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DA NANG CITY

danang
Though it does not boast French colonial building like Hanoi or pride in the busy nightlife like Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang has its own charm. The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is in close proximity to Hue- 2 hours North and Hoi An 1 hour South, which makes it a perfect middle point for those who need a break from touristy areas. Da Nang is growing into one of the most organized urban area, with attractive beach front villas on the one side and Han River flowing on the other.
 
Of the few attractions that belong to the city, Museum of Cham Sculpture stands out with its rich collection of Cham artefacts. For those who crave for more outdoors activities, My Khe beach is a good place to spend time, either by yourself or with your loved ones. To the North and South ends of the city, Monkey and Marble mountains store some historical and religious symbols. If you want to escape the heat, Ba Na resort is a miniature of Da Lat, only with fewer tourists. Bring some warm clothes if you plan to visit this cottage-full place.
 
Da Nang is also a place for authentic local cuisines. Due to its low volume of visitors, residents’ lives take place the way they have been for years. Many street vendors can be found in the market and along Han River, offering My Quang (Quang noodle). If you need romance to set the feeling, booking for a dinner cruise along Han River. Whichever your choice, Danang is a place both so mediocre but special if you want to dig deeper than the surface.
GEOGRAPHY
Da Nang City is located in middle of Central Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, separated from Laos by the western Truong Son Mountains. It is surrounded by Thua Thien-Hue along the northern border and Quang Nam on the southern border. It is embraced by the East Sea with 150km of seacoast.
 
Topography is rather complex. The south is impressive Hai Van Pass with Mang Mountain 1,708m, Ba Na Mountain 1,487m. The east is Son Tra Peninsula, an ideal site of yellow sand beaches, historical remains, and rare bird and animal species. The south is Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains). The seashore is Hoang Sa archipelago with a large fishery.
CLIMATE
Da Nang is located in the zone of typical tropical monsoon, temperate and equable climate. The city's weather bears the combination of the north and the south climate characters with the inclination to the former. There are two seasons: the wet from August to December and the dry season from January to July, cold waves are occasional but they are of average and short lasting. Average humidity is 83.4%.
 
Average temperature is about 260C, the highest is 28-300C in June, July, August, the lowest is 18-230C in December, January, February. In Ba Na Mountain, the temperature is 200C. Average rainfall is 2,505mm per year that concentrates during October and November.
HOW TO GET THERE ?
At the middle point of Vietnam, Da Nang is well served by various means of transportation.
 
By Air
Daily flights come in and out of Da Nang International Airport and connect the city with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Da Lat. One way flight costs between $60 and $90 depending on the destinations and how well in advance you book your ticket. Check out Vietnam airlines.
 
By Bus
There are frequent bus every half hour or so between Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An. You can either head to the bus terminal to purchase your local bus ticket, or contact one of the travel agencies in Bach Dang Street. Check out bus guide.
 
By Train
Da Nang is an important stop for both North-bound and South-bound train. The train trip is lengthy to both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, but many train cars are equipped with soft sleeper and air-conditioner. The ride across Hai Van Pass is an extremely photogenic one so make sure you are close to the window.
WHAT TO SEE ?
Bac My An Beach
Bac My An Beach is some seven kilometers southeast of Da Nang, or a 15-minute drive south of the Da Nang airport, in Bac My An Ward in Ngu Hanh Son District. The natural beach remained virtually untouched until after 1975 when local authorities decided to erect a resort for civil officials of the then Quang Nam-Da Nang Province. In recent years, many resorts have gone up in the region. They include T18, My Da Dong 2, My Da Dong 3, Bac My An and Furama. The five-star Furama of Furama Hotels and Resorts International and Da Nang-based Danatours has almost 200 rooms and suites, which all have balconies or open onto terraces overlooking the ocean, the tropical garden or the swimming pool. The resort’s architecture mixes French colonial and Vietnamese traditional styles. To keep guests busy, the resort has a gym, steam baths, saunas, a massage and beauty salon and offers sailing, wind surfing, boating, boogie boarding, water-skiing, parasailing, fishing, diving and beach volleyball.
 
