TRAVEL - What To Do In Da Nang, with Memory Hostel.

Da Nang is the third biggest city in Vietnam, although it's not as popular as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, it is still worth visiting for it's beautiful beaches and amazing forestry. It's an up and coming destination with tourists - and with it still developing to foreigners, it's still very cheap!

As I said in my previous post, we stayed at the fantastic Memory Hostel and their staff were able to help us have a traditional Vietnamese experience and just an all around good time! Here is a list of things we got up to thanks to Memory Hostel, and a list of things you should do during your time in Da Nang.

Day 1.
Try Traditional Food

Image may contain: 3 people, including Tran Xuan Quy, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

I just want to say again how amazing Memory Hostel was to us. From the moment we stepped through the door we were welcomed with open arms and smiles - the staff became like family from the get go and you'll see why in this post.

Firstly, we were taken to a traditional Vietnamese food at the famous Mi Quang Ech, where we enjoyed a feast with two members of staff. Ngoc (Nom) and Quy were great hosts - they taught us how to roll traditional rolls and tried four different types of noodle dishes... including Special Noodles (Frog!) We got to know each other over food and they gave us a real insight into life in Vietnam.

After heading back to Memory Hostel, our hosts went back to work while Michael and I headed to the roof for a few quiet drinks on our own before heading to bed. We'd had a long day, and food makes me super sleepy. I needed some beauty sleep to ensure I was ready for a busy day tomorrow.

Day 2.

The next day we woke around 9am and headed downstairs for our breakfast. As if I didn't eat enough food the night before, food was on my mind and I was pretty excited to see what they had to offer. We could choose from a list of food and drinks that were made freshly for us. Quy was coming to the head of his shift so prepared my fried eggs with salad and bread - Michael had the traditional noodles and egg in soup. 

Once our breakfast was finish, we made our first tourist trip to go visit the Lady Buddha at the Chua Linh Ung Pagoda. We quickly ordered a Grab, which cost 100k VND. The temple grounds are astonishingly peaceful. Although busy with tourists, it was still easy to stroll around aimlessly and take in the stunning beauty of the gardens, tiered pagoda, Buddha and panorama views of Da Nang from above.

Lady Buddha, Bodhisattva of Mercy as she is nicknamed is said to have protected the wonderful bay from natural disasters from the moment she was built back in 2010. You can spend a good hour and a half walking around these temples, it was a highlight of our trip in Da Nang! 

Thankfully, our Grab driver waited for us to finish walking around the temple and took us to our next destination.
 My Khe Beach

Did you know that Da Nang is referred to as the Hawaii of Asia? and we can see why. My Khe Beach is voted in the top 6 of Forbes Magazines best beaches in the world! With over 30km of beaches that stretch all the way to Hoi An - and some of the nicest white sands I've ever witnessed. The Da Nang locals don't enjoy sunbathing so don't head to the beach until late after. So if you're like me and love to bath in the hottest sun possible to get my tan on, you'll have the beach to yourself most of the day! It'll cost around 40,000 dong per person for the entire day, so a no brainier would be to dedicate a full day to this beach!

After a few hours at the beach we headed back to our hostel to get ready for the day. Memory had a pretty import day on at the hostel filming their latest promotional video, so we were asked to join them at around 9pm. So we headed out for some drinks to fill the gap. I can highly recommend trying to Westernised bars to get a little taste of home.

Check our the bars

Da Nang has some great nightlife! The road parallel to the river is full of pubs, clubs and restaurants serving every type of food imaginable. We opted to try out the local tourist favorite bar Bamboo 2 . Sitting on the table adjacent the river with a stunning view of  the Dragon Bridge we ordered a few drinks and some burgers. A little bit pricey compared to the traditional Vietnamese restaurants, but 120.000 Dong for burger and chips isn't going to break the bank for most travelers. 

