Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam, is not always included in travelers’ itineraries when they plan a trip to Vietnam, but this is a shame since they are missing a wonderful cultural experience. Philipp and I decided to come to learn about the people, traditions, and culture of Da Nang and share LingoHut.
During our time in Da Nang, our favorite thing to do was take walks day and night along the Hàn River boardwalk. It’s a great way to see the culture and how locals spend their time off. It is a place people congregate. Kids play with their parents; young adults dance with friends and play games; couples spend quality time together; and seniors exercising, dance the night away, and play board games. It is beautiful to watch people out and about enjoying a good time with one another. Philipp and I were invited to join in with some of their activities and of course, we did, it was lovely.
We enjoyed delicious Vietnamese meals during our time in this lovely city and visited the Hàn Market several times. Kendal had a áo dài made which is a traditional Vietnamese dress to wear for the lunar New Year.
The last Saturday we went to watch the dragon spit fire and water; it is a sight to see. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 PM. If you visit Da Nang you must watch – it was a fun end to an evening after a lovely dinner together.
We decided to go out of Da Nang and explore the Marble Mountains and visit the old town of Hoi An.
Marble mountain was magical; we loved it. Marble Mountain, a cluster of five marble and limestone mountains which are the name of 5 elements of oriental philosophy: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. As we drove up to it, there are many marble statues and souvenirs to purchase. We pass them since we are not here to buy things, but instead to absorb the culture and meet the people. We took an elevator to the top of the water mountain, where we started to discover the beautiful surroundings. There are many caves and paths to explore. The biggest cave is Huyen Khong. It is a spectacular natural cave with great spiritual value. We were so lucky to be there with only a few people. We sat there quietly and peacefully taking in its beauty. After a few hours exploring water mountain, we went on to the old town of Hoi An about a 15-minute drive.
We did not know what to expect; we were dropped off by our driver in the walking area. The town is large, but the old town is closed to the crazy motorbike traffic we encountered in Hoi An and Da Nang. As we started walking into the old town, I asked a lady caring a shoulder pole if I could take a picture of her; she said “yes.” Then she proceeded to put the shoulder pole and her hat on me to give me first-hand experience of how it felt to be a local vendor. I was so surprised at how heavy the load was she carried around all day. We headed on to the night market, where we explored different stalls and talked with the vendors. When we talk to vendors, we never miss an opportunity to share LingoHut. We were lucky enough to watch some make the striking lanterns that hang all over Hoi An. After some time speaking with the vendors, we decided to go on a boat ride to see the sunset. What a lovely experience I highly recommend it if you are in this neck of the woods. The colorful lanterns, brilliant surroundings, and stunning sunset were dazzling. Afterward, we enjoyed a lovely Vietnamese dinner at a local restaurant.
The next day we went to Ba Na Hill at the suggestion of many in town. The hotel staff suggested we leave early to miss the crowds. We were happy we took their advice since the park got super busy by 10 am. The hand bridge was special and the views were spectacular. We enjoyed the views and experience; I am not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much if I got there any later. By the time we left, the bridge was packed. The park is much like a busy amusement park with thousands of visitors, lots of food and some entertainment. There are no rides except the gondola that takes you up to the bridge.
We spent two weeks in Da Nang, Vietnam, met wonderful people and shared LingoHut. Some of these beautiful people will be friends for a lifetime. Thanks to the people of Da Nang for making us feel so welcome.