Beaches on Son Tra
The Son Tra Peninsula has lots of charming strips, such as Bai Bac, Bai Nam and Bai But beaches. Tourists can go swimming, fishing or sightseeing by boat or dive to explore the impressive coral reefs. Alternatively, going up the mountain on the peninsula, tourists can discover the forest with all its plants and animals in the Son Tra National Conservation Park. Among the animals are red cheek gibbons and turtles listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of endangered species.
 
Cham Museum 
Built in 1915, the Museum of Champa Sculpture in Da Nang displays an intensive and diverse collection of Champa sculpture dating from the 7th to the 15th centuries. The museum was established at the end of the 19th century by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient with a collection of artifacts gathered in central Vietnam, from Quang Binh to Binh Dinh. They were then displayed at Le Jardin de Tourane on a small hill by the Han River. This is the site of the present museum. The building was designed by two French architects, Delaval and Auclair, in imitation of the most commonly used aspects of Champa towers and temples. In 1935 the museum was expanded to display the artifacts excavated at Tra Kieu. The museum currently has on display about 300 sandstone and terra-cotta sculptures. Most of the artifacts are masterpieces of Champa art and some are considered to be equal to works anywhere in the world. The arts of the Champa were chiefly sculpture, but the sculptures are only part of the religious architecture. The temples and towers themselves are considered to be sculptural artifacts. They are decorated on the exterior of their brick walls with bas-relief columns, flowers and leaves and worshipping figures between brick pillars. The tympana, lintels and the ornamental corner pieces are of sandstones carved with the figures of gods, the holy animals of the Hindus and flowers and leaves. The artifacts displayed at the museum are altars, statues and decorative works collected from Hindu and Buddhist temples and towers. Champa sculpture displays various styles. Sometimes they were influenced by other cultures but no matter at what period or in what style the Champa artifacts were made they always displayed original characteristics. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to appreciate the eight centuries of evolution of Champa sculpture from its golden age to its decline. In their own way, the artifacts exemplify the rise and fall of the Champa civilization. When we stand before these artistic masterpieces we can comprehend the noblest ideal of art, the creation of the infinite from the finite. Two periods of Champa arts are represented by the sculptures at the museum, before and after the year 1000. The first period, from the latter half of the 7th century to the end of the 9th century, witnessed the brilliant development of Champa art, which reflected the most prosperous era of the Champa kingdom. Champa art during this period clearly exposed the Champa's aesthetic personality in a lively, fresh and liberal style. Among the masterpieces of this period on display at the museum is the Tra Kieu Altar. The altar was used for the worship of Siva, the creator and destroyer of the universe, and the symbols of her creative ability, the Ling and Yoni, are present on it. The four scenes carved around the base of the altar tell the story of Prince Rama. He came to the citadel of Videha to try to break the sacred bow of Rudra so that he could marry princess Sita. Price Rama broke the bow, a task that had been tried by many before him, and he and the princess were wed. The artifacts in the Dong Duong room (style of the 9th-10th centuries) create a deep impression with their vigorous, lively and exaggerated style and represent the climax of the development of Champa art. These statues of the first Champa kings, with the characteristic big eyes and noses and thick lips of the native people, show their vitality and imposing appearance. These carvings show the absolute belief that a supernatural force was supporting the rule of the Champa kings during the period when Buddhism was the dominant force. The second period lasted from the 11th to the 15th centuries. The devastating wars from the end of the 10th century onwards took the Champa kingdom into decline, and the relocation of the capital from Tra Kieu (Quang Nam) to Tra Ban (Binh Ding) in about the year 1,000 brought about a new direction in their art. The experiences of the Champa had a direct influence on the development of Champa art. The second period of Champa sculpture had a different beauty. The decorative motifs on the animals statues became more ornate whereas those depicting humans became arid and dull, gradually losing the passionate and expressive characteristics of the early period. The artifacts discovered at Thap Mam (style of the 12th-14th centuries) are monumental sculptures of large animals such as elephants, makara (sea monsters) and garudas (the birds of the gods) which served as protectors of the temples and towers. The Thap Mam style with its enormous artifacts represents the last efforts of a civilization on the decline. However, the exquisite talents of the sculptors can still be recognized on several statues. On the polished figures with their austere appearance are unearthly, calm smiles. After the Thap Mam period Champa art declined. The Siva statue displayed in the Kontum room has an exhausted appearance. This was one of the last artifacts of the Champa sculptors. By the end of the 17th century the Champa aristocracy distegrated. The eight centuries of art at the Champa museum is a thick history book reflecting the ups and downs of Champa art. From inanimate stones came living art, and from these wonderful invaluable artifacts we can get the feeling that the warmth from the Champa artists 'hand is still there, on the fine skin of the stone-timeless.
 
