Green Vietnam! Da Nang and the surroundings + Cat Ba island and Ha Long Bay!
Hello travelers to my next adventure!
The combined length of the country’s land boundaries is 4,639 km (2,883 mi), and its coastline is 3,444 km (2,140 mi) long. I was in the south where it was humid and hot, in the north where it was below 10 degrees and in the center – Da Nang, where it was average 17-22 degrees, windy and cloudy as you can see on the photo above. So, as I was in the end of November there, I was lucky to experience everything!
So, lets begin with the adventures!
It’s all started on the plane! A local guy started to give me tips about Vietnam and told me about a restaurant where they serve dog meat! Wow 😀 I’ve heard stories about it, but still haven’t imagine it 🙁 Anyway rather than that, he gave me useful tips 🙂
Here I landed in the middle of Vietnam in Da Nang! A great and not so touristic city in their winter!
This was the chosen city where I decided to pause my travel for 2 weeks. Sometimes you need break from your break :)) It was very good choice. Here it is very wide 60km beach. Very near is a mountain(Monkey mountain), where you can get by a motorbike for around 30 min.
Not so crazy traffic like Hanoi and Ho Chi Min! It’s a great start to get used to the crazy motorbike traffic in Vietnam.
What to see in and around Da Nang?
In Da Nang
1.Rent a motorbike-the favoritevehicle of the locals. Then try to cross every bridge there. They have a few and every is worth crossing it. The most famous is The Dragon Bridge! Once per week, there is a dragon breath fire show, which is worth to attend 🙂
2. Go to a Couchsurfing meeting where you would meet locals. It’s fun and you could find other travelers to travel together around or locals
3.Asia Fun Park – It waas craaazy there! If you like fun parks, that’s the place for you! You won’t regret it!Tip: Don’t eat before that 😀
Well the best part is outside of the city of course!
What to see around DA Nang?
1.The Monkey Mountain
We went together with a nice American-Vietnamese couple, which I met at the Couchsurfing meeting.
It was a nice journey full of stunning views. We went to one saint old tree. For the first time I saw tree branches to the ground like small trees connected to a big tree. We weren’t allowed to go, we had to wait a little, because it was some whispering of the locals there.
That’s a very small from a very very huge Saint Tree!
I was in the rainy season, but anyway was a nice view from there 🙂
On the way back we went to Phap Lam Pagoda. It’s nice Pagoda in Chinese style I could say. The pagoda is known for its relaxing and serene setting and you will find a central courtyard with a statue of the Buddha that is 1.1 meters high. Here are also additional statues of the Goddess of Mercury as well as Dai The Chi Bodhisattva.
After that nice trip. We went to eat Vegan Steaks! The couple showed me a vegan restaurant and I ate vegan pork ribs :))) It was surprisingly amazing and very very cheap! I recommend you try it out 🙂 Bellow is the menu!
These mountains are more like hills, but still very beautiful. There is an elevator, but if you are in good shape it’s not worth using it. There are caves, shrines and viewpoints. They are located close from Da Nang and Hoi An. I might say ~30min by bike from both cities. It’s easier to show you rather explain, so check the pictures bellow 🙂
Well, after the Marble mountain it’s time to go to Hoi An! One very special and nice small city! Nice river, architecture,food and very good market. That’s the place for your souvenirs and shopping therapy! Also I recommend you to get your own customized sewed clothes. It’s cheap and good 🙂 Stay there for the evening, to enjoy the very very nice lights around the city.
love vietnamese cuisine!
I might look strange, but that were the best spring rolls i’ve ever tried
Da Nang, Monkey Mountains, Marble Mountains and Hoi An were very very best choices for first Vietnamese expression!
Now it’s time to move on the first Vietnamese island on my list – Cat Ba!!!
To get there from Da Nang is easy! Get a flight to Hai Phong. Of course there is a cheap connection :)) From there you get a ferry to the island and that’s it!
I was there for 3 days. Rented a motorbike and explored mostly the whole island.
Must see there:
Cat Ba National Park
There are fees to get there: a parking fee of 5,000 VND and an entrance fee of 40,000 VND (2usd)per person. The park opens at 8am and closes at 5pm. It is an hour and a half one way hiking to the highest peak (depends on your sport condition). Totally worth it.
The next is Trung Trang Cave A nice cave that’s worth the visit if you’re in the area (it’s on the way to the peak above:) ). It doesn’t take long to walk through and it has nice formations.
And lat but not least for the day and for the island exploration is this spontaneous walk to the west part of the city where I could take the amazing sunset :))
Now, It’s time to go to Ha long Bay, which was one of the main reasons to get to this amazing island!
Ha Long Bay includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, which are parto of UNESCO. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site’s outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest.
Although it was very nice and spectacular islands, after a month in Thailand, it wasn’t that extraordinary for me. (check out articles about Thailand here)
Thank you for being part of Viatnamese adventure part 1, stay tuned for the next one, where I will be going in the very north part of Vietnam!
That’s the customized t-shirt in Hoi An! They did a good job 🙂
Credits to Zgierka for photos