The province of Da Nang comprises illuminated bridges, mountains with temples, rice paddies and Hoi An Ancient Town. This beautiful UNESCO heritage is made up of historic buildings and one of the world’s cheapest beers.
In Hanoi, our group of 8 Brazilians flew with Vietjet Air to Da Nang province for only 409 thousand dongs (~14.7 euros!) per person. For the price, we had nothing to complain about.
The way to the lodging, however, was complicated. The place we were in had just changed its address, and in this confusion the taxi driver’s stole money from me, saying that I did not have paid, when in fact he had taken the money out of my hand; I learned later that I was not the only one, so be aware of this scam.
We stayed at Hachi Hostel, located in a nice house, for 127 thousand dongs. We just slept there, for we soon went to the banks of the Han River to see the bridges lit up. On the way there rubbish and rats in the streets.
We were able to see the first bridge, but at midnight o’ clock, just as we arrived at the famous Dragon Bridge, the lights went out. We had to go back another day, but could not get a photo to match its impressiveness due to the time.
Finding decent food that hour was also very difficult, so we ended up in a small Korean market.
In ther morning we took a transfer to Hoi An with a stop in one of the Marble Mountains (Ngũ Hành Sơn), at the cost of 100 thousand dongs per person.
An elevator takes the lazy ones straight to the top of the hill, but the view from above is not that good.
An hour was not enough to climb it on foot and visit its caves and temples. It is necessary to pay a small entrance fee and it is quite visited.
Arriving in Hoi An, considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Southeast Asia (not me, I’m more into Singapore), we stayed at Horizon Homestay, with 2 rooms just for us, paying 132,500 dongs for each person and night. The place is nice and there are bicycles for everyone and for free!
This was great as the hostel is a few miles from the attractions of the city. So we took the opportunity to cycle by the green rice fields that surround the rivers which cut through Hoi An.
Then we continued to Hoi An beach, with several resorts, but just so so.
We had lunch and exchanged money in the small Mót restaurant, in the center of the city. There we tasted the most typical dish of the region, called cao lau. It is a delicious and inexpensive (30 thousand dongs) meal served in a bowl with noodles, pork, green vegetables and seasoning.
Then we watched a theatrical spectacle of puppets dancing in the water, the Water Puppet Show, for 80 thousand dongs. It lasted for 45 min, having the presentation of several histories of legends and daily routine of Vietnamese. In fact, it is a tradition exclusively of Vietnam, which originated around the 11th century in the flooded rice paddies of the villages.
In the evening, we visited the Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 15th and 19th century buildings preserved from the port city around the Song Thu Bon River stand with lighted lanterns in a beautiful setting. If the river was not dirty from sewage and garbage it would be even better.
One of the most visited spots is Chùa Cầu, the Japanese covered bridge.
In the surrounding buildings there is a multitude of souvenirs and food. Best of all, it’s the cheapest beer I’ve ever seen – and I’ve had beer in every corner of the world. For 4,000 dongs (something like 14 cents of euro!) we took several jugs at Chips & Fish riverside bar and restaurant.
Back to Hoi An Ancient Town on the other day, we just wandered randomly through its streets full of historic buildings converted into commerce and the traditional lanterns.
While some ate, others made more purchases. And it seems that there was not a shortage of different souvenirs.
The only thing we did not visit were the museums of the city, but we were not very keen to do that. The shuttle to the airport cost us 550,000 dongs, where we would fly to Ho Chi Minh City by Vietjet Air again for 409 thousand dongs.
We just slept there, taking a bus in the morning to Cambodia.