An 800-year-old tree, the left eye of God, an aban­doned US Air Base. For those that have seen the main Da Nang Attrac­tions or are just look­ing for the less vis­it­ed things to do in Da Nang Viet­nam, here is a list of the sel­dom vis­it­ed.

1. Abandoned US Air Base

Da Nang Abandoned US Airbase Hangar

Da Nang Aban­doned US Air Base Hangar

After vis­it­ing an old US hangar in Quang Tri province I was dri­ving through Da Nang to the Mar­ble Moun­tains when I spot­ted some sim­i­lar look­ing hangars. Pulling over I tried as I could to get access to them but no dice. Despite this, I was able to get a clos­er look and after talk­ing to a local I con­firmed that they were in fact aban­doned US hangars from the Viet­nam-Amer­i­can War. This was once the Mar­ble Moun­tain Air Facil­i­ty used pri­mar­i­ly by heli­copters dur­ing the Viet­nam War.

Getting to the Abandoned US Air Base

Dri­ving South from Da Nang on the coast road, Võ Nguyên Giáp, keep an eye out for the Crowne Plaza Da Nang on the left. The Air Base will be on the right side of the road (West) short­ly after this.  There are a few places along this road to see the old hangars. You can’t actu­al­ly get inside the area as I believe it’s closed to the pub­lic, but you can see them over the wall.If you hit the Mar­ble Moun­tains you’ve gone too far. From the high­est moun­tain view­point in the Mar­ble Moun­tains, you can get a view of the old air­base. It is slow­ly being built over and so might dis­ap­pear in the years to come.

2. Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village

Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village

Non Nuoc Stone Carv­ing Vil­lage

The arti­sans of Non Nuoc Stone Carv­ing Vil­lage began sculpt­ing for over 200 years ago. It start­ed with every­day prod­ucts such as grinders and mor­tars for rice and grain and even­tu­al­ly evolved into beau­ti­ful­ly intri­cate mar­ble carv­ings you can see today in and around the Mar­ble Moun­tains. Ini­tial­ly, the mar­ble was sourced from the near­by moun­tains but more recent­ly, to pre­serve these pre­cious moun­tains, it is being sourced from quar­ries in the North.

Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village

Non Nuoc Stone Carv­ing Vil­lage

As you walk around the vil­lages sur­round­ing the Mar­ble Moun­tains you will see arti­sans hard at work. Most of the larg­er shops have mar­ble work­ers and if you’re lucky you can catch a glimpse of them hard at work. 

Getting to the Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village

The Vil­lage is sit­u­at­ed around the Mar­ble Moun­tains. Dri­ve or take a taxi or grab (There is also a pub­lic bus) to the Mar­ble Moun­tains. Once you are near the entrance to the Mar­ble Moun­tains you can con­tin­ue on down the street pass­ing a few places that are carv­ing mar­ble. Some larg­er stores are locat­ed on the main road (you can’t miss them) sell­ing all kinds of mar­ble prod­ucts, and usu­al­ly have a few peo­ple carv­ing. It all depends on the time of day. I went a few times and saw more peo­ple in the morn­ing hours. 

3. Cao Dai Temple

Cao Dai Temple Da Nang

Cao Dai Tem­ple Da Nang

Cao­daism is a Viet­namese reli­gion found­ed in South­ern Viet­nam in the 1920s by Ngô Văn Chiêu; a “Mod­ern World Reli­gion.” Cao Đài lit­er­al­ly trans­lat­ed from Viet­namese means “High­est Lord” or “High­est Pow­er” It’s a monothe­is­tic reli­gion whose sym­bol is the left eye of God, usu­al­ly placed over a large globe.

An inter­est­ing fusion reli­gion call­ing upon the teach­ings of the var­i­ous reli­gious prophets and extra­or­di­nary peo­ple of years past includ­ing Jesus, Bud­dha, Con­fu­cius, Muham­mad and as diverse as Julius Cae­sar, Joan of Arc and Vic­tor Hugo.

Cao Dai Temple Prophets

Cao Dai Tem­ple Prophets; Muham­mad, Jesus, Bud­dha, Con­fu­cius

There are at least two Cao Dai Tem­ples in Da Nang but I’ve only seen one of them open to the pub­lic. They have an infor­ma­tion booth out­side and will give you a free book­let (in Eng­lish and Viet­namese) to help give you a bet­ter under­stand­ing of this reli­gion.

Cao Dai Temple Da Nang

Cao Dai Tem­ple Da Nang

Getting to the Cao Dai Temple

It is list­ed on Google Maps as Trung Hưng Bửu Tòa Cao Đài you can type in “Cao Dai Tem­ple Da Nang” and it should show up. It’s next to the Da Nang Fine Arts muse­um, some­thing else to check out if you’re in the area.

