Travel Tips

Travel tips to Danang – Hoi An – My Son 2020

The Central region of Vietnam is an unmissable destination for every traveler who visits Vietnam.  Not only attracts tourists by the “Heritage route” or the World Heritage complex recognized by UNESCO such as Hue Imperial Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary, Central Vietnam also seduces visitors by the long pristine beaches, delicious gastronomy and above all is the naivete of local people here.  In this article, I would like to share with you my experience to discover 3 “must see” destination this summer in Vietnam: Danang, Hoi An, and My Son.

1. Location

Danang, Hoi An, and My Son is a group of destinations located in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. The three destinations distance 70 kilometers from each other and can be easily reached by taxi, bus or motorbike. Being well-located, Danang and Hoi An are advantaged to have the most gorgeous beaches in Vietnam with a wide smooth sandbank, elegant waves and rarely affected by natural disasters.

Travel tips to Danang - Hoi An - My Son
Danang and Hoi An has an ideal location along the coast

2. Climate and the best time to visit

– The South Central region experiences hot climate all year round and it is renowned to be the land of sun and wind with dry soil and usually suffered by drought.

– The best time to visit these destinations is from April until the end of August. This is the dry season of South Central area with dry and sunny climate and there is no storm. From September to November, storms usually occurred in the Central region. From December to March, the weather seems cloudy and there are drizzles in Spring.

– Nevertheless, if you do not intend to enjoy the beaches and want to hide from the sun and the crowd of tourists in peak season, you can choose to visit during the period from September to March. This is the period that the travel services are not overload. Rains in the Central region are not heavy and not last for all day. Compared to Northern and North Central regions, South Central region is less likely to experience tropical storms.

– I visited Hoi An during the National Holidays April 30 and May 1 so that the prices of flight tickets and hotels are quite high but I was able to enjoy the International Fireworks Festival in Danang and the Floating Lantern night in Hoi An.

3. Transportation

You can visit the three destinations from Hanoi or Saigon by train (Thong Nhat train), coach, motorbike (via National Route No. 1). However, the most convenient transport is by air. Nowadays, there are plenty of low-cost flights to Danang operated by VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific. The price ranges from 40 – 50 dollar one way. I booked Economy return flights by VietJet Air with 15kg baggage with the price of 100 dollars.

– You should avoid traveling during national holidays in Vietnam, including Lunar New Year, Independence Day September 2, Liberation Day April 30, International Worker’s Day May 1 or high travel seasons such as Christmas or New Year to make it easier to choose flight and hotel.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
You can book VietJet Air flights from Hanoi or Saigon to Danang

– Direct flights from Incheon, Hongkong, Bangkok or Taipei make traveling to Danang easier than ever for foreign tourists.

– To transfer between attractions, I choose an intercity bus to travel between Hoi An and Danang ($1/one way). The bus is quite crowded in the afternoon but still, there are seats available. The bus will transfer within 45 minutes. I also hire a scooter to travel from Hoi An to My Son with the price of $5/day and Danang with the price of $7/day. In Hoi An, you can either walk or hire a bicycle for only $1/day.

4. Accommodations

Danang and Hoi An have the best accommodation service in Vietnam. There is a wide range of options, from hostels ($10/night) to 5-star international luxury resort. All hotels and hostels are served by good English-speaking staffs and an enthusiastic attitude. However, as a famous destination, the hotels with good reviews are usually fully booked several weeks before the trip. You ought to book hotels for at least 2 months in advance to have the best options.

Danang

My hotel in Danang is The Herriot Hotel & Suite. This is a newly built hotel last year. The room is quite new, plus the staffs are also enthusiastic and professional. The hotel is located right next to Bien Dong park (100 meters to the beach). There is a pool on the rooftop with excellent view to admire the fireworks. Nonetheless, if you want to explore more in the city center, this is probably not an ideal choice. The price for a Delux Twin room is $66/night.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
The Herriot Hotel & Suite

