First travel of the year that heading to this new route launch by Malindo. My 6 days 5 nights at Da Nang, Vietnam. Indeed one of a preferred airline if got a chance to buy ticket from them. If I am not mistaken, this new route by Malindo started from Jan 2020. This would be my first trip heading into a country without any planning. Which is quite unusual for me.
Direct Flight to Da Nang from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
1. Air Asia
Malaysia to Da Nang – 9.30am flight (2 hours 35 minutes flight)
Da Nang to Kuala Lumpur – 12pm
Purchase last minute Return Ticket from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Da Nang, Vietnam is about RM 580 including insurance. Only 10 KG baggage included on return flight. No Meals served unless purchased like Air Asia.
Currently March 2020 – Found a cheaper flight through skyscanner is RM 250 for return ticket:
Malindo : Malaysia to Da Nang – 9.30am flight (2 hours 35 minutes flight)
Air Asia: Da Nang to Kuala Lumpur – 3.45pm
EXCHANGE Rate base on 10th FEB 2020
RM 1 = 5,550 Dong (so I round it up to RM 1 = 5,000 Dong for easy calculation)
Da Nang is 1 hour slower than Malaysia. It is not a big city, which is more like a size of Penang, Malaysia, with estimated population of 1.2 million. This makes them the 5th largest city in Vietnam. However, this city is consider one of a rising star in the country as this state have the luxury of hills, land and seaside which have attracted alot of international hotel chain building into the city.
I was told that Vietnam is quite French influence, however I believe Da Nang is exceptional as I personally felt that it is quite Chinese influence.
There are 4 seasons in Da Nang which is summer and winter:
Spring : March – May is at 26 degree – 35 degree
Summer : May – Aug can be up to 33 – 40 degree [according to many blog, the best time to visit if you love summer]
Autumn : Sept – Nov is at 26 degree – 35 degree
Winter : Nov – Feb : can be as low as 13 degree – 25 degree [with potential rain fall]
Average temperature on the coast is about average 25 degree – 35 degree throughout the year.
for mobile connectivity: You can either use your data roaming, wifi device or their local 4G Sim card
With development of ride hailing app there are two which is quite prominent for international travelers like us.
1. GRAB – take cash only for international traveler
2. G0-Viet (Go-jet with a local player) – not sure
I used GRAB most of the time as upon writing this post, I only just discover about Go-Viet.
Grab Price from Airport to Monarque Hotel (seaside) @ 80,000 Dong / RM 15
Or private transport transfer.
To move around Da Nang, there are 3 options:
1. Using GRAB/Go-Viet Moving around as the fare which is pretty decent compare to taxi
2. Rent a Bike @ 120,000 – 180,000 dong / RM 20 – RM 25 per day. (the best option to move around – Do get international license as the police is pretty strict, where I got caught and fine 1,000,000 Dong / RM 200) – also because my bike got no lights. If not might get away with it.
3. Follow Day tour/ rent a car (do need international license too, and they are left driving)
I did thought of joining a food tour with a chef, however did not join last minute.
Arrive at airport and took GRAB to Monarque Hotel, Danang (click here for map) which is sitting right infront of the beach side. Thought of chilling only around the seaside area on the first day. Chose this hotel because of the amazing rating of 9.3 in Agoda, with tons of superb comment and also from RM 950 a night to a last minute sale of RM 280 a night.
The price includes, tea buffet, 2 bowls of pho for dinner and buffet breakfast [which I think is a damm good deal]. So this is pretty much my first day meals being taken care of.
As we reach the hotel about 11am and only allow to check in after 2pm we got 3 hours to kill. and headless chicken at the moment, decided to hog into Google map and see what is there for us and walking around the area to check out what is available.
We stumble upon this cafe that serve Banh Mi which look pretty decent and decided to hit this place for a first stop.
Banh Mi at this cafe turns out to be better than expected. I think the best I have had so far. Love the crust of the bread which it is crispy on the side and the sauce which makes it taste better.
89 Hà Bổng, Phước Mỹ, Sơn Trà,
Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Then we move to the cafe next door, which capture our attention base on its classic heritage look. Decided to try on Coconut Coffee since it is like a must have drink in Da Nang. Turns out not bad.
Stroll along the street and check out massage over here. Then start doing research on which one to go as it seems that there are plenty of them along the street.
91 Hà Bổng, Phước Mỹ, Sơn Trà,
Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
After check in, we went up to the rooftop pool area for our Tea Time buffet.
