Tour Da Nang Attractions: Marble Mountains, Son Tra Peninsula and City Sights by JetSettingFools.com

Tour Da Nang Attractions: Marble Mountains, Son Tra Peninsula and City Sights

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Da Nang is vastly different than most cities in Vietnam – and the most modern city on the Central Coast. The historic center sits along the Han River – and boasts just a handful of sights. To the east of the city is a long stretch of beautiful Vietnam beaches. The coastline of high-rise hotels is capped by the Son Tra Peninsula to the north and the dramatic Da Nang Marble Mountains to the south. Visitors can easily tour Da Nang sights in one day – but only with a good plan!

 

Tour Da Nang Attractions: What To See in Da Nang, Vietnam

Top attractions in Da Nang, Vietnam include natural scenery, modern marvels and city sights. The Marble Mountains are a Da Nang must-see attraction – but traveling to Son Tra Peninsula and exploring the historic part of the city should not be missed!

Therefore, visitors (especially those short on time) need to have a Da Nang sightseeing strategy.

However, before we jump into the details of how to tour Da Nang, let’s talk about what to see in Da Nang so that you can best plan your city sightseeing. Below, you will find a DaNang Map that pinpoints Da Nang top attractions.

This sightseeing Da Nang travel blog includes everything you need to know to plan your trip! Save, Pin or Bookmark it so that you can easily access it while planning your Da Nang travel!

 

MARBLE MOUNTAINS VIETNAM

The five limestone and marble hills that stand close together between Da Nang and Hoi An are collectively known as the DaNang Marble Mountains. Steeped in spirituality, the five mountains are named for the five elements of life (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood and Metal) and feature numerous Buddhist temples and caves.

Thuy – Water Mountain – is the most popular mountain for tourists and requires a small entry fee. Riddled with fascinating caves, ancient temples and exemplary viewpoints, visitors need at least a few hours to explore Thuy Mountain.

 

Marble Mountain Caves, Temples and Viewpoints

From the main entrance (by the elevator) there is an easy-to-follow route that leads to the sights on Marble Mountains Da Nang. Highlights for us include the Non Nuoc Linh Ung Pagoda, the Dinh Thuong Thai Peak viewpoint and the Huyen Khong Cave. Note: The Am Phu Cave – Hell Cave – is accessed from outside the park and requires an additional fee.

 

Huyen Khong Cave Da Nang

Visitors are allowed to freely explore the Marble Mountain Da Nang caves – so be adventurous! We discovered hidden nooks decorated with giant Buddha statues and a tunnel at the back of one cave that led to an amazing viewpoint. However, of all the Marble Mountain Da Nang caves, we think Huyen Khong Cave is a must-see! Natural light filters through the cavernous space and features stone temples and carved shrines.

 

Marble Mountain Da Nang Entrance Fee and Hours

The entry ticket costs 40k VND (about $1.75 USD). For an additional 15k (about 75 cents USD), visitors can take the elevator rather than hike up the mountainside – and we highly recommend it; you will want to save your energy for exploration! Marble Mountain Hours: The mountain is open daily from 7:00am until 5:30pm.

 

Marble Mountain Map

The ticket office sells a Marble Mountains Vietnam Map for a small fee – but we don’t think it is worth buying. The small paper map is similar to the large maps on display at the entrance – and comes with a set of low-quality postcards. While it is not likely visitors will get lost, it is nice to have an image of the park layout as a reference point. However, rather than buying the map, we recommend simply snapping a photo of the map on display with your phone camera.

 

What You Will Need to Visit Marble Mountain Vietnam

Getting around Marble Mountains DaNang requires climbing hundreds of stairs, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes! I managed to explore the mountain in flip flops, but it certainly would have been easier in proper walking shoes. Bring a large bottle of water; there are vendors inside the mountain park who sell cold drinks and snacks, but it’s cheaper to bring your own.

 

Vietnam Marble Shops

Visitors looking for a unique souvenir should leave time in their sightseeing schedule to visit the marble shops in the Non Nuoc Village. For hundreds of years, Non Nuoc Village has produced excellent stone carvings. Long ago, the residents excavated marble from the Marble Mountains for their stone carving craft and the skills have been passed down from one generation to the next.  

 

How To Go To Marble Mountain

A vehicle is required to get from Da Nang to Marble Mountain. We talk about the different options for touring Da Nang at the end of the post, but visitors who only want to take a Da Nang Marble Mountain Tour – separate from general Da Nang city sightseeing – can book a guided Marble Mountain tour – like this one!


 

SON TRA PENINSULA

Protruding into the East Vietnam Sea, the Son Tra Peninsula features a lush mountain and pristine beaches. Dotted with small villages and luxury resorts, one of the top sights is the famous Linh Ung Pagoda and Lady Buddha Statue that overlooks the city of Da Nang.

 

Bai But Linh Ung Pagoda and Lady Buddha Da Nang

Located on the mountainside, Bai But Linh Ung Pagoda is a sprawling Buddhist temple complex. The contemporary facility was just completed in 2010 and features numerous temples, statues and gardens. At the center of Bai But Pagoda is the towering Lady Buddha statue. The statue stands 67-meters-tall (220 feet) and it is claimed to be the tallest Buddha statue in all of Vietnam. Visitors are free to wander the grounds, but should be dressed appropriately (with knees and shoulders covered).

