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Useful information for shore excursions in Da Nang
Below you will find an overview of the most beautiful attractions, a map of the cruise port as well as other tips for your shore excursions in and around Da Nang.
The most beautiful attractions in Da Nang
Da Nang is mostly known for its roll as an important commercial and transportation hub and the close proximity to the popular tourist destination of Hoi An. Guided shore excursions or shore excursion on your own to Hue are often offered. Hue also has its own cruise port: Chan May. However, you can also experience a lot in the city of Da Nang itself.
The Beach – “Danang Beach”
Da Nang is well-known for its long sandy beach which runs parallel to the city and invites you to sunbathe or swim. At the time of the Vietnam War, this beach was still called “China Beach” and the soldiers spent there free time here. Since the end of the 2000’s, luxury hotels and resorts are built directly here as well as many other bars and restaurants. However, the beach is still relatively empty and not overrun by tourists.
The Cham are a community of people and the descendants of the once important Kingdom of Champa. The Cham were highly developed people and very advanced in art and culture. Da Nang’s famous Cham Museum has the largest collection of Cham arts and represents the art and culture of the Cham empire most comprehensively with over 3oo sculptures. In the museum there are a total of 10 rooms, all of which represent a different style epoch. Each of these rooms houses original statues, letters, photos and reliefs of the most important constructions in Vietnam. In the courtyard of the museum are also artifacts that you can take a look at. There are currently more than 1,200 exhibits at the museum.
In the direction of Hoi An you will find the stunning marble mountains: five wooded rocks made of marble, which protrude up to 100m (328ft) from the ground. In Vietnam they are referred to as “Ngũ Hành Sơn” which literally means “mountains of the five elements”. Each mountain are named after one of the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. On and in the mountains you will not only find interesting caverns and caves, but also Buddhist temples (pagodas) with natural entrances, which are connected by an interesting tunnel system. From the marble mountains you will also have a unique view.
Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills were already developed into a resort at the beginning of the 20th century but this fell apart over the years. Only after the economic boom in 1990 were the Ba Na Hills revived and are now a modern resort. This resort houses three hotels, the Linh Ung Pagoda with a 27m (88.5ft) high Buddha statue and various tourist facilities. In 2009, a gondola or cable car was built, with which you will reach the high summit of Ba Na Hills. Overall, the cable car can carry 1,500 people per hour. It has even received two awards in the Guinness Book of World Records.
A highlight here is the so-called “Golden Bridge” (Cau Vang) – a golden pedestrian bridge that juts out from the Ba Na Hills. What’s so special about this bridge is the 2 huge hands that seem to support or carry the bridge. These look like centuries-old stone hands of a giant.
Hai Van Pass
The famous Hai Van Pass (Cloud Pass) forms a natural boundary and meteorological divide between north – south Vietnam and lies between Hue and Da Nang. It is about 20km/ 12.4mi long and has its hightest point at 496m/ 1,627ft. You can enjoy a unique panoramic view of the ocean, Da Nang and Son Tra peninsula in good weather here. You can drive over the pass both by car and by train. For relief, a tunnel (Hai Van tunnel) was built and opened in 2005 as the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia.
Hoi An is a picturesque coastal town with a historic old town center in wooden look. It is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam. Da Nang is therefore a good starting point for shore excursions to Hoi An. During the day, Hoi An shines with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese architecture in bright colors and in the evening with countless sparkling lanterns throughout the city. A mix of different cultures completes the charm of the town. Fortunately, the sweet old town stayed intact during the Vietnam War and was entitled UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Son Tra Peninsula
The popular tourist destination Son Tra peninsula is about 10km/ 6.2mi northeast from Da Nang. It is known for its unique landscapes, crystal clear water and breathtaking beaches. A great experience is the ride up to Monkey Mountain. As the name suggests, on the way you may even meet some monkeys. From the top of Monkey Mountain you have a fantastic view of Da Nang Bay.
Map of the cruise port in Da Nang
The entrance to the crusie terminal Tien Sa of Da Nang is not really spectacular since it is at the same time also an industrial port. This port is rather small for large cruise ships from international cruise liners like Princess, NCL, Celebrity, etc. In total there is only 1 berth for cruises at Terminal 5.
On the site Marine Traffic you can inform yourself more about the arrivals and departures of different ships.
From the port Tien Sa, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the city Da Nang.
Things to know about shore excursions in Da Nang
Shipping companies and routes
Although the cruise port of Da Nang is rather small, it is one of the favourite destinations of large cruise lines like Holland America Line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises or Silversea.
Immigration and visa
US-citizens and UK-citizens must apply for a visa before visiting Vietnam by sea. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least one blank visa page. Visit the Embassy of Vietnam website for the most current information.
For more accurate information please contact your cruise operator before your cruise to Vietnam.
Vietnam Dong (VND) is the national currency of Vietnam. (1 dollar = 23,300 VND; 1 pound = 30,633 VND). You can exchange your cash in advance or use ATMs to withdraw money for your expenses.
Taxi and other public transports
In the exit of the port Tien Sa there are usually some taxis ready to serve customers who are traveling on their own in Da Nang. For all taxis there is a starting price of about 12,000 VND, then 15,000 VND per kilometer. Taxi drivers in Da Nang can usually speak good english, otherwise you will find an emergency number on the doors of the taxis.
There are also motorcycle taxis (“xe om“) and it is quite a special experience to try outside the city center. Make sure to negotiate the price before you ride on the bikes. A 2km/ 1,24mi trip costs between 10,000 and 15,000 VND (0.46 – 0.65 dollars)
With buses, trains and so-called open-tour buses, you can easily get around both in Da Nang and in the surrounding cities. In any case, keep in mind to check the price beforehand as tourists are often ripped off here.
Da Nang is located in central Vietnam, which is characterized by asemi-humid tropical climate. The best travel time is therefore between February and May. During these months, the daytime temperature is between 24 to 26 °C / 75 to 79 °F. From June, the temperatures gets warmer, daytime temperatures are at an average of 34 °C / 93°F. Rainy season starts in central Vietnam from October and lasts until about the beginning of December. During this time typhoons, landslides and floods can occur, which is why it is not suitable for tourists.
Websites of the port and tourist organizations
Video: Impressions of Da Nang
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