Things to do
Da Nang may be a city of cutting-edge architecture and sleek beach resorts. But a short drive away are the ancient, awe-inspiring ruins of My Son Sanctuary. Partly swallowed by the surrounding jungle, these towering temples were once the spiritual heartland of the Champa – a civilisation that drew on Indian Hinduism. Spot intricately carved gods and goddesses, created between the 4th and 14th centuries. Then pay a visit to the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang to learn more about this lost kingdom.
Da Nang marks the gateway to one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches – 30km of icing sugar sands, named China Beach by American soldiers. The section closest to the city, My Khe, sweeps around a tranquil bay to the Son Tra peninsula. If you’re feeling energetic, climb up to Son Tra Peak – also known as Monkey Mountain. At the top is the Linh Ung Buddha statue and a Buddhist monastery – as well as spectacular city and coastal views.
Whether it’s a quick bite from a humble street stall or an imperial banquet, every dish in central Vietnam is a work of art. Regional fare from neighbouring Hoi An is famed nationwide. Sample specialities including cao lau – a succulent noodle and pork dish flavoured with mint and star anise. Or book onto a cooking course to discover some of the secrets of this delicious cuisine. You may even master the perfect balance of salty, sour, bitter, sweet and spicy flavours.