Dragon Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam credit Bikepacking Adventure Company on flickr
The central Vietnamese city of Da Nang has been a popular destination for Vietnamese holidaymakers for many years and is becoming more popular with foreign tourists.
Known for its long stretches of golden sand beaches, the Marble Mountains and Monkey Mountain (Son Tra), the surrounding area also featured on the BBC Television Top Gear – Vietnam Special programme.
Dating back to the ancient kingdom of Champa, Da Nang was established in 192 AD. A number of temples and artifacts from the Cham Empire can still be seen at the nearby My Son, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, often called the Vietnamese Angkor Wat. My Son features more than 70 temples in what is regarded as one of the most important heritage sites in Vietnam.
During the Vietnam War (American War in Vietnam), the now Da Nang International Airport was an important air base for the South Vietnamese and United States air forces. The base became one of the world’s busiest airports at the time with an average 2,595 daily aircraft movements. Da Nang fell to the North Vietnamese army on 29th / 30th March 1975.
Da Nang has become incredibly popular partly due to its location within Vietnam.
The city lies virtually half-way between Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south and Hanoi in the north. It is an important port on the South China Sea, with the historic cities of Hue to the north and Hoi An to the south, both short drives away. To the west are mountains and spectacular countryside.
Da Nang is partly protected from some of the worst of the weather by Son Tra and surrounding mountains which form a natural barrier. The incredible Hai Van Pass, one of the most beautiful drives in the world, links Da Nang with the north and the weather can be startling different at either end of the pass.
My Khe and Non Nuoc beaches run for kilometre after kilometre from the city, south towards Hoi An.
The Marble Mountains are five limestone and marble hills that feature a number of wonderful Buddhist pagodas and shrines. The five mountains are known as Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Kim Son (metal) and Tho Son (earth).
Monkey Mountain, or Son Tra, is home to the rare Red Face monkey and is a popular location for hiking and cycling to explore this national park.
The Ba Na Hills Resort was developed with Vietnamese tourists in mind but has become increasingly popular with foreign tourists, especially since the construction of the Golden Bridge.
Accessed by cable car, the resort also includes a replica French village, Fantasy Park, a wax museum, alpine coaster and more for the whole family.
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