Address:
63 Hải Phòng, Thạch Thang, Hải Châu„ Đà Nẵng 550000, Viet­nam

4. The Other Marble Mountains

Marble Mountain Cave

Mar­ble Moun­tain Cave

The Mar­ble Moun­tains are one of Da Nang’s biggest attrac­tions, and after a vis­it, it’s easy to see why. Stun­ning tem­ple caves deep inside the earth, some of which open to the sky above. The place is also chock full of his­to­ry dat­ing back to the peri­od of the Cham civ­i­liza­tion and per­haps before. When peo­ple vis­it the “Mar­ble Moun­tains” they usu­al­ly just vis­it the main moun­tain, Thuy Son. But there are in fact 4 more. I’ve vis­it­ed 2 of the 4 oth­er moun­tains and there are some inter­est­ing caves and almost no peo­ple. On a busy day when Thuy Son is packed full of peo­ple, there will be almost no one vis­it­ing the oth­er moun­tains. None of the tours stop here so you’re like­ly to have the place to your­self. 

Marble Mountains - Hoa Son - Fire

Mar­ble Moun­tains — Hoa Son — Fire

Getting to the Other Marble Mountains

The Mar­ble Moun­tains are named after the Five ele­ments. The main moun­tain (Thuy Son) is Water while the oth­er two I vis­it­ed are Met­al and Fire. Kim Son (Met­al) is where the fog­gy cave in the pic­ture is. It’s about 1 kilo­me­ter from Thuy Son. All the caves are clear­ly labeled on the app Maps.me. You can walk from Thuy Son or dri­ve a motor­bike and explore them all.

5. Son Tra Banyan Tree — Cây Đa Ngàn Năm

Son Tra Banyan Tree 800 years old

Son Tra Banyan Tree 800 years old

A beau­ti­ful 800-year-old Banyan Tree (although in Viet­namese “Ngàn Năm” means 1,000 years) whose many aer­i­al roots reach to the branch­es above form­ing a calm­ing peace­ful canopy, over­look­ing the blue ocean waters of Da Nang. It feels like a total­ly dif­fer­ent world out here and is easy to for­get that the third largest city in Viet­nam is just a stone’s throw away.

The tree reach­es a height of 22 meters and the cir­cum­fer­ence of all of its aer­i­al prop roots is 85 meters. Quite large!

Getting to the Son Tra Banyan Tree

The tree is locat­ed on the South East­ern tip of the Son Tra Penin­su­la. The road is well paved but you’ll need to dri­ve a motor­bike or go there on a tour. It’s not labeled and the roads don’t show up on Google Maps, how­ev­er, it is marked on Maps.me as “cay da dai thu (800 years ficus)”. When you are dri­ving along the South­ern road on the penin­su­la you will reach a junc­tion where you can take a left and go up to Ban Co Peak or a right toward the tree. Take a right and fol­low the signs. Park­ing is 4,000 VND. The East­ern end of the Son Tra Penin­su­la is a good place to explore with very few peo­ple. But watch out for boulders/rocks in the road.

6. Dong Dinh Museum

Dong Dinh Museum

Dong Dinh Muse­um

Part Art muse­um, part his­to­ry and cul­ture muse­um, a quirky pri­vate col­lec­tion of arti­facts that’s well worth a vis­it. When you first enter the lush tree-cov­ered grounds it feels dif­fer­ent. Small path­ways wind through the green­ery to beau­ti­ful­ly bizarre build­ings, like some­thing from a fairy­tale. Each house con­tains its own unique col­lec­tion of art or arti­facts col­lect­ed from all over Viet­nam, from ancient Co Tu, to rem­nants of an old fish­ing vil­lage and Cham pot­tery. Most of the dis­plays are marked in Eng­lish and Viet­namese so you can do a self-guid­ed tour through the place. It is very well incor­po­rat­ed into the nat­ur­al sur­round­ed, a peace­ful beau­ti­ful, quirky place that you just have to see for your­self.  One of the more inter­est­ing muse­ums I’ve vis­it­ed and the most unusu­al in Da Nang.

Getting to the Dong Dinh Museum

The muse­um is locat­ed on the Son Tra Penin­su­la, just before the Chùa Linh Ứng (Lady Bud­dha Tem­ple). There is a big sign for it on the left-hand side of the road (North). Open from 8:00am to 5:00pm every­day.

Dong Dinh Museum

Dong Dinh Muse­um

 

I hope you will enjoy these Da Nang Attrac­tions as much as I have. They are def­i­nite­ly off the main tourist trail so if you’re look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent this is your list of what to do in Da Nang!

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