The Han River

The wide and lazy Han River separates the bustling heart of the city from the more relaxed and touristy beach side. Along the Han lie an abundance of attractions for locals and tourists.

The Han River boasts seven bridges that link the two sides of the city, each trying to outdo the others in neon-lit brilliance. The most iconic Cau Rong – the Dragon Bridge – resembles a magnificent golden dragon, chameleon-like after sunset as lights cast a rainbow of colours. Make sure to be at the bridge’s eastern entrance at 9pm Saturday and Sunday to witness the dragon’s head breathe fire and spurt water over the crowd gathered below.

 

Further north is the Han Bridge, the first swing bridge built in Vietnam. Every Sunday at 11pm this impressive suspension bridge spins on its axis allowing shipping traffic to pass through.

Crossing over the Dragon Bridge from the beach side and taking the first right puts you at the beginning of what is considered Da Nang’s most beautiful street: Bach Dang. Like most riverside roads in Vietnam, this one-way boulevard is named after a victorious battle against the Chinese, but in Da Nang the street is popular for its vibrant nightlife. Straight away you may see locals, young and old, ballroom dancing on the promenade in the glow of the Dragon bridge.

Walking farther northwards to the Han bridge you’ll pass coffee shops, restaurants, and bars overflowing with people most nights of the week. The grand French architecture of several of the political buildings dotted along the street stand since colonial times.

Carry on after the Han bridge and the Novotel hotel soon looms over you. Looking back to the water you’ll notice a precession of fairy-lit boats queued along a wharf, each offering hour-long round trips down the Han River. The boats range in size and condition, and offer a great opportunity to soften the din of the traffic and relax whilst sailing through the animated city of Da Nang.