Exploring Da Nang by Motorbike
More often than not travellers pass straight through Da Nang with eyes on the nearby prizes of Hoi An and Hue. But this modern city, located on a stunning 20 mile stretch of powdery, white sand, is not to be missed during your exploration of central Vietnam. While I love the energy of the city, my true love for Da Nang lies in the stunning beaches and winding mountain roads that surround it. It is definitely worth grabbing a motorbike (or driver) for the day to exploring the nature and sites around Da Nang. Here’s an itinerary for how to spend a day exploring Da Nang by Motorbike.
Getting a Motorbike in Da Nang
Almost all the sites I mentioned in this day-itinerary are outside Da Nang city and not possible to visit with taxis, so you will need a motorbike. If you can’t drive a motorbike yourself then I recommend booking an Easy Rider, which is essentially a motorbike and driver for the day to take you out.
✍ For more information on motorbiking in Vietnam, check out my Complete Guide to Motorbiking in Vietnam.
Where to hire a motorbike in Da Nang
To hire a motorbike for that day you will need your passport and/or a small amount of cash for a deposit. Your accommodation* should be able to help set you up with a cheap rental but if not you can rent from this company:
• Motorbike Rental Da Nang (you will need to translate their website)
💰 ~150k for a day rental
Easy Rider in Da Nang
If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike or are not comfortable driving yourself, you can still explore Da Nang by motorbike. I recommend booking an Easy Rider trip, where you sit on the back of a bike with an experienced driver so you can feel the thrill of the roads. Way back in 2016 I booked an easy rider tour of Da Nang with Hoi An Easy Rider Vn and had the best day, but there are many companies that offer similar trips.
~1 mil ($45) for the day
Exploring Da Nang by Motorbike
This itinerary shares what I did the last time I spent a day exploring Da Nang and is what I view as the most logical order to see things, but would be easy to reorder or modify. For other stops to add to your day trip, check out my guide on things to do in Da Nang.
1️⃣ Cross the dragon bridge and love-lock bridge
The Dragon Bridge has become an iconic image of Da Nang and is a great place to start your day of exploring. The design is innovative and showcases the youthful vibe of Da Nang. If you’re visiting on a weekend, be sure to return at 9pm to watch the dragon bridge breathe fire and water.
Next to the head of the Dragon Bridge, is the love-lock bridge, a romantic spot along the Han river where couples have locked in their love for each other. There are vendors you can buy locks from if you feel like a romantic gesture.
Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng Đà Nẵng)📍550000 Đà Nẵng, Sơn Trà, An Hải Tây, An Hả
⏰ Return at 9pm Fri-Sun, for the fire and water display
2️⃣ See Vietnamese coracles in Da Nang bay
Leaving the city along the beachfront, follow the road winding from bay to bay. Beyond where the sunbathers’ venture is the stretch of beach used by fishermen. The ocean is speckled with traditional basket boats, and the sand is dotted with fisherman drying and fixing nets. These basket boats, called coracles, were traditionally made from bamboo making them super lightweight for floating. Nowadays many of them are made from plastic, still in the traditional design.
3️⃣ Explore the Lady Buddha temples
Sitting atop Son Tra Mountain on the peninsula of Da Nang is a grand Lady Buddha. She acts as the protector of the bay, keeping fishermen safe in stormy weather. Made from a single piece of marble, the lady buddha stands at a height of 62m, making her taller than the Statue of Liberty and Christ the Redeemer. There are several other pagodas in the complex which are worth exploring.
4️⃣ Eat Mi Quang for lunch
One of the most famous noodle dishes from this region of Vietnam is Mi Quang. As a must-try dish in Da Nang, it’s the perfect food to grab for lunch. Mi Quang is a dry noodle dish, topped with chicken, shrimp and eggs, veggies, herbs, peanuts and crispy rice crackers. Keep your eyes peeled for signs along the highways for places making Mi Quang; I’ve pinned the street that I’ve always stopped at to eat on the map below.
5️⃣ Drive the Hai Van Pass
The Hai Van Pass is one of the most famous roads in all of Vietnam, linking Da Nang and the ancient city of Hue to the north. This beautiful road hugs the mountains on one side and brushes the ocean on the other, each twist and turn revealing a postcard-perfect view.
At the top of the Hai Van Pass is an ancient watchtower, marking the transition between Da Nang province and Thua Thien Hue province. Historically it controlled the passage between the two provinces. There are also military bunkers from the French colonial period that were re-used during the Vietnam-America war.
There are a number of cafes at the top of the Pass and you can choose a cafe with a view of either the Da Nang side or the Hue side of the pass to refresh at. However, I recommend stopping at the rock cafe instead (see below).
✍ Motorbiking the Hai Van Pass
6️⃣ Stop at the rock cafe
As you head back down the Hai Van Pass towards Da Nang there is an epic viewpoint where you can stop for photos and a drink. You’ll know it when you see it from the huge rock at the side of the road. Around the base of the rock are some vendors selling coconuts, coffee and cold drinks, making this the perfect place for a rest-stop.
Rock Cafe 📍 Cafe Hòn Đá Cụ Rùa, Hoà Hiệp Bắc, Liên Chiểu
7️⃣ Enjoy the last light at the beach
The perfect way to unwind after a busy day exploring the mountains is to take a relaxing stroll along the beach at dusk. This is when the beach starts to come alive, with locals playing in the water, fishing, and doing Tai chi.
A Route for Exploring Da Nang in a Day
Now you have an itinerary, here’s the route for how to get around and see everything by motorbike in Da Nang. Included are the points of interest, a route between them and places to stop for drinks and booty breaks.
Exploring Da Nang by motorbike makes for a really cheap day adventuring, with the only expenses being the rental and food. For more things to do in Da Nang, as well as information on how to get there, where to stay and eat, check out my Da Nang travel guide.
🛵 150k rental + 60k for gas + food and snacks
⏰ full day
Love this post, fun photos and great advices. I would love to visit Vietnam soon.
Thanks! I hope you get to plan a trip soon!
Amy Poulton - Page Traveller
Love Vietnam! Been twice – Hanoi/Ha Long Bay and HCM City, but never made it to Da Nang! Next time? I’d love to travel the whole length of the country.
That’s our goal for when we finish teaching – do a South to North trip! But the major cities do give you a good introduction to Vietnam! Definitely add central Vietnam to you list 🙂
Wow – awesome post, your pictures make me want to go to Da Nang right away!
Thanks Kate! I’m glad you like it!
We skipped Da Nang when we travelled from Hue to Hoi An cos we thought it wasn’t that interesting but boy were we wrong! Your photos are soo lovely as well!
Oh I’m so sad you missed it! It’s underrated for sure! 🙂 Thanks Mar!
This post so so informative! Thank you making such a comprehensive itinerary. Having costs and routes is always so helpful!
Thanks! I’m glad you’ve found it useful!
This looks like a fun adventure by motorbike. Traffic looks like it’s not too hectic.
Nope, the traffic was nice and quiet, especially once you leave the city behind! Not at all like Hanoi and HCMC 🙂
This is one place I wish we had time to explore during my month of travels through Vietnam! I’ve heard good things about this place and by the looks of your photos, Da Nang looks like an awesome place!
Oh wow, but I imagine you got to see lots on your 1 month trip! It’s a very overlooked place in Vietnam 🙂
Seems there are plenty things to do! I pass by Da Nang but didn’t find it very interesting city 😉 I see now that I didn’t make enough homework to see guys what you saw 🙁
What a shame! I’m hoping posts like this can help convince others that it is worth seeing Da Nang itself!
I love your photos especially the love lock bridge. I didn’t know Da Nang has more to offer. Thanks for sharing.
The photo is actually of the dragon bridge. But thank you anyways! It’s got lots more than people realise.
interesting on all 😀 I’d realized that I think I really need to learn how to drive a motorbike 😀 it could have been a better alternative to travel more.
Love the beach 😀
I think learning to ride a motorbike has been one of our best travel skills! Though, you can totally do a trip like this without riding yourself. There are easy rider tours who can take you to similar places!
Okay, that settles it! You’ve convinced me to go to Da Nang!! Man, riding around on that motorbike just looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! Love the dragon bridge, and the Lady Buddha looks impressive! (As well as the other pagodas in the complex!) And top it all of with sunset on a beach?! Sign me up! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Haha DO IT! It’s such a fun place to explore! Thanks for the love Stefanie!
Wow it looks like you packed in quite a lot of activities in one trip!
It’s a really great day out! So much to do! 🙂
Wow! Awesome clicks! Driving through Hai Van Pass seems interesting. Da Nang looks like a bucket list friendly destination with so much to do and see 🙂
Lots to see, but as I said, many tourists seem to skip it! Which is a real shame.