What's a backpacking trip without a bit of drama right? So we headed to the airport in Hanoi to be told our flight to DaNang had been cancelled due to technical error. Great.
After many choice words by myself the airline agreed to put us up in a hotel and provide transfers to and from the airport for our arranged flight in the morning.
Great news, or so we thought. The 'hotel' we had been put up in was the worst. Now i'm not fussy nor do I live a life of luxury, but this place was not clean, bugs in our bed and the most basic room I'd ever seen. Thank god we had each other to laugh about it and keep moral high.
With the events of the day I'd only eaten breakfast and was in a desperate need to find food. We searched the small street, asking in each hotel but nothing... instead we came across an empty place which appeared to sell food. It's not somewhere most people would choose to eat, but when in Vietnam do as the Vietnamese do and I'm glad I did because i had such a tasty bowl of Beef Pho!
In the morning we took a short flight from Hanoi to DaNang, which sits in the middle of Vietnam.
The moment we landed it was noticeably hotter, thankfully because Hanoi was colder than expected!
With the stresses of already being a day behind due to our cancelled flight, we booked a marble mountains and My Son day tour at the airport with Hoi An express to fit in everything we wanted to see within a short space of time. Bit of advice, don't book at the airport, instead go into Hoi An and book Hoi An express it's so much cheaper.
Where we stayed
We was excited for VN Beach DaNang hotel and its sea room which we paid for. However, this hotel was a bit of a let down. No sea room, it was out of the way from the city and basic. However the staff were friendly, very helpful and considering how cheap the hotels are here you can't complain!
In hindsight I'd stay somewhere a bit closer to the city, so you can experience DaNang at its best!
This beautiful little town is full of lanterns, hanging from buildings, above you in the street as they hold the light festival and it has become something the town is famously known for. Not only does it have this, the small streets are filled with adorable cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops all reasonably priced.
We spent the afternoon walking around this town, in and out of shops then ate at a small restaurant until the sun when down. Although the lanterns were beautiful in the daylight, once they are lit it's magical! I took way too many photos here but I just couldn't help myself. You won't need all day here late afternoon and night is more than enough to see what the ancient town has to offer.
If you are a Disney fan like me, a night in Hoi An with all its lanterns, reminds you of the scene in tangled,
Marble Mountains and My Son
Hoi An express tour picked us up from our hotel and took us to their offices to transfer to a bigger bus with a tour guide. We had the tour guide for both my Son and Marble Mountains and he made the tour!! He was hilarious, friendly and so approachable, it wouldn't have been the same without him!!
An ancient burial ground, My Son monuments are impressive in stature, detail and dramatic in sight. They are abandoned Hindu temples that are dedicated to the god Shiva.
Upon arrival you visit a small museum which explains the site and its conservation, then you proceed on little buggy's up to the site of My Son. You'll get to walk around the monuments taking in its breath-taking architecture, whilst your tour guide explains the history. Halfway through the tour you get top experience traditional dancing, a beautiful little surprise!
Its amazing to see how these ruins were built and how the people of Vietnam are conserving them.
Marble Mountains Wear comfy shoes here because there is hundreds of steps to climb! This part of the tour was my favourite, the Asian temples are so impressively made, so colourful and just everything you picture them to be.
It costs approx. 40 VND to enter here.
There are so many levels to this tour, impressively tall religious statutes and a whole lot of history to soak in. You could spend hours admiring the temples and it's architecture.
Towards the end of the tour we had the option to climb through a cave to the top of the marble mountains. Do it! but be warned there are no steps, you have to literally climb through a small cave and over rocks to get to the top. But once you do, the views are spectacular!
Don't worry if you can't do this, there is a viewing point with steps for you to enjoy a similar view.
I fell in love with DaNang the moment i stepped foot into the city. It was by far my favourite Vietnamese city. There was less hustle and bustle compared to Hanoi, but there was so much to see and it's modern architecture was light years in front of Hanoi.
Take time to walk along the Dragon Bridge, watch him change colour and sometimes he spits out fire and water! Then head along the street and walk towards the next bridge which also changes colour. Here, you get a great view of the whole DaNang skyline.
There aren't many little corner shops here for food/snacks/water and we found ourselves wandering around for an hour looking for one. Hint: there is one along the front just down from the dragon bridge.
There was so many food options available here I wish we had more time to try some! Although I did have the best beef stir fry and smoothie in the city! Yum!
We had taxis everywhere here, as the bus routes weren't an option.
The taxis are on a meter, however you can be cheeky like me and offer them a price to switch off the meter.
The weather wasn't the best for us, it was hot but some days there was rain so take a poncho or a brolly!
This was my favourite city in Vietnam! I would have loved to stayed here!