Monday, May 4, 2015

Da Nang Goes Off - Vietnam's most dynamic city

Lung Linh Song Han - Ngo Minh Duc (supplied)
The Vietnamese city of Da Nang does not feature large on the travel map of many, but those Australians familiar with the third largest sea- and airport in Vietnam will know it as the gateway to the UNESCO-listed sites of the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins.

Han River scene from Dragon Bridge (Roderick Eime)
The wide Han River provides a soothing centerpiece for this burgeoning metropolis and is spanned by several modern bridges, all of which are illuminated by creative light shows including one where fire spits from the massive head of a dragon.

Once the site of one of the largest and busiest US military bases in all of Vietnam and the setting for the hit TV series ‘China Beach’, reminders of the US occupation still linger in the form of aircraft revetments and base buildings around the new domestic and international terminals.

Flower Garden at Ba Na Hills (Roderick Eime)
Now a fresh energy fills the city. New hotels and resorts line My Khe (China) Beach, an international firework competition is run semi-annually plus one of the most ambitious (and bizarre) theme park has opened on the peaks of nearby Ba Na Hills on the site of a former French colonial hill station. The dangerous old road has been replaced by the longest non-stop single track cable car in the world (5800m).

Local authorities are keen for visitors to linger longer in the city before setting off to neighbouring attractions. Infrastructure and entertainment facilities are springing up and at night the whole city takes on a Fantasia-like theme with multiple light shows all around the prominent city structures like bridges, buildings and roadways.

Key sites visited include:
  • Ba Na Hills complex
  • Cham Museum
  • Hoi An Old Town
  • Marble Mountain
  • My Khe Beach
  • Fireworks Competition
  • Han River cruise and boulevard
Also of note:

Listed by TripAdvisor as #1 of 10 destinations on the rise — World
International Fireworks Competition 2015 - Won by Howard Fireworks Australia

Rod was hosted by the Danang Center for Tourism Promotion and stayed at Naman Retreat, Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Sunrise Hoi An and Anantara Hoi An Resort as well as several site inspections and local restaurant meals.

Please contact Rod to commission an illustrated feature on this dynamic city.


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