Welcome to Our Danang Family Travel Guide
Our family travelled to Vietnam on the 6th of March 2020, right before the world declared the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we've been temporarily resident in Vietnam.
We travelled from Saigon to Danang on the 10th of March 2020. That was the day the news broke out about a woman from Hanoi who had lied about her international travel from Italy and infected a number of people with Coronavirus. We were lucky to have missed the news that day, otherwise we might not have travelled!
We successfully made it into Danang, checked into our hotel and had dinner. After returning to our hotel room, Elijah told us he wasn't feeling well, his temperature soared and we really freaked out!
Fortunately, all was well, his fever only lasted the one night and the hospital felt confident he wasn't carrying the virus. We were less confident, so we laid pretty low most of our ten days beside the beach.
Why Visit Danang?
We chose ten days in our initial One Month Vietnam Family Travel Itinerary. Our idea was to work and enjoy the beach. We didn't plan to be doing much while we were in Danang, and we didn't end up doing too much either.
Danang is the airport closest to Hoi An and Hue. If you are visiting these places, there's a good chance this is where you will arrive.
If you like city beaches, you'll probably really enjoy Danang. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes and bars. Many of the hotels have pools.
While we were there, things were quite laid back. It was quiet, the streets weren't busy and the restaurants weren't full. This is not the real Danang. I've been told it's usually filled with tourists and the restaurants have customers, so do the hotels.
Things changed rapidly during the time we were based in Danang. We had to make some choices, fast, about whether we would pack up and go back to New Zealand or stick it out in Vietnam. Our New Zealand Embassy had emailed us to let us know there may not be commercially viable flights returning to New Zealand for a long time to come. It was bizarre to think we had just arrived and things were so bad so quickly. We weren't ready to pack up and go home though.
Before leaving Da Nang, we made the choice to remain in Vietnam. Rimaha got lucky with the weather and even managed to get a morning surf in before we moved to Hoi An.
A quick note if you're in to surfing... We got really lucky. It is very rare for surfing in Danang. It's not really a spot you would pick for surfing. We just hoped we'd get lucky and we did. But I'm told that its more often flat. Flatter than flat. A bit like a lake really. So just be warned, it's not really a surf spot, although you can hire boards along the beach.
When you arrive at the beaches in Da Nang, you'll probably quickly notice the large Lady Buddha statue. She is the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam. This is the area known as Son Tra or Monkey Mountain. We were very fortunate to visit this place with barely a handful of others. There was a tourist up there who told us he visits every year and usually there are about 5,000 people at this site. We realised just how lucky we were to see this place completely empty!
Every Saturday and Sunday at 9pm the Dragon bridge breaths fire and water. This is not to be missed and probably needs to be at the start of our Danang family travel guide because what kid doesn't want to see (and feel) the fire and the water!?
All of our three kids enjoyed this outing. It goes for a decent amount of time so you can take photos, take a video and watch for real too. This is a good night out, and I'm sure the nearby food stalls are usually very good. When we were travelling Danang there weren't too many people about so we were hesitant to eat from the stalls.
Golden Bridge (with the fingers)
I'd seen this bridge on one of my friends Instagram accounts. I knew it was a place I'd love to see. When I chatted with her about visiting, she warned me to get there early and beat the crowds. By the time we arrived, Corona season was in full swing. There were no crowds. Anywhere.
We got our gondola up and down the mountain to ourselves. We got a whole lot of photos on this bridge with noone else on it! There were a few sneaky photos we have cropped so you can't see one or two people walking on it, but wow. We were really lucky.
I didn't do a lot of research about visiting this place, so if you're a mum or dad, you need to know there is a massive arcades and gaming area on this mountain (all included in your ticket). If I'd known this, we would have gone up much earlier because our kids loved the car racing games (and even I had a go too).
The downside of travelling during a pandemic is not everything is open. Only a few of the food vendors were operating and not all of the rides. I'm glad we did it at that time though because our friends went after the Covid restrictions lifted and more of the place was closed - including the arcades and gaming areas.
What we didn't love in Danang
The playgrounds (or lack of)... After enjoying playgrounds in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, we hoped we'd find something nearby for our kids. We searched over the map to find something, anything. And we found 29/3 Park. If you're not nearby, I wouldn't waste time visiting this place. It was tired and run down. It wasn't very good.
If you would like to find places to eat in Danang, I'd recommend having a look through our Danang Family Food Guide for all the good spots we found.