 

Monkey Mountain Da Nang: Son Tra Mountain

Standing at 693 meters, Son Tra Monkey Mountain is an ideal nature retreat. Once a strategic US Air Force and Marines base, the Son Tra Monkey Mountain has been reclaimed by the jungle – and monkeys really do roam free. The switchback roads crawling beyond the Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda to the mountain top are best navigated using a scooter.

Along the route, there are several viewpoints overlooking the land and sea; to the north, visitors have a clear view across Da Nang Bay and to the south are Da Nang city views that extend to the Marble Mountains and beyond.

Pro Tip: Many of the organized DaNang tours only visit the Linh Ung Pagoda, but do not venture further up Monkey Mountain (mostly because the road is only suitable to scooters, not cars). Visitors who want to fully explore Monkey Mountain should join a DaNang local tour on motorbike – like this highly rated tour.


 

DA NANG CITY SIGHTS: CITY TOUR DA NANG

Top places to see in Da Nang are not limited to the city’s natural gems – there are historic sights and modern marvels in the city center worth seeing, too!

 

Dragon Bridge

The masterpiece Dragon Bridge that crosses the River Han is one of the Da Nang highlights. Opened in 2013, the bridge arches are designed to look like a dragon’s back – and the east-facing dragon head spouts water and breathes fire (but the spectacle only occurs on weekend nights).

More Da Nang Bridges

There are several bridges that cross the Han River in Da Nang. While the fanciful Dragon Bridge is, by far, the most popular, we think it is worth checking out other bridges in Da Nang, too.

Suspended across the mouth of the Han River, Thuan Phuoc Bridge ranks as the longest cable-stayed bridge in Vietnam at 1,850 meters long. The Han River Bridge, which was the country’s first swing bridge, was built in the late 1990s; it swings open daily (at 11:00pm) to allow large ships to pass through. The cables on Tran Thi Ly Bridge resemble a sail and the bridge features an artistic light display at night.  

Pro Tip: On the east bank of the Han River between the Han Bridge and the Dragon Bridge is a spouting Carp-Dragon Statue, which looks very similar to the Merlion Statue in Singapore. From the base of the statue, there is a short Love Locks pier over the water that offers nice views of the river and city.

 

Da Nang Cathedral

Built by the French in 1923, the pink Sacred Heart Cathedral in Da Nang is an eye-catching structure in the middle of the city. The decorative facade features a single bell tower, which is topped with a rooster weather vane (an embellishment that has resulted in the church’s local nickname: Rooster Church).

 

Con Market

The centrally located Con Market is a lively and densely packed market hall of more than 2,000 stalls. Vendors sit at low tables selling fresh produce and local eats, while clothing and other goods are sold in a maze of narrow lanes. Pro Tip: Tourists are welcome to shop and eat at Con Market, but window shoppers, photographers and anyone blocking a booth will be shooed away.

Other Markets in Da Nang

The Han Market is geared more toward tourists with several stalls selling souvenirs and packaged goods – but local fruits and apparel are also for sale. Bac My An Market is a street food market that is popular with both locals and tourists. Pro Tip: Don’t miss the Kem Bo Avocado Ice Cream at Bac My An Market, which we feature in our Da Nang Food Guide!

 

More Places to Visit in Da Nang, Vietnam

We did not visit the following Da Nang city attractions, but they come highly recommended by fellow travelers.

Asia Park: Sun World DaNang Wonders

The Sun World Da Nang theme park features roller coasters and other amusement rides, as well as cultural attractions, restaurants and a Ferris wheel. In fact, the Ferris wheel at the Sun World amusement park can be seen from afar – it’s 115 meters high and ranks as one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world.

Pro Tip: The Da Nang Wonders Amusement Park is managed by the same company as the nearby Ba Na Hills theme park, which you can read about in our Ba Na Hills Vietnam blog post!

 

Cham Museum

Although not a large museum, the Cham Museum displays the largest collection of Cham artifacts in the world. The Museum of Cham Sculpture was founded in 1915 and features works that date to the 5th century.

Other Museums in Da Nang

Military buffs may want to check out the Zone 5 Military Museum, which details past wars and has a collection of military equipment on display. Visitors looking for something a little lighter should head to the 3D Museum. The Art in Paradise 3D Museum has numerous interactive murals that are fun for photo ops.

 

Pro Tip: Looking for more tips on what to do in Da Nang or a sample itinerary to help plan your time? Use our complete guide of Things To Do in Da Nang, Vietnam!

 


Da Nang Attractions Map

Use this link to Google Maps for an online version of our DaNang Map.


 

HOW TO TOUR DA NANG

The places to visit in Da Nang, Vietnam are spread far apart. It is 16km (10 miles) from the Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula to Marble Mountain Da Nang. And, although the city center is just 3.5km (about 2 miles) from the beaches in Da Nang, the heat and traffic can make it feel like they are much further apart.

