Da Nang Vietnam is the country’s fourth largest city after Ho Chi Minh City in the south and Hanoi and Haiphong in the north. The main Da Nang attractions are its beaches, including China Beach, made famous as the surfing “resort” for American GIs during the Vietnam War in the film Apocalypse Now and by the more recent hit television series of the same name.
Even though the city, located in the central part of the country, dates as far back as the Champa Dynasty, the history of Da Nang travel is relatively recent. Set on the banks of the Han River, the city’s name comes from the Cham word meaning “opening of a big river,” and it is set at the mouth of the Han River. Here, as late as the seventeenth century it was settled as a port city, and is today one of the most important seaports in the country. Napoleon III of France annexed the port in 1858, beginning Da Nang travel for numerous French colonials and the tradition of an expatriate community in the country.
After the French left, American soldiers arrived, beginning the legendary status of Da Nang Vietnam among United States war veterans. Da Nang travel has been important to American war veterans and their families since the country opened to Western tourists in the 1990s, and there are many Da Nang attractions that have significance for them. In addition to China Beach, veterans and leisure visitors alike often visit the five nearby Marble Mountains that you will see in background shots of the television series China Beach. There are numerous pagodas and sacred caves here. If you visit here, you can get in some shopping if you are in the market for some wonderful handicrafts. Numerous artists and artisans produce a variety of artwork here, and their goods are definitely for sale.
One of the best museums in the world for Cham sculpture is located here, and many of the sculptures were carved from stone from the Marble Mountains. The structure of the museum itself is one of the Da Nang attractions as it is housed in a beautiful French colonial villa set on landscaped grounds.
Other things to do in Da Nang include visiting the beautiful landscapes of the My Son Sanctuary located about 50 miles from the city. This was the capital and religious center of the Champa Kingdom, and they built scores of temples here. Many were badly damaged by the bombing raids of the 1960s, but several are quite intact and the area has been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Taking tours through this remarkable site will show you structures that are reminiscent of the ruins at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
By far, most visitors come to Da Nang Vietnam for the beaches. While China Beach is the most famous, the stretch of coastline with easy access to the city is more than twenty miles long. The sands are pure, powdery white and the waters are colored azure blue to turquoise green. There are a number of superb beaches, and this is where you will find some of the best beach resorts and luxury hotels in the country. There is an international airport is located here, and there is good transportation available to the hotels along the coast.