Da Nang – Beaches, Bikes and Ba’Na Hills

It’s been a year since we were last in Da Nang and the beaches are still as beautiful.  More hotels have been built and still more are in the process of being built.  The roads are busier, almost as busy as Hanoi or Saigon.  Da Nang is a busy bustling city but has one of the best coastlines in Asia – in my opinion!

This time we stayed at the amazing Melia Beach Resort, around 15 minutes from the airport.  I had booked a deluxe room and it turned out that it was in the main building and luckily we did have a sea view.  There is a more upmarket part also more expensive called The Level, these are small apartments with their own private pool.  But we were happy, a short walk to the beach and just a few floors down to the main restaurant where we had breakfast everyday.  I had planned on doing a few tours but when we saw the beach I put those on hold for another year.  I did drag Anthony to Ba’Na Hills though as I really wanted a photo on the Golden Hands Bridge, which I managed!  We had a fantastic relaxing week here, and I even got to have a few sessions in the YHI Spa.

Beach photos

contemplating how to bring his boat ashore

View from our balcony

When I checked the weather the week before it said it would be thunderstorms and rain everyday! This wasn’t the case at all, we had some rain and it was cloudy on some days but for the majority of the days it was sunny.  The cloudy day we had we went to Ba’Na Hills which was the perfect weather for it.

Hotel Photos

 

We didn’t eat at the hotel every night but ventured into Da Nang and Hoi An.  There is a shuttle bus into Hoi An but we took a taxi.  Hoi An is now a Unesco World Heritage Site.  We’ve been before but this time the crowds were even bigger than ever.  There are so many restaurants in Hoi An but most seemed empty.  Most of the tourists who visit just take photos of the river and boats and lanterns.  Every few feet you are stopped by vendors offering anything from candles to boat rides.  We love the restaurant called Morning Glory and we saw at least four of them.  You can sit upstairs overlooking the river or the street.  The food here is delicious and original and customers often ask each other what they are eating or advising on what is really tasty.  It’s a great place to strike up a conversation with other travellers.

Hoi An Photos

No cars allowed, only bikes
One of the many art galleries
Colourful lanterns hang outside most of the shops and restaurants
By the river
This lady had just cycled with a heavy load balancing on her shoulders

Da Nang

Da Nang is also good for different types of restaurants, especially Asian fusion.  One night we at a a place called Fat Fish which is just a few minutes away from the Dragon Bridge.  They don’t seem to have a website.  It is owned and managed by an English man and his Vietnamese  wife.  The service is impeccable.  She has trained all the staff so well.   That night there was a firework competition between Russia and Vietnam, I managed to see a bit from the street.

My favourite cocktail a Mojito
Fireworks through the trees

 

Bikes

Vietnam is known for the thousands of motor bikes everywhere, even in Da Nang.  It amazes me how many people they can fit onto one bike.  It’s just a way of life for them but everyday they take their life in their hands.  There seems to be designated seats for each member of the family and it’s often the youngest who is almost on the handlebars.  I also noticed that the parents wear helmets whilst the children often do not.  Sadly we did see one accident when we were there, a man was lying on the road underneath his bike with people trying to help him up, I’m not sure that was really the right thing to do.

From the taxi we were in

Taken from the taxi

 

Ba’Na Hills

On the one cloudy day we had I finally persuaded my husband to come to Ba’Na Hills with me.  I decided against the official tour but just hired a driver from the hotel so we could arrive and leave whenever we liked.  I’m glad we went around 12pm as most of the tours had arrived by then.

Bà Nà Hill Station is a hill station and resort located in the Trường Sơn Mountains west of the city of Da Nang, in central Vietnam. It was founded in 1919 by French colonists. The colonists had built a resort to be used as a leisure destination for French tourists. Being located above 1500 metres above sea level, it has a view of the East Sea and the surrounding mountains.  Source: Wikipedia.

The cable car alone is worth the visit, it’s just amazing you just keep going up and up, sometimes you can’t even see the top as it’s covered in mist and it is eerily quiet.  It is the  longest non-stop single track cable car at 5,801 metres (19,032 ft) in length.

There is so much to see here that it’s impossible to see everything in the four hours we had planned.  But we did our best!  The main attractions would be the French village, Le Jardin d’Amour Flower Garden, Debay Wine Cellar, the Golden Bridge and the Fantasy Park.  We didn’t bother with the Fantasy Park but just wandered around the gardens, temples and the village.  You can also stay here as there is a resort called Mercure Danang French Village.  The views overlooking Da Nang are amazing.  The weather is very much cooler up here and can be quite cold.

 

 

 

 

Golden Hands Bridge
Minutes before the heavens opened

The French Village 

The Temples and Tea House

 

My husband and I were divided on our opinion of Ba’Na Hills, I really enjoyed it but he said it was just a tourist attraction.

And that’s all folks until the next trip!

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