Right after, went to Herbal Spa which is just about 5 minutes way from our hotel and it is rated the top 3 massage place to be in Google Review.. We took 2 hours massage package. The massage style here is totally different as the petite lady that massage me is full with strength. The massage is even better compare to the one in KL that I had.
102 D. Đình Nghệ, An Hải Bắc,
Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Tel: +84 90 182 57 89
Operating hours: 8.30am – 10.30pm
Right after massage was suppose to go eat seafood, then stumble upon this cafe which looks pretty nice and decided to chill here for a while. Love the ambiance.
Dâu ngọt café ‘n’ souvenir
92 D. Đình Nghệ,
An Hải Bắc, Sơn Trà,
Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Tel: +84 90 528 88 51
Operating hours: 7.30am – 10pm
This area do seems like little Korea as the whole street is operate by alot of Koreans. Next walking down the street to head back to hotel, stumble upon this Koean BBQ which I cant remember I read in one of the blog. Decided to give it a try since did come across my reading.
This is a very busy outlet operate by local family if I am not mistaken. One of the most famous Korean BBQ among the locals in the area. I find it not too bad but the one right opposite do attract me more and it is full house too.
Samwon Restaurant (삼원 BBQ)
74 D. Đình Nghệ,
An Hải Bắc, Sơn Trà,
Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Operating Hours: 5pm – 12am
Back to hotel enjoy the live band for the night and also claiming only 1 bowl of Pho which we are too full from every hour of eating and drinking. Pho is really good too. Noodle is smooth and silky, soup base is just nice yet clear.
Head to the rooftop bar Chic Land Lounge in Chic Land hotel to chill for the rest of the night.
210 Võ Nguyên Giáp,
Phước Mỹ, Sơn Trà,
Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Tel: +84 236 2243 888
Operating hours: 5pm-12am
got recommended to go for a Hon Viet Traditional Show as it was nearby. However we did not go as was quite tired.
Without knowing what to do, head up for breakfast buffet then only decide what’s next. Check out after that.
Read about weather forecast for the next 2 days and it forecast raining. Was panicking as there are 2 locations to go that need to spend nearly a day there, as was to decide to go Ba Na Hills for the day or Hoi Ann a beautiful heritage site town.
Hội An was considered by Chinese and Japanese merchants to be the best destination for trading in all of Southeast Asia, even Asia. Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century formerly known as Fai-Fo or Faifoo with its well known as strategic spice trade. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Originally, Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the “Japanese Bridge” (16th-17th century). The bridge (Chùa cầu) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist temple attached to one side
Hội An is known for its diverse and excellent food: a legacy of the many nationalities, including Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese, that lived or traded here. Cars and even motorbikes are banned from the center of Hội An, so the pushbike is king. Most homestay offer bikes to guests, and joining the many cyclists on the roads provides an instant immersion into local life
Left at hotel at 12.30pm and reach at 1.15pm. The area is not huge. Will take you about 2 hours to stroll the whole area without stopping.
This shop seems like their famous chain Hoi an Roastery Espresso & Coffee house seems like every where in this town. Easily you will find 4-6 outlets within this 3 streets. While resting, checking out what is the best food in this area. It seems alot people recommended Mi Quang – Cao Lau in this shop. We walked there and it is like a back packers joint.
There are 2 version. Felt that Mi Guang (top) taste much better over Cao Lao even though Cao Lao it is a must eat street food in Hoi An.
Mì Quảng Ông Hai – Mr. Hai Noodles
6A Trương Minh Lượng,
Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Tel: +84 235 3914 406
Operating Hours: 11am – 10pm
Love the riverbanks. It is so pretty on the whole architecture and indeed the perseverance of this city is pretty amazing. Sun set that makes the whole city golden as it is painted in yellow. Sitting at the river banks is the best.
Most of the classic architecture are with charges of entrance fee. Which then I think Penang should do that too. Set back is travelers font get to see how a nice architecture is.
We also saw like a lot of travelers engage into personal walking tour. We do try to walk side by side with them. 😀
After a while, we walk to this Madakm Khanh Banh Mi Shop. Seems one of the most famous one in the area. Turns out to be not too bad, but we felt that the random discovery around our hotel, that banh mi taste better.
Remember to add in their house special chili. It taste much better as we finish our meal only discover on the chili.
Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen
268 Hùng Vương,
Thanh Hà, Hội An,
Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Tel: +84 708 123 009
Operating Hours: 6:15am–5pm
While waiting for it to turn night, we were seating at a bar and chill while looking at the river banks. Hoi an Night market is a daily affair. Nothing much though as most of the stalls sell pretty much the same thing.
HoiAn Night Market
Night Market Hoi An
57 Nguyễn Phúc Tần,
Phường Minh An, Hội An,
Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Operating Hours: 5pm – 10.30pm
As we walked towards the end, and smell very nice bbq taste and discouver 3 stalls that sells lobster. The price here is pretty decent. 300,000 Dong for 1 piece / RM 60 per piece. It is quite reasonable for such a bargain and believe it is about 800g-1kg. It is very fresh too. So we sat and eat again, while enjoying beer facing the sea.
Besides that, when it turn dark, Hoi An is famous for releasing a wishing paper lantern. It cost about 5,000 and 10,000/ lantern. / RM 1/RM 2 – You can also sit on a small boat paddling along the river to release the lanterns and admire Hoi An beauty at night with the price 20,000 VND/person.
Night in Hoi An is a total transformation. A city filled with lantern and lights. Indeed a great sight for a heritage site.
Then we check into our AirBNB for the rest of the stay.
While strolling around the river banks, we stumble into this bridge by chance as it happens every night 11pm as a showcase that the Cau Song Han bridge is detach to allow shipped to pass by. It is a full closure to prevent traffic from passing by. The whole process takes about 1 hour before traffic or pedestrian allow to walk pass again.
Cầu Sông Hàn Bridge
112 Cầu Sông Hàn,
An Hải Bắc, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng
Last minute book a day tour to Ba Na Hiils which is a classic French village right on the top of the mountain making them a new big hit of tourist attraction especially the bridge with 2 hands. Taking a day trip here turns out to be quite regretful as for the first time of my 10 years travel, followed a day tour and it is quite rushed. It is not too far from Da Nang beach area. An hour ride.
So this is like Bukit Tinggi but more majestic version. Every corner is like an OOTD corner. So those of you going up here, you will spend alot of times taking pictures from right at the exit of cable car stop to all the top!
Currently, the main area of Ba Na Hills already operating and there are another segment which is under construction.
Even the cable car station is already being build up with a nice China architecture.
My day tour cost 1,200,000 VND per person which includes:
Golden Bridge, L’Jardin D’Amour, Tinh Tam Garden, French Stable, Linh Ung Pagoda, Loc Uyen Garden, Quan Am Pavilion wine cellar, cable car return ride + buffet lunch
If you go yourself is estimated : 1,300,000 per person (which you have more time)
GRAB – 320,000 – 400,000 VND / RM 65-RM 75 per way.
Cable Car Ticket which include all the FOC park entrance: 750,000 VND / RM 135
(Golden Bridge, L’Jardin D’Amour, Tinh Tam Garden, French Stable, Linh Ung Pagoda, Loc Uyen Garden, Quan Am Pavilion wine cellar, cable car return ride)
The famous hand held bridge known as Golden Bridge.
Wine Cellar tour which is more like you walk yourself through the whole entire journey.
Our tour includes the international buffet which the food is way below standard. Avoid this if you can, as there are food stalls outside the area. Just grab some simple food while tour around.
tip: enjoy your heavy breakfast before you head up :- NO FOOD are allow to bring into the area. You will be block at cable car station.
There are outdoor show performance every one hour .
This is the ride I wanted to take as currently the queue is about 1 hour. The set back of joining a tour that you can enjoy this. It is FOC as included in the ticket you had purchase.
there are 4 levels of indoor theme park.
The whole place is build up with nice French Architecture and proudly mention that it is build with their local Vietnamese engineering talents. I believe Sunworld is like our Genting Group, which is a big conglomerate.
the church that sits right in the middle of the park is pretty impressive. The details of it is amazing.
As you walk to the top of the mountain, you can walk final stretch to visit some temple.
Impressively, they have 4 different cable lines that transporting you up and down to the area. Imagine that, the amount of tourist that is flocking in. the best part to take OOTD in the golden bridge is after 3.30pm as most of the tour group had left the mountain and it is pretty empty. If you do travel yourself, that is the best moment to take all the pictures you want instead the morning / afternoon. The bridge is pack like ants.
After heading down, we decided to check out the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang, as only every Saturday/ Sunday 9pm sharp, there is a fire and water performance.
the love bridge is pretty funny to me as there are love locks at the bridge and only decor with love lanterns. (click here for map)
While waiting for the fire performance, we took grab over to Lotte Mart in Da Nang (click here) to check out what goods is available here. Apparently, not as interesting as what we seen in Korea.