Champa Kingdom 
The Da Nang area was the center of the Cham Civilization for many centuries. The most ancient capital, Singhapura (Lion Citadel) at Tra Kieu, 40 km southwest of Da Nang city was built during the course of the 4th century. The ancient site of Singhapura with its dozens of monuments, hundreds of statues and bas-reliefs, attests to the rich culture of the kingdom which once flourished here. The sacred Buddhist-inspired site of Indrapura, now known as Dong Duong lies 60 km from Da Nang. The Site's scattered monuments are engraved with texts about a line of nine kings and their deeds. Many artifacts have been discovered at this site.
 
Dien Hai Citadel
The Dien Hai Citadel was formerly known as Dien Hai Fortress built in 1813 in the 12th year of Gia Long's reign by Da Nang's river. It was renamed in 1835, the 15th year of Minh Mang's reign, after it was moved inland and rebuilt in brick on a high mound in 1832, the 4th year of Minh Mang's reign. In 1840 Deputy Minister of Labour Nguyen Cong Tru inspected the defenses of Da Nang and commanded a more powerful system for Dien Hai and An Hai citadel. In 1847 the 7th of Thieu Tri's reign the perimeter of Dien Hai was expanded to 556 m with a wall five m high surrounded by a ditch 3 m deep. The citadel was designed with two gates, the main one opening to the south and the other to the east. Inside, there were Hanh Cung (the royal step-over place), Ky Dai (high pole platform), a storehouse for food and ammunition and 30 large canon emplacement. The citadel was built in brick in the square Vauban style of architecture Dien Hai citadel, bearing the stamp of the tradition of the struggle of the people of Da Nang and the nation in the persistent war against the French colonialists to protect national independence and territory, made an important contribution to the defeat of French invaders in Da Nang in 1858-1860. Dien Hai citadel was classified as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Communications on 16 November 1998 and a stele was permitted to be erected on 25 August 1998.
 
Linh Ung Pagoda
Linh Ung Pagoda is located in Hoa Hai Commune, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City. The pagoda was built during the 18th century. It was later conferred the name Ngu Che Ung Chon Tu during Minh Mang’s reign. Linh Ung Pagoda is approximately 8 km from the center of Da Nang. Linh Ung Pagoda is 100 meters from Tam Thai Pagoda overlooking the South China Sea. Tang Chon Cave is also in the same area. The name was changed to Linh Ung Pagoda in the third year of Thanh Thai’s reign. The pagoda, considered part of the beautiful landscapes of Da Nang, was renovated many times. Precious documents about the history of the pagoda are safely kept in the pagoda.
 
My Khe Beach
The 900-meter-long My Khe Beach in Phuoc My Ward in Son Tra District is the most crowded beach in Da Nang, attracting both local residents and tourists. American soldiers occupied a part of the beach before 1975 and established some premises, such as hotels and clubs, there for them to relax. Located just two kilometers from the heart of the city, My Khe Beach has its own advantages. Comfortable hotels line the broad beach, and dozens of restaurants offer a wide selection of coastal specialties, such as shrimps, crabs, cuttlefish and abalone. Access to the beach has become easier since the suspension bridge across the Han River was completed some years.
 
