Da Nang (occasionally Danang, in Vietnamese: Đà Nẵng ) is a major port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. Đà Nẵng is the fifth largest city in Vietnam, with an area of 1,255.53 km² and a population of 887,069 according to the 2009 census. It is located within 100 km of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins. The city was also known as Tourane or Turon during the French colonization of Vietnam.
The city’s origins date back to the ancient Champa Kingdom, established by Indonesian settlers in 192 AD. Đà Nẵng's name is said to have originated from the Cham word da nak, meaning "opening of a big river". At its peak, the Chams’ sphere of influence stretched from Huế to Vũng Tàu. Beginning with Emperor Lê Hoàn (founder of the Early Lê Dynasty), the Vietnamese policy of "southward expansion" (Vietnamese: Nam Tiến) brought Champa increasingly into conflict with their northern neighbours; this expansion eventually led to the decline and fall of the Champa Kingdom during the mid-15th century.
One of the first Europeans to visit Đà Nẵng was Portuguese explorer Antonio De Faria, who anchored in Đà Nẵng in 1535. De Faria was one of the first Westerners to write about the area, and through his influence Portuguese ships began to call regularly at Hội An, which was then a much more important port than Đà Nẵng. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, French and Spanish traders and missionaries regularly made landfall at Hội An, just south of Đà Nẵng.
Following the edict of Emperor Minh Mạng in 1835 prohibiting European vessels from making landfall or pursuing trade except at Han Port, Đà Nẵng quickly superseded Hội An to became the largest commercial port in the central region.
In 1847, French vessels dispatched by Admiral Cécille bombarded Đà Nẵng, ostensibly on the grounds of persecution of Roman Catholic missionaries.
In August 1858, once again ostensibly on the grounds of religious persecution, French troops, led by Admiral Charles Rigault de Genouilly, and under the orders of Napoleon III, landed in Đà Nẵng as part of the punitive Cochinchina Campaign. The French overpowered the Vietnamese stationed in Đà Nẵng, swiftly occupying the city and Tien Sa Peninsula (now called Son Tra Peninsula). Despite their initial success, the occupying forces were quickly placed under siege by the Vietnamese army under the command of Nguyen Tri Phuong, and were eventually forced to retreat in March 1860. Conversely, however, the French were able to capture the southern stronghold of Saigon, and in June 1862 several provinces of southern Vietnam were ceded to the French as Cochinchina with the signing of the Treaty of Saigon. Through two more decades of conflict, the French gradually strengthened their hold on Vietnam, culminating in the establishment of French Indochina (French: Union de l'Indochine Française) in October 1887. Two years later in 1889, the French colonists renamed the city Tourane, placing it under the control of the Governor General of Indochina. It came to be considered one of Indochina’s five major cities, among Hanoi, Saigon–Cholon, Haiphong, