Exploring the Han River Front - Da Nang, Vietnam
After the hectic traffic and chaos of Hanoi, I was pleasantly surprised by the slower pace and calm atmosphere of Da Nang, Vietnam’s major coastal city in the central region.
Da Nang is a city of just over 1 million, which sits on the coast and is cut in half by the Han River. Many of the city’s most attractive spots (nicest hotels, most scenic restaurants) are located along the Han River Front area. The river is spanned by several modern and unique bridges, and is especially beautiful to visit at night, when the bridges are lit up in an impressive display of color.
One of the most prominent features of the Da Nang River Front is the very odd “Dragon Carp” statue that stands spewing water into the river. The Dragon Carp, I guess, is Da Nang’s version of Singapore’s Merlion - a mythical creature invented to promote the city’s tourism.
Da Nang also has its own version of the Love Lock Bridge, much like the one found in Paris, France. Da Nang’s bridge is quite new; there aren’t so many locks on it yet, but it’s becoming more and more popular as more people are beginning to discover Vietnam.
Couples can purchase a heart-shaped padlock for a few thousand VND at shops along the riverside. They lock the heart into place on one of the bars of the bridge, where it stays, symbolizing eternal love.
While it’s nice to view the river during the day, it’s much more impressive at night. When the sun goes down, the lights along Da Nang’s three big bridges come on in a nightly show of color.
The most spectacular, in my opinion, is the famous and iconic Dragon Bridge.
This bridge is designed to look like a Vietnamese dragon, complete with a head that breathes fire!
On weekend nights at 9:00 pm, there is a light show at the Dragon Bridge, that ends with the dragon’s head breathing out fire! Don’t miss this, especially if it’s your first time to visit Da Nang! One of the best places to view this spectacle is from the Dragon Carp statue near the Love Lock Bridge.
The Love Lock Bridge looks great at night too. When we were there, dozens of couples were posing and taking photos together beneath the red heart-shaped lights along the bridge.
If you’ve got the time, you can even book a dinner cruise along the river. It’s the best way to see Da Nang at night! If not, there is no shortage of great food to enjoy in Da Nang.