We walked to the famous Helio Night Market in Da Nang or Cho Dem Helio (click here for map) / Khu Ẩm thực đêm Helio which is just about 5 minutes walk from Lotte Mart. To our sadness, it is closed for a month due to virus outbreak in other country.
Khu Ẩm thực đêm Helio
Đường 2 tháng
9 phường Hòa Cường Bắc,
Operating Hours: 5.30pm – 10.30pm
So we head back to the Dragon Bridge area as this Cho Dem Son Tra (Chợ Đêm Sơn Trà Đà Nẵng) or Son Tra Night Market in Da Nang is the second famous night market in Da Nang for its seafood. Read comments that seafood in this area might be abit pricey and not fresh cause it is the most strategic of all.
most of them are food stalls and some clothes and accessories vendors around the other street.
The performance of Dragon Breath at Dragon Bridge is about 5 minutes and there are tons of people flocking the area. There are 2 version. Either you stand far apart to see it or you can stand right below the dragon breath and enjoy the heat of it and also the water spray after that.
after the show, we went to this Seafood restaurant recommended by the hotel staff, Clara that this is one of her favorite place. Takes about 10 5 minutes Grab ride to this shop from Dragon Bridge. If were to walk it is about 25 minutes. Hai San Bien Man / Hải Sản Biển Mặn (click here for map) serve pretty fresh and reasonable seafood price as it is patron my alot of locals. We were the only foreign tourist here.
65 Trần Hưng Đạo, Nại Hiên Đông,
Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng 55000, Vietnam
Operating Hours: 9.30am – 11pm
Tel: +84 90 353 23 24
I have always believe Rent a bike – 120,000 VND / RM 22 per day (need to go pump petrol) to see the city. Just that when you got your bike, make sure that you are thought how to operate the bike and all the safety aspect. Was told by the Air BNB owner that police are quite strict at the moment. If you are seen as international traveler that ride a bike, high chance you will be stopped by the police. I got fine 1,000,000 dong / RM 200 for does not obtain international license because of my Bike does not have light in the front. (so MAKE SURE when you rent it, you are being thought that).
Tip: first time driving there, Observe what the local bike driver does.
Lunch at the most famous Pizza restaurant in Da Nang – Pizza 4P’s Hoang Van Thu (click here for map) . Japanese style pizza with Hand toss pizza + Fresh ingredients. Do make reservation especially for dinner. (+84 28 3622 0500)
We enjoyed the pizza alot which is half half and SAPPRO Beer here is a must order. It is so cheap that I had 5 glasses. Per glass is 35,000 / RM 7 per glass for draft beer. Easily cost us Rm 35 per glass in KL. Both Pizza and spaghetti is spot on. Recommended!
8 Đường Hoàng Văn Thụ, Phước Ninh,
Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Operating Hours: 10am – 10pm
Then find this cafe which nicely build up, 43 Factory Coffee Roaster in Da Nang (click here for map) is just about 18 months old. They have some pastries and their croissant is a MUST have. Pretty good as it is crispy and fragrant.
One of a cafe that you should visit in Da nang.
Lot 422, Ngô Thi Sỹ, Đà Nẵng, 550000, Vietnam
Was told that French food is a must have when Visit Vietnam, however we randomly find a French Restaurant Le Rendez Vous. Food here is a bit let down as my beef is undercook yet it is quite chill right in the middle. Told them to cook again.
Food here is below sub par and this is the restaurant cheapest among all. The rest of the French Restaurant in Da Nang are on the high side. Which means about RM 100 per head which is quite similiar to KL.
20 Lý Thường Kiệt, Thạch Thang,
Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Google Map :
Before we leave, we try this stall Thu Pho which is about 1 year old right infront of our Air BNB place. We wanted to eat a day before but they are close after 10.30am and on our last day, we woke up around 9am before bath.
This makes them one of the best Pho Noodle I come across in Da Nang. The smell of the broth soup is tempting and the colour of the soup is perfect. Sweet, fragrant and beef cook to perfect! We saw the guy opposite us eat dry noodle and order another one to try.
This is like Vietnamese Wan Tan Mee. turns out to be good too. If you are in this stall, do order the Pho and this dry noodle. Do communicate with the younger guy there as he knows English. One of the best street food in Da Nang.
Operating Hours; 6am – 9.30am