of its past with preserved European, Asian and traditional Vietnamese structures. The city is also famous for its relaxing beaches as well as its arts and crafts shops.
My Son, a set of ruined Hindu temples built during the Champa Empire is approximately 60 kilometers away. There are over 70 architectural pieces present at the site. My Son has been compared with some of Southeast Asia’s great Hindu influenced temple sites such as Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia.
Danang is a great starting point if you want to explore the rich history of Central Vietnam. You can do so with Exotissimo’s A Day Hoi An and My Son – Danang day trip where you will discover two UNESCO World Heritage cities and realize the cultural significance of these two cities. Our Highlights of Vietnam tour allows you to thoroughly discover one of Asia’s most diverse and fascinating countries. This 11-day tour will take you to three of the country’s main regions, each presenting you with its own set of unique cultures, food, landscapes and experiences. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to tweak any of the programs in our Vietnam tours page.
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