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04 July 2021

Da Nang - Viet Nam - Beware of the Dragon

Hello Folks!

Such a curiosity to start with. Today is May 25 according to the lunar calendar. In the Gregorian calendar we have July 4th. Happy Independence Day USA!

I didn't look back recently, however it's been a year since my last trip to central Viet Nam.

Time to go back to one of the places visited during this trip.

When traveling around Viet Nam, you will often encounter legends about dragons.

For example, Ha Long Bay is considered the place where the dragon fell, creating this beautiful place. The Mekong Delta is called the "9 dragon delta" due to the number of its main currents. After all, in Viet Nam's religious architecture, but not only that, you'll also encounter dragon motifs.

Well. The dragon in Asia is considered a symbol of happiness, fortune and wisdom. It is therefore not surprising that its symbolism is widely used. All over the Asia.

My trip started in Dong Hoi, where I had the opportunity to visit two of the most beautiful caves in the world - Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. I have already described one of them, the Paradise Cave in this article. Take a look and read.

After 2 days in Dong Hoi, I went south on the railway linking Hanoi and Saigon, which brought me to Hue, the city of the Emperors. And from Hue the best road, from the sightseeing point of view, by car through the Hải Vân Pass. You can also take the road leading through the Hai Van tunnel to shorten the travel time. But is it worth missing the unique opportunity to ride the serpentine passes? No, it's not worth it.



Da Nang - beach paradise

The stay in the central part of Viet Nam showed me how diverse is the culture and history of this beautiful country.

Anyway, Da Nang is an excellent starting point, from which it is close to the aforementioned caves, to the historic tower temples of the Cambodian Chaams, and above all to Hoi An and the Ba Na Hills hills. They are in themselves a destination for many tourists. Mainly because of the Golden Gate. Yes, it is the one picturesquely placed on two powerful hands. I wrote about my impressions of my stay at Ba Na Hills in this article. I also posted a lot of photos. Please, take the opportunity to read the reports from your stay in this beautiful place. It is not only the Golden Bridge. These are also many other curiosities that can be seen on these hills.

What is Da Nang for the Vietnamese? I would compare them to the prestige of Świnoujście or the Hel Peninsula in Poland. It is a mecca for sunbathers.

The city is beautifully situated at the foot of the Marble Mountains. Stretched for many kilometres along the bay, lying in a quiet part of the East Sea/South China Sea. Beautiful, sandy beaches and green hills - these are the first views you will see from the plane's window or the Hải Vân Pass.

Many people choose Da Nang for their vacation because you will not find such beautiful, wide, sandy beaches in the rest of Viet Nam.

So I took the opportunity and considered Da Nang as my base for nearby attractions.

Besides being on the beautiful beach, there are a few more reasons to visit Da Nang. I have replaced Ba Na Hills, Hoi An and the Chaam Tower Temples. There are also Buddhist temples in the city and a beautiful Buddha statue by the bay.

And one more… remarkable in its appearance, unique and fantastic in the evening - Dragon Bridge - Cầu Rồng - Dragon Bridge.

Before we go to see what the Dragon Bridge offers, a few facts about the city itself.


Kingdom of seafood

Da Nang is considered the third city of Viet Nam. One of the "five capitals" of Viet Nam. It lies on the coast of the East Sea/South China Sea, at the mouth of the Han River, and is the second most important port city in Viet Nam. It has a well sheltered, easily accessible port, and its location on the national route 1A and the North-South railway line makes it an important communication junction. The city was known as Cửa Han during the early settlements of Đại Vi osadt or as Tourane (or Turon) during French colonial rule. Most of the names Da Nang are known by refer to its location at the mouth of the Han River. The current name of the city is widely recognized as the Vietnamese adaptation of the Chaam name "da nak", which translates as "opening a large river".

Middle Vietnamese cuisine, especially Da Nang cuisine, is well known in Viet Nam. Da Nang is famous for its aromatic dishes such as Mì Quảng, Bún chả cá (noodle soup with fish balls), Bánh tráng cuốn thịt heo (dry pork pancake), Banh xeo (crispy pancake), Nem lui (pork shashlik with grass lemon).

Several bridges cross the Han River and its tributaries in Da Nang, including the iconic Han River Bridge, Tran Thi Ly Bridge, Nguyen Van Troi Bridge, Tuyen Son Bridge and the recently completed Thuan Phuoc Bridge, which is Viet Nam's longest suspension bridge.