Non Nuoc Beach
Sporting green water and white sand, Non Nuoc Beach stretches five kilometers along the shore of Hoa Hai Ward at the foot of Ngu Hanh Son (five marble mountains). A venture between HCMC-based Ben Thanh Tourist Co. and Da Nang’s Non Nuoc Tourism Co. manages the beach, more than six kilometers from downtown Da Nang. The venture owns three beach-front hotels with more than 100 rooms, swimming pools and tennis courts and provides many water sport services. Visitors to Non Nuoc Beach can make excursions to the Marble Mountains, which boast some ancient pagodas and beautiful caves, and the stone-carving villages right at the foot of the mountain range. Or they can travel by boat on the Co Co River to enjoy the region’s peacefulness.
 
Thanh Binh Beach 
Located at the end of Ong Ich Khiem Street in Thanh Binh Ward in Hai Chau District, Thanh Binh Beach is another one of the city’s pretty and convenient getaways. Services, such as water-skiing, boat rides and canoeing, have increasingly sprung up. Many hotels and hostels are under construction to meet the rising demand.
 
Tuy Loan Communal House
This communal house was built in the late 18th century and rebuilt in 1888. Like Nai Nam and Bo Ban, Tuy Loan communal house is used to worship the village tutelary god and bygone and recent time sages. In the old days the people held a ceremony at the house to welcome spring on the 14th and 15th of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. At present Tuy Loan communal house is unique in that it's preserves 15 honours dating from Minh Mang's and Bao Dai's reign. The house covers an area of 110 sq.m with brick walls and a pantile roof. It is decorated with two dragons flanking a moon and flying dragons encrusted with shards of pottery. The interior has three sections and there are two leantos, the rear one of which is 2.4 m wide and 2.7 m long. It has four rows of Jack tree wood pillars, each of which has six pillars from 2.5 to 4.5 m high. The pillars against the walls are decorated with pumpkin shapes. At the two sides, the roof beams and decorated with a dragon's head and the tie beams of the gable are carved with a dragon's head and designs of floating clouds, daisies and peonies reflecting their artistic value. In the resistance war against the French, Tuy Loan communal house was the place where the local people and those in the neighboring villages of Bo Ban and Cam Toai held a demonstration and usurped the power of the district chief of Hoa Vang in August 1945. In the anti-American war (1954-1975) the puppet government of Ngo Dinh Diem made this house a place for betraying and executing communist. Accordingly it was the place where the local people rose to oppose the Americans and the Diem's government. On 4 January 1999 the communal house was recognized as a historical and cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
SHOPPING
Shopping in Da Nang will be an interesting affair for a shopaholic as you will have a number of shops which sell the hand-made local products and handicrafts produced locally. If you are keen on doing shopping in Da Nang you can start your journey from Da Nang Supermarket. Da Nang shopping will be fun as and you will find a number of jewellery shops and shops meant for cosmetics in the first floor. The second floor has a number of shops which sell food items and shops that sell international brands. After completing the tours in Da Nang you can come for shopping in this supermarket as this supermarket has an exclusive area outside for drinks and food.
 
Da Nang tours will be incomplete without a visit to the clothes shops which are scattered all over the area. Some of the important shops located will provide you with readymade clothes within days. Take out some time from your busy schedule for shopping in Da Nang and you can shop to your heart's content in Thanh Nha, Hoai Nhan, Hanh Silk Shop, Dong Phuong Cloth Shop and Vietsilk. The silk clothes are simply the best in Da Nang and they are famous all over the world. You can very well be prepared to some bargain and you can get some of the great deals on the beautiful dyed and silk clothes.
 
Shopping in Da Nang will be fun if you go through the shops like Sai Gon Jewelery Company (SJC), Phia Van Goldsmith's Shop, Cat Loi Goldsmith's Shop and Thanh Toan Goldsmith's Shop. Check out the local handmade products like the wood carvings and the small figurines made of gold and silver and small colorful pots in Gia Thinh High-Grade Pottery, Non Nuoc Fine Handicrafts Stone Co. Ltd, Nam Hai and the Muoi Thuong Fine Arts Products. The stone items and objects are found in Non Nuoc. If you are a shopaholic then you will find the Beach Mai Art Gallery, Ganesha Gallery to your liking as you will have a number of wall hangings and decorative pieces. Most of these paintings have religious connotations and are painted by the local artists. The Bach Mai Art Gallery is famous for the modern paintings by the artists.
 

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