The port of Tien Sa, Da Nang, Vietnam. Most cruise ships dock here. The bus ride to Da Nang takes around 30 minutes. Taxis are available at the port entrance which is approximately 500 meters from the pier.The dock area is industrial. Plans are underway to change this, as the cruise market is growing fast.
Some smaller ships dock at the Han River Port: Located on the western bank of the lower reaches of the Han River, much closer to Da Nang.
Taxis are available at both locations. Prepare to negotiate.
Map of Da Nang
Watch a destination video.
Da Nang is Vietnam's third largest city and the principal port in the central part of the country as well as the main port for neighboring Laos. It was originally known as Cho Han (the Market of the Han), later to be renamed Tourane by the French. Da Nang is on the threshold of becoming a major destination for tourists thanks to some unique attractions, spectacular scenery and the friendliness of the local population.
Despite of its war-torn history, Da Nang is one of the most progressive
cities in Vietnam, taking advantage of the new free-market principle.
The town also has become one of the country's leaders in economic
reform. Tourism and foreign investments have done much to boost the
Among the city's highlights is the renowned Cham Museum, housing close to 300 Cham sculptures. Here history lovers get a glimpse into a very powerful era of Vietnam's past. Da Nang, however, may be most familiar to Americans who watched the movie Good Morning Vietnam and the popular television series China Beach. The latter immortalized a popular R&R G.I. resort of the Vietnam War.
Cao Dai Temple
For the more than 20,000 Cao Dai in Vietnam, this temple is the sect's centerpiece. As in all Cao Dai temples, above the main altar is the image of the Giant Eye, which is the symbol of Cao Daism. Most interesting is a sign which says "Van Giao Nhat Ly," meaning that all religions have the same purpose.
Da Nang Cathedral
Built in 1923 by the French in pink sandstone with a single spire, the church serves Da Nang's Catholic community.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
The museum features a replica of Ho's house in Hanoi as well as a collection of various weaponry of the Vietnam War.
A cab to Hoi An, see below, will run $16 to $25, and to Da Nang about $10 each way.
International driving licenses are not accepted in Vietnam. Therefore, there are no car rental companies such as Hertz and Avis etc.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here
Hoi An, 45 minutes away, once known as Faifo, was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the foreign influences are discernible to this day. While the serious shipping business has long since moved to Da Nang, the heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shop houses, which is particularly atmospheric in the evening as the sun goes down.
While almost all shops now cater to the tourist trade, the area has been largely preserved as is, which is unusual in Vietnam, and renovation has proceeded slowly and carefully - it's mercifully absent of towering concrete blocks and karaoke parlors.
The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Souvenir stalls set up on the pier sell a variety of items. Of particular interest are marble carvings. The Cho Con market in town is known for basketware and handicrafts.
The national currency is the dong (đồng, VND), U.S. dollars are widely accepted, the standard exchange rate for small quantities being 16000 dong to US$1.
ATMs are getting more and more common and can be found in most bigger cities and every tourist destination.
You can bargain on practically anything in Vietnam.
The people of Vietnam speak Vietnamese as a native language, English is becoming more popular as a second language. English study is obligatory in most schools.
Internet access is available in all but the most remote towns.
Shopping hours: Daily 0800/0830-2100/2200.
By far the largest holiday of the year is Tết, also known as Vietnamese New Year, which takes place between late January and March following the lunisolar Chinese calendar. During the three days of Tet, shops close up and everybody heads home to their family, making this a somewhat difficult time to travel in Vietnam.
Thank you for printing this article! Please don’t forget to come back to whatsinport.com for new and updated port guides.