The central part of Vietnam can be easily recognized as a beach destination. However, if you are visiting during an off season, you might not have the same experience. My trip to Da Nang was in late January; which is also a rainy season in central Vietnam. Because of this, the beach was off my radar, and it was time to do some sightseeing.
I was lucky enough to have a local friend show me around. Our top choice was Marble Mountain. It is a national park with countless Buddhist temples, water fountains, and beautiful city overlooks. For only 50,000 VDN ($1.5 USD), you will gain access to the wonderful, and historical side of Vietnamese culture. There are also a few short hiking trails you can take for better city views. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as those hikes are very steep and slippery. I would not recommend it to anyone traveling with the kids or elderly tourists.
The park also has a cave inside of the mountain. A separate entrance fee of 30,000 VDN (est.$1 USD) will let you hike up and inside of the mountain to capture a glimpse of the many Beautiful Buddha statues.
Another city highlight is the Dragon Bridge. The great city views and amazing design of the bridge will definitely catch your attention. The bridge looks like a dragon (hence the name) with a bright yellow color. You can walk or ride a motorbike on the bridge and overlook the amazing views of the cities horizons.
Da Nang is a small city but not so walkable friendly. It is a bit spread out, and unless you stay in the center area you will end up taking a taxi to get around. I stayed by the beach which was about 15min by car to the center.
Flower market was also a great place to check out if you are visiting in January. In observation of the Lunar New Year, the flower market was booming with the tiny orange trees which are used as Christmas Trees in Vietnam.
Vietnam is a very affordable travel destination. For a price, as small as 12-15$ per night you can stay in a budget hotel by the beach. Of course, the price range is wide but I’m talking about the middle-class hotel.
Food options are also pretty cheap. Surprisingly I found that fruits are pretty expensive here. For example, 1 apple will cost you 1-2 $! Even locally grown fruits are overpriced. Not sure if that was the tourist price or it really is expensive in Vietnam.
Another thing what surprised me price wise was the coffee. For the tiny cup of traditional Vietnamese black coffee, you will pay 2-3 $. The cups were so tiny that I end up ordering 2 at ones. Oh, refills do not exist here so if you want more of your drink, you buy another one.
Food is very cheap everywhere in Vietnam and Da Nang is not an exception. For 2-3 $ you can have a decent meal in any middle-class restaurant.
As I mentioned before, if your intentions are not to lie down at the beach, one day is enough to explore Da Nang as its pretty small.