Da Nang and Hoi An are both famous tourist destinations in central Vietnam that are highly favored by domestic and international travelers alike. While Da Nang impresses visitors with its vibrant atmosphere, bustling entertainment areas, and modernity, Hoi An, on the other hand, leaves a lasting impression on people with its tranquil beauty, rich heritage, and nostalgic charm.
Da Nang vs Hoi An: Which Destination Should You Choose for Your Next Adventure?
Traveling in Da Nang
There are countless exciting activities, shopping opportunities, and entertainment options waiting for you to explore in Da Nang. Let’s list some of the top things to do so that you can fully enjoy your experience!
Soaking up the sun at My Khe Beach
If you have no plans for your daytime in Da Nang, don’t miss the chance to experience the pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters of My Khe Beach. It is the perfect time for a refreshing swim, from 6am to 8am or from 5pm to 6pm when the sun isn’t too harsh on your skin. Take advantage of this opportunity to relax and rejuvenate on one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
There are numerous beach areas labeled sequentially as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, each with convenient services such as parking, freshwater showers, refreshments, and nearby rescue facilities. Besides swimming, you can also engage in exciting water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, and scuba diving to get the most out of your beach day in Da Nang.
Admiring the Dragon Bridge’s fire and water show
The Dragon Bridge is not only an iconic symbol of Da Nang, but also a must-visit attraction for all travelers. Besides taking pictures and capturing the beauty of this majestic bridge, you also have the chance to witness the Dragon Bridge’s spectacular fire and water show, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm. This breathtaking performance is not only popular among tourists, but also highly anticipated and loved by the locals.
However, it is important to note that when admiring the Dragon Bridge, it is advisable to stand beneath the bridge and avoid standing on the bridge itself as it can become quite hot during the fire and water show. Additionally, being under the bridge ensures that visitors do not get wet during the water display.
Visit the Linh Ung Pagoda
If you’re a fan of tranquil spaces and the spiritual beauty of architecture, then you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the famous Linh Ung Pagoda. Its iconic statue of the Quan The Am, the tallest statue in Vietnam at 67 meters, sits against the mountain and faces the sea, creating a stunning sight to behold.
Besides admiring the beauty of the temple, visitors to this place can also enjoy the panoramic views of Son Tra’s forests and the sea. It’s a perfect spot for those who love both spiritual and natural beauty.
However, the road up to the pagoda is steep and winding, so you should be sure to drive slowly and carefully for your own safety.
Shopping and having fun at Da Nang’s night markets
At night, the bustling night market area is a must-visit destination for tourists looking to shop and soak up the lively atmosphere. Visitors come here to purchase local specialties as souvenirs for their loved ones, including dried squid, salted fish, and grilled coconut cakes. The prices are affordable, and the market areas are conveniently located near the city center, making it easy to explore and find what you’re looking for.
In addition to the famous night market on Le Duan street, visitors can also explore and shop at other night market areas such as Helio night market, Son Tra night market, Hoa Khanh night market, and etc.
Traveling in Hoi An:
Despite not having as many amusement parks as in Danang, Hoi An still offers plenty of exciting activities to experience at least once while visiting.
Biking around the ancient houses of Hoi An
Hoi An’s distinctive feature is its centuries-ancient houses that are classified as cultural heritage sites. Despite the passage of time, wars, and natural disasters, Hoi An still retains its ancient houses with distinctive architecture. The first ancient house to mention is Tan Ky House – the first ancient house recognized as a national monument. Following that are other ancient houses such as Phung Hung, Quan Thang, etc.
When night falls, lanterns will be lit up to illuminate the entire ancient town, creating a warm and peaceful atmosphere. Take a stroll to admire this nostalgic beauty with your friends or family, or you can also rent a bicycle or a nearby cyclo to experience it yourself without taking too much time.
Take a boat ride on the Hoai River and release lanterns
One of the most interesting experiences that you should not miss is taking a boat ride on the Hoai River and releasing floating lanterns. Visitors can float on the water, breathe in the fresh, cool air, and let themselves drift along the river with countless shimmering lanterns. It’s a truly magical and peaceful moment that will stay with you long after your trip.
Releasing floating lanterns not only brings joy, but also carries a symbolic meaning of a dream or a wish that can be set free and carried away by the river, bringing good luck and prosperity to oneself and loved ones. It’s a beautiful and meaningful experience that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Hoi An.
On the boat ride, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on both sides of the river, listen to the sound of the paddles as they slice through the water, and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the river. The prices for a boat ride on the Hoai River are very affordable, ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 VND per person. Don’t miss out on this unique experience during your visit to Hoi An!
Participating in traditional activities
Hoi An regularly hosts traditional folk games, with the most famous being “bai choi.” The “bai choi” area is located in a separate corner with many different “choi” booths, and the performances take place at 7pm every day. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience this unique and exciting cultural activity with your friends and family!
This is not only a spiritual value of the locals but also a unique art form from ancient times passed down to the present day. Through that, you can explore the distinctive culture of Hoi An people in particular and Central Vietnamese people in general.
Participating in these traditional games only requires purchasing a deck of cards for 20,000 VND and following the instructions. You can also find blindfolded pottery smashing and barrel smashing games in the night market area or on Nguyen Thai Hoc street near the Japanese Covered Bridge. These activities are a fun and unique way to experience the local culture and create unforgettable memories on your trip to Hoi An.
Savoring local delicacies in Hoi An’s culinary scene.
Hoi An not only impresses tourists with its nostalgic and charming scenery but also leaves an impression on their tourists with its incredibly delicious and irresistible local cuisine, including Cao Lau, Mi Quang, Com Ga, Che Xoa Xoa, Dau Hu, and etc.
The food scene in Hoi An’s ancient town is always bustling and lively, with each corner of the street offering food stalls that may not be decorated or fancy but still manage to attract many visitors. The prices are extremely affordable, ranging from 10k to 30k, allowing you to indulge in a variety of delicious dishes without breaking the bank.
Whether you choose to visit Danang or Hoi An, both destinations are must-visit places. If you have enough time, make sure to plan a trip to both cities to experience and create unforgettable memories.
We hope that the information provided by Richta Travel has helped you to find the answer to the question of whether to travel to Da Nang or Hoi An, and plan your upcoming trip accordingly.