Moving around the city is smooth. The many bridges mentioned above, wide streets and divided traffic between mopeds and cars means that there is basically no major problem with traffic jams. It is a city of a million people, so the saturation with cars and motors is high. And yet there are no traffic jams.

Da Nang is also a gastronomic paradise for seafood lovers. In all its palette, from clams, oysters, shrimps and all kinds of fish, to squid, crabs and snails. Anything you want. Always fresh, from the night or morning catch, prepared by local chefs, they are another magnet attracting tourists from all over the world. Please take into account when planning your visit to Da Nang that seafood accounts for almost 80% of the gastronomic offer. If you want to eat something more mundane like chicken or pork, you need to sweat a little to find a place that offers standard cuisine.

When choosing a place to stay, I suggest hotels in the second row of streets parallel to the beach. It is actually one of the better choices because the beach itself is separated from the city by a huge six-lane thoroughfare. The main beaches, which attract crowds of tourists, are located on the other side of this artery.

The choice of hotels is huge, even for pandemic conditions. From very cheap single rooms, where the price did not exceed $ 20 per night, to five-star hotels such as the Hilton, where you have to pay several hundred dollars per night.

You will surely find something for yourself, including the wide range of “Air BnB” home stays.

My choice of a hotel was due to the low price for a 3-star hotel, but at the same time the proximity to the beach and areas that can be reached on foot.

Also to the already mentioned dragon bridge - Cầu Rồng.

Dragon Bridge is a beautifully designed work of engineering and design.

The creators of the bridge incorporated into its structure the figure of a mighty dragon, which begins its reign over the city in the evenings and at weekends.

Beware of the Dragon

Around 6 p.m., when it usually gets dark in Viet Nam, people begin to gather around the eastern abutment of the bridge, over which the mighty dragon's head towers.

This is where the sound and light show will begin.

In all adjacent streets there are numerous stalls where the Vietnamese prepare street food.

These are usually the characteristic low plastic tables and stools, usually red or blue in color, and a wheeled stand that offers countless "sticks" filled with balls of crab meat, fish or pork and tofu. plus vegetables, sauces and drinks.

Contrary to appearances, a place close to the dragon's head and the bridge is not the best. First of all, the smoke and flames that will come out of the dragon's head are really hot and reach several dozen meters. A wave of such hot air can hit you quite badly. Second, the Dragon also "spits" water so it is easy to get wet.

I recommend one of the first side streets along the river with numerous stalls, where you can easily order and eat dinner in a local style for 50,000 VND per person. The specialties, fried in hot oil, accompanied by sugarcane or coconut juice, taste delicious and the place allows you to admire the almost half-hour-long spectacle taking place on the Dragon's Bridge.

And a lot is happening. The bridge is closed for the duration of the show and the crowd of tourists gets a portion of a half-hour show.

Another, more expensive, way to enjoy the show is to buy dinner at one of the many floating restaurants ...

The Dragon takes turns, and it bursts fire, and smoke comes out and spouts water spectacularly. The performance is enriched with a beautiful play of lights along the entire bridge where the huge body of the dragon, illuminated in many colors, waves with light, which gives an interesting 3D effect.




From my experience, you should come and leave this place a little earlier. After about 15 minutes of the show, the sequence is repeated so you won't lose anything. It's a good idea to slowly look for a place to leave or leave if you are a motorbike. Why?

Thousands of people, a line of stopped vehicles on the bridge and taxis will want to drive in and out of the area. This is one gigantic assault on the only street leading from the bridge towards the beaches and most hotels.

If you stay after the show, it will take you another 30 minutes to clear the bridge.

I decided to take a walk. First of all, because there were no taxis or Grab.

Secondly, a walk is always an opportunity to get to know places that are not shown in tourist guides but are very interesting in themselves.

Thanks to Google maps, you can easily make your way and observe the moon, stars and nooks and crannies of the streets while walking. Safe and stress-free, I reached the beach in 25 minutes.

An additional traction of staying in a hotel, which is located on the first or second line of the coastal streets, is the possibility of observing the sunrise in the morning. Anyway, take a look...



You need a minimum of 3 days to stay in Da Nang. One on the Ba Na Hill, the second day to visit Hoi An and the third to visit the city itself.

If you like sunbathing, add one day to your schedule.


I ended my stay in Da Nang with a dragon accent and ...
“I don't care what comes next; I saw dragons in the morning breeze. "

- Ursula K. Le Guin

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