South Along The Vietnam Coast

I’m now heading south down the coast of Vietnam and will eventually end up in Ho Chi Minh/Saigon.
There’s a typical “backpacker” route, that consists of the same 5 to 6 towns that most people visit. I think it’s much harder to get around inland, unless you have a motorbike. All the towns along the coast are connected via train and/or bus.

My first stop along the coast was in the town of Hue. I took the night train from Hanoi (done with sleeper buses!), which was about 13 hours.

I was there for two days, but didn’t take many pictures to share. They have an old imperial city which was interesting, but not my favorite place.

I then took a short train ride to Da Nang, about 2.5 hours away. The ride was gorgeous, along the coast (South China Sea). I took one picture below (from the bathroom – only window that was open!)

Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city and about halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

The city is divided in two parts by a river, and connected by 9 bridges! There is the “older town” and then the newer side, which borders the coast, and is a bit more touristy. I read that during the Vietnam War, a lot of Americans would come to Da Nang for a little break.

When I arrived, I took a free walking tour. There are a few organizations in various Vietnamese cities that offer free tours by college students, so they can practice and improve their English. I was the only one in my group, so I got to learn a lot about her life, culture, etc.

My tour guide!

The most famous bridge in Da Nang is the dragon bridge, which was just constructed between 2009-2013. On the weekends, fire actually shoots from the dragon’s mouth!

I just walked around a lot and explored today. With the humidity it’s about 100 degrees, which I’m not used to! There’s a great walking path along the river though, so I got a little breeze!

I ended up visiting a few markets just to get inside. I love exploring the local markets – they’re all pretty similar, but still such a good peak into the locals’ life.

Da Nang and Hue are definitely both more industrial then Hanoi and don’t have the tourist facade that Hanoi had. It’s actually a nice change, as you really see the businesses, houses and stores as they are – not a “tourist” area and then the local’s part of town.

On that note, I’m off to Hoi An in the morning, which is definitely a touristy area, but I’ve heard amazing things!


2 thoughts on “South Along The Vietnam Coast

  1. What a pretty location for a city. I love the Dragon bridge; very cool looking. Glad you are taking the opportunity to take advantage of the free walking tours. I’m sure you can learn a lot about the city and your guide as well. It’s probably nice to see the local culture and not just the touristy areas. I’ll bet the walkway along the river was a great place to take a walk – pretty and a bit cooler. Enjoy visiting the next few towns. I can’t wait to read your next blog. Love you!


  2. That picture of the beach in Da Nang with the sand, torquise water and mountains in the background is beautiful.
    That tour guide looks so young! I still think you’re that age but we’re all getting older!
    Nice to see parts of the country that aren’t quite so touristy. Da Nang looks like a lovely city. That dragon is pretty cool.
    I’ve heard that Hoi An is one of the nicest places in Vietnam. Safe travels and look forward to your next pictures.
    Love you!


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