With three days in the city, you can see all that Da Nang has to offer, cover Hoi An’s highlights, and still have time to explore farther out. Visit one of the world’s most impressive theme parks on a day trip to the Ba Na Hills, and delve deeper into Vietnam’s history during a visit to the imperial city of Hue, via the iconic Hai Van Pass. See below for the ultimate 3-day itinerary.
Day 1: Express Da Nang and Hoi An
Devote your first day to getting an overview of Da Nang and Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 45 minutes away. Day trips generally cover the Marble Mountains and the Buddhist shrines of Son Tra Mountain (Monkey Mountain) and give you free time to explore the Old Town in Hoi An, famous for its colonial buildings and lanterns. Other day-trip options include a ride on a traditional basket boat, an eco-friendly cooking class, and a bike ride through the organic vegetable farm Tra Que Village. In the evening, get the best views of Da Nang by night from the water during a dinner cruise on the River Han.
Day 2: Hue and the Hai Van Pass
Devote your second day to delving deeper into the rich history of Vietnam. Hue—the historic capital of Vietnam—is only two hours from Da Nang, making it a popular day-trip option. Most Hue tours cover such attractions as the Citadel (Dai Noi) UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Forbidden Purple City, and the Tomb of Tu Duc, in addition to a cruise on the Perfume River (Song Huong). Some excursions make stops along the Hai Van Pass, hailed as one of the most scenic roads in Asia, and Lang Co Beach, famous for its white sands and turquoise waters. Motorcycle tours—which give you the choice of driving your own bike or riding on the back of a guide’s—allow you to fully appreciate the Hai Van Pass without worrying about navigating unfamiliar roads.
Day 3: Head for the Hills
Spend your final day marveling at the Ba Na Hills, a hill station and resort modeled on a quaint French village. The theme park was catapulted to fame after the completion of the Golden Bridge, which is held up by two giant stone hands. Ba Na Hills day trips tend to include round-trip transportation from Da Nang, a buffet lunch, a ride on the cable car, and help navigating the sprawling resort. Alternatively, you can spend your final day on Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham), a tiny archipelago home to white-sand beaches and granite cliffs. Cham Island tours tend to explore the islands by speedboat or wooden boat and nearly always include time to snorkel and swim.