Hoi An

In Hoi An, I stayed in Vinh Hung Library. This is a boutique style hotel, belonged to Vinh Hung Hotel chain in Hoi An. This hotel has been well-known since 2013 for lovely and homey design, which marked the style of Hoi An. The foreign books collection of Vinh Hung also makes many guests amazed. However, the hotel is quite small so that it can be fully booked very fast. Despite the fact that it was upgraded in 2015, the hotel is now still inferior to a lot of newly built hotels in Hoi An. Vinh Hung Library has quite an ideal location, you have to walk only 100 meters to reach the old city center. The price for a Superior Twin room is $30/night.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
Vinh Hung Library

5. Gastronomy

There is no need to visit the most famous restaurant to enjoy Hoi An cuisine because you may have to travel a really long way and queue for a long time to order. We stopped at any cafeteria or restaurant whenever we felt hungry since street food in Vietnam is usually tastier than high-end restaurants.

In Danang

We ate Banh Cuon (rice rolls) and Banh bot loc (shredder shrimp and pork dumplings) in a street food vendor in Pham Van Dong street, Quang frog noodles and pork spring rolls in Ben Trang restaurant right at the end of the Dragon Bridge.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
Banh Bot Loc

In Hoi An

We enjoy chicken rice in a street food vendor in Hai Ba Trung street, banh mi in Hoi An market, Cao Lau and mixed mussel rice in Ty Ty restaurant, which is located in a small alley connects Phan Chau Trinh and Tran Phu street.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
Cao Lau in Hoi An

Café: the Mót with herbal drinks made from lemon and lemongrass will help you freshen the summer hot. Another option is Faifo coffee, where you can admire the panorama view of the whole Hoi An on the third floor. Both are located on Tran Phu street.

Travel tips to Danang - My Son - Hoi An
Street food in Hoi An

6. Attraction

In Danang

We spend much time to enjoy Pham Van Dong and My Khe beaches. My Khe beach is one of the most adorable beaches on Earth and always full of tourists. Despite the fact that it is a public beach, Danang’s beach is still more beautiful than in Nha Trang or Mui Ne.

Travel tips to Danang- Hoi An - My Son
Alluring My Khe Beach

– We also visit Linh Ung pagoda on Son Tra peninsula, where you can view all of Danang from above. This is also the place where situated the highest Bodhisattva statue sculptured from white stone in Vietnam.

– Other attractions such as the Dragon Bridge or the Han River are also the ideal places to check-in

– For international tourists, you definitely should visit the Champa Sculpture Museum. This is the only museum that exhibits Champa arts in the world. The museum was built by French and still remains French architecture mixed with the unique Champa patterns.

Travel tips to Danang- Hoi An - My Son
The famous Dragon Bridge in Danang

– Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains) maybe the attraction that impressed me the most. This is a group of 5 limestone mountains located at the south of the city. This place is famous for the sophisticated stone carving. It is not to mention the pagodas complex that carved directly into the mountain and caves. This is absolutely a masterpiece of Buddism stone sculpture in Vietnam.

In Hoi An

There are so many famous attractions in Hoi An and there are also thousands of articles that write about the attractions here. As a local, I suggest the following attraction to help you avoid the crowd of travelers: Duc An Old House, Quan Thang Old House, Ngu Bang Assembly Hall, Hainan Assembly Hall, all located on Tran Phu street. The other must-see attractions are the Japanese Bridge Pagoda, Tan Ky Old House, Hoai River, Hoi An market are also worth your visit.

Travel tips to Danang- Hoi An - My Son
Tan Ky Old House

In My Son

You should spend 30 minutes to 1 hour to visit the relics complex. Furthermore, you should spend more time at group B, C, and D because this is the area that the relics are still intact. Before entering the complex, you should take a look at the exhibition area to have a clearer view of what you are going to see.

Travel tips to Danang- Hoi An - My Son
My Son Sanctuary

7. Some useful tips

– Beaches in Danang in order of the most to the less beautiful: But beach, My An beach, My Khe beach, Pham Van Dong beach.

– Wake up early in Hoi An: 5 to 6 a.m is the golden time to catch the amazing picture of the dawn and avoid the crowd of tourists flock into the town.

– 9 a.m is the most crowded hour in Hoi An

– The weather in My Son is extremely hot so that you must bring lots of water, a cool towel and a hat. 12 a.m is the only time that My Son is not crowded by people, in other times of the day, this place is full of visitors.

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