See the Dragon Bridge at Night

After finishing food we headed back home to join in with the promotional video for Memory Hostel. which was probably my favorite part of the trip. We joined the staff on the roof top and laughed all night while appreciating the best view of the Dragon Bridge from above.

We were also treated to a BBQ using local ingredients, such as meat and fish - I even had a go at cooking the shrimps myself! We joined in with the video, sang 'Hotel California' A LOT and drank Mojitos with our new family. 

Day 3.

Day 3 was my favourite day of our trip to Da Nang. We headed to the local Han Market with the adorable Grace and Mrs Spring (Memory Hostel Chef) to pick up some local, fresh ingredients for today's activity.

Have a cooking class

Choosing the best ingredients available at Han Market was a new experience to me. Ms Spring lead the way and would give us options to what we could prepare in the hostels roof top kitchen. They made the experience really special to us as we were able to choose vegetables we have never seen before and experiment with different tastes. I loved how the Bitter Melon looked like a lumpy cucumber and Grace helped us alter their traditional meal to help us try it!

The market was amazing! So many options, you could find anything here! It's absolutely huge, you will more than likely get lost - but it's great to see all the local produce coming in. The fish is caught locally by the fisherman of Da Nang and delivered late in the evening so we know the fish is fresh. As we're not locals, stalls would often try and over charge us. Luckily we had Grace and Ms Spring with us who are professional bargainers and pretty soon we had everything we needed to make a variety of traditional dishes.

Once back at the Hostel, Grace, Michael and I started to prep the ingredients, we had ALOT of spinach - so it did take all three of us a while to prep it. Ms Spring shown us how to traditional cook the rice using coal and a metal cooking pot on the roof. Very similar to lighting a BBQ at home, use wood, paper and a little bit of lighter fluid. After prepping, Grace told us we were going to make quite a few different meals, and all at the same time. 

Starting with stuffed bitter melon. We cut the pork, mushrooms, garlic and onions into small pieces and Michael mixed them together by hand in a separate bowl. Once mixed, we cut the bitter melon in 4 inch pieces and began to stuff them with our mixture. While also cooking spinach and garlic in a frying pan, the rice in the cooker and preparing our fish to! There was a lot going on but it was really fun working with the ladies in the kitchen. Never a dull moment and felt like we knew them for years.

Once the rice was finished in the cooker, we added the stuffed bitter melon into the pot to boil until cooked. We also had plenty of meat left over so made some meat balls to and added them to the pot! After everything was complete we headed down to the lobby to enjoy our food with all the staff and there was plenty to go around!

The Marble Mountains

After food we took a 20 minute grab to one of the main tourist attractions in Da Nang, Marble Mountain. There are 5 different mountains located at the destination, but only one mountain is actually open to the general public and that's Mt. Thuy. All five mountains are made of marble and limestone and all are nicknamed after the five Asian elements - Earth, Fire, Water, Wind and Void.

The breathtaking landscape was formed from volcanoes that had erupted from below sea level. Apparently if you look closely you can still see fossils in the cliff face. Mt. Thuy is the tallest of the five mountains, and offers a panoramic view of Da Nang which is not to be missed. ou can see the concrete jungle and endless horizon of the beach.

What I enjoyed most about Marble Mountain is that there are so many different things to see - if I headed back again I'm sure there would be things I had missed previously. These includes incredible caves you can get lost in, Pagodas, Giant wheel of Karma and my personal favourite a giant Buddha that was carved from a single slab of limestone back in 1875.

Another big thank you to Memory Hostel for their giving us this experience during our trip - It wouldn't have been the same without them. Remember, if you're interested in staying at Memory Hostel, email and quote STEPHANIE for 10% off your stay and the best room available! You will not regret it :)

Have you been to Da Nang? What was your favourite thing to see and do?

Stephanie xoxo

1 comment

  1. I can see why it's the Hawaii of Asia! I'd love to go there one day - it looks amazing! :)
    And that melon looks really nice. Looks like you had fun!