Visitors who want to tour all of the city sights in one day have numerous options – from planning to see the sights DIY style to booking a Da Nang private tour guide.

 

Organized with a Da Nang Tour Guide

The easiest, hassle-free way of exploring Da Nang tourist attractions is with a tour guide. There are a multitude of Da Nang day tours on offer, but finding one that covers all of the city highlights can be slightly challenging. Many tours focus on a specific sight – like the Da Nang Marble Mountain Tour – but don’t visit other top attractions. Visitors planning a longer Da Nang vacation can utilize these tours and break up sightseeing over several days. However, those limited to one day in Da Nang will want to find a Da Nang day tour that showcases all of the city sights.

 

Half-Day DaNang Tour Package

This tour manages to squeeze in all of the top sights – and includes lunch – in a fairly short amount of time. Participants are picked up from their hotel at 8:30am and travel first to Son Tra Peninsula and the Lady Buddha Statue. Next, the guide leads groups through Marble Mountain sights and then takes a break for lunch. Afterwards, the group heads to the Cham Sculpture Museum and then makes a final stop at the must-see Han Market. Book it now!

 

Full-Day Private Da Nang Tour

A private tour – like this one – is the perfect solution for visitors who would rather not travel with a group. In addition to having a local tour guide who can share Da Nang history and information, the price of the tour includes admission fees to sights. Get the details!

 

Self-Guided Da Nang Day Tour

Visitors who want to see Da Nang sights at their own pace without a guide can do so by arranging their own transportation. Self-Guided DaNang sightseeing allows for the greatest freedom, but it does require a little bit of work to plan the day.

Tourists who are comfortable riding motorbikes can rent scooters, which provides the most flexibility. Motorbike rentals are fairly inexpensive; however, we do not recommend novice motorbike drivers try to learn how to operate a scooter in Vietnam.

Visitors who are not familiar with driving scooters can simply get around by using Grab Taxis. The Grab Taxis are significantly cheaper than hopping in a regular cab (just download and set up the Grab App prior to your trip!), but to request a Grab Taxi, visitors will need an internet connection (we have the GlocalMe Mobile HotSpot, which is fabulous!).

Local buses can be used to get around the city center and further south to the Marble Mountains; however, there are no public buses to Linh Ung Pagoda. Another way to get to top Da Nang attractions is the Hop On Hop Off Bus – which is what we used to explore the city sights.

 

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours in Da Nang

Hop On Hop Off DaNang sightseeing tours are ideal for visitors who want to see the top Da Nang sights…at their own pace.

The Da Nang Hop On Hop Off Bus has two intertwining routes – plus a third route that goes from Da Nang to Hoi An. Buses on the Da Nang city tour routes are frequent and they provide a printed timetable so that participants can easily plan their day. The Hop On Hop Off All-Day ticket price is just 170k (about $7.25 USD) – but visitors can also use the bus and pay 50k per ride.

Because the bus stops at all of the Da Nang tourist attractions – including Da Nang Marble Mountain, Linh Ung Pagoda and several sights in the city center – it is an ideal way to tour Da Nang.

 

Our Da Nang Tour by Hop On Hop Off Bus

With a little pre-planning the Hop On Hop Off Bus is a very affordable and efficient method of sightseeing Da Nang. We designed a Da Nang One Day Tour using the bus that included the best places to visit in Da Nang. 

We hopped on the first scheduled Yellow Line bus at the East Sea Park (which just happened to be close to our accommodations) and bought our All-Day tickets on board. Rather than sitting in the air-conditioned bus, we sat in the open-air upper deck for fine views of the East Sea as we headed south to Marble Mountains.

We spent about 2 hours trekking around Marble Mountains, then walked past the marble shops from the west entrance and picked up the next northbound Yellow Line bus. At the airport, we switched to the Purple Route. We crossed the Tran Tai Ly Sail Bridge, then followed the coastline to the north toward Son Tra Peninsula, passing the Tho Quang Fishing Village along the way.

At Linh Ung Pagoda, we spent about an hour seeing the Lady Buddha and temples, then took the Purple Line bus back toward the city center. We disembarked at the Carp-Dragon Statue and took in the views of Dragon Bridge across the water. Alternately, you can continue on the Purple Line across the Dragon Bridge to the Han Market and end your tour there.

 

Hop On Hop Off Bus Da Nang Review

In the end, we thought there were pros and cons to the Hop On Hop Off Bus. We loved the ability to sightsee at our own pace and the convenience of numerous stops. Making our plan – and adjusting it on the fly – was easy, too. The inexpensive All-Day ticket was a budget-friendly way to get to the sights.

The downside, however, was that we did need to keep to a schedule – as the buses only came around every 45 minutes. Furthermore, there is no audio commentary, so we probably would have benefited from the knowledge of a local guide who could have given us more background and information about the city and sights.

 

Want more Ideas For Things To Do Around Da Nang, Vietnam? Visit the Cham Islands, take a day trip to Hoi An or experience the ancient city of Hue!

 

We Want To Know: What would you add to our list of Da Nang Attractions? Did you tour Da Nang with a guide or on your own? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below! 

 

Start planning your trip to Vietnam! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

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