Đà Nẵng

Đà Nẵng, Street Food, and Orange Hotel

Our plan was to take the sleeper train from Hà Nội to Đà Nẵng, but the train was booked — we flew instead. Linley had a very sleepy Vietnamese neighbor on the plane who kept trying to use her as a pillow. We checked into Orange Hotel and then went out into the rain to find dinner. Some of the restaurants were closed, so we ate some delicious street food. Phở bò and fried phở rau were on the menu (noodle soup with beef, and fried noodles with vegetables). We lucked out with our choice in hotels because the staff were all extremely nice, the owners are Vietnamese but they have lived in California before and helped us interpret the local culture, and the hotel car gave us rides around the city.

2013-10-26 19.02.20
Sleepy Passenger Next to Lin, Wanted Her as a Pillow
2013-10-29 10.53.22
Friendly Staff and the Lobby of the Orange Hotel, 20$ to Stay Here -- Seriously??
2013-10-26 21.34.20
Our Food Being Cooked
2013-10-26 21.40.00
Nice Bowl of Phở Bò
2013-10-26 21.44.31
Plate of Fried Phở Rau
2013-10-26 21.33.38
Our Neighbor's Plate: Chicken Feet
2013-10-27 16.58.54
View of the Đà Nẵng City Skyline from Our Hotel
Cham Museum

Our first visit to a cultural attraction in Đà Nẵng was the Cham Museum. The Cham people once inhabited what is now Đà Nẵng and built many Hindu temples in the surrounding area. The Cham Museum showcases the largest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. After our visit to the museum, we walked into a nearby coffee shop. Some local university students were inside playing guitar and struck up a conversation. We had a quick jam session and shared stories. They were so nice to us, and even picked up our tab!

2013-10-27 11.15.09
Elephant Statue
2013-10-27 11.44.05
Life Imitates Art
2013-10-27 11.21.06
Statue of Ganesha
2013-10-27 11.20.36
Intricate Carvings
2013-10-27 12.34.10
Sharing Coffee with Our New Friends After the Museum
Marble Mountains

Next we visited the Marble Mountains (Vietnamese: Ngũ Hành Sơn, “five element mountains”), south of Đà Nẵng. The Marble Mountains are five large hills made of marble and limestone. On the way there, we saw the remnants of an American helicopter base from the war. Inside the mountains there are many caves and tunnels, pagodas and temples, and Buddhist and Hindu grottoes within some of the caves. During the Vietnam War, there was a Việt Cộng base and hospital hidden within the Marble Mountains. We saw very few tourists here, but the cave temples were amazing. It felt like a scene out of Indiana Jones walking into a small, unassuming cave entrance and stepping into an enormous cave filled with temples and carvings.

2013-10-27 13.34.12
Climbing Up the Mountain
2013-10-27 13.38.11
View from the Top
2013-10-27 13.39.30
Us at the Top of the Marble Mountain
2013-10-27 13.46.02
There Are Many Mosaics Mounted on the Marble Mountain Monastery
2013-10-27 13.47.40
Gate and Pagoda at the Mountaintop
2013-10-27 13.54.00
Many-Tiered Pagoda
2013-10-27 14.06.21
The Lovely Linley Heads Towards a Cave
2013-10-27 14.08.34
One of Many Caves in the Mountain
2013-10-27 14.27.07
Small Temple Building in a Cave
2013-10-27 14.30.57
Enormous Cave Statue
2013-10-27 14.53.43
Some Kids Pay Respects to a Cave Statue
2013-10-27 14.55.00
Panorama of the Huge Cave Room with Statues and a Temple Building
2013-10-27 14.55.55
The Temple Building in the Huge Cave
Mỹ Khê Beach (China Beach)

We visited some of Đà Nẵng’s beaches including Mỹ Khê (a.k.a China Beach) and Non Nước. In Vietnam, most people try to avoid a suntan, so we had most of the beach to ourselves. All down the beach, there are small stands selling beer, snacks, and chairs.

2013-10-28 10.55.10
Entrance to the Beach -- They Have Houses for the Pigeons
2013-10-28 11.41.28
Empty Beach
2013-10-28 12.23.56
Us at the Beach
2013-10-28 12.48.05
Vietnamese Fishing Boat
Sơn Trà Peninsula & Pháp Lâm Pagoda

The Sơn Trà peninsula overlooks the northern coast of Đà Nẵng. Sơn Trà was also known as Monkey Mountain to Americans during the Vietnam War. We visited the Pháp Lâm Pagoda, recently built to protect the city from storms. There is a very large Buddhist statue at the pagoda watching over the city. The brilliant-white statue is visible in the distance from all of Đà Nẵng’s many beaches. After our visit to Sơn Trà, the hotel manager brought us to one of his favorite street food vendors to get some specialty seafood soup.

2013-10-28 13.25.14
Statue at Sơn Trà
2013-10-28 13.22.15
View from Sơn Trà Peninsula
2013-10-28 14.04.51
Street Food Specialty, Seafood Soup
2013-10-28 16.51.06
Cà Phê Đen, Vietnamese-Style Iced Black Coffee
Dragon Bridge

Đà Nẵng has several bridges, one of which is shaped like a golden dragon. On weekends, the bridge lights up and the dragon shoots fire and water out of its mouth. We stood among a large crowd of locals to watch the show.

2013-10-27 12.05.36
Tail of the Dragon Bridge in Daylight
2013-10-27 20.10.03
The Dragon Bridge Lit Up
2013-10-27 21.04.37
The Dragon Breathing Fire
2013-10-27 21.07.40
The Dragon Spraying Water

Watch the Video of the Dragon Breathing Fire

Watch the Video of the Dragon Spraying Water

6 thoughts on “Đà Nẵng

  1. Annie

    This is totally fabulous and gorgeous-no wonder everyone raves about the beauty of Vietnam. What a beach too.

    And we all thought the Indiana Jones cave ideas were just “Hollywood” but they exist and YOU were there and then even found buddies to play guitars with!!!! Love all this 🙂

    Thank you for the very cool, speedy delivery, personal and hi-tech postcard/postagram. Want to try that. Keep blog coming. Stay safe-have more fun. Love Annie

  2. Mom

    Now that is a bridge. Crossing it, you must feel like you are going somewhere special. Love it! Stay safe.

  3. Barbara Gaither

    My father always told me that the most beautiful beaches he has ever been to were in Viet Nam (and he had been to a lot of places), but he also never really wanted to visit them again after serving in that war. I have enjoyed your travel blog more than you can imagine. You two are great writers, photographers and travel guides! I just love this adventure you are on! Take care and keep the post coming!
    Barbara Gaither (Anne Watt’s friend)

  4. Anne Watt Massey

    These pictures are awesome, though I must say, I could have done without the chicken feet…yuck! That Dragon Bridge rocks! I am so glad that you captured that on video.
    Love you much,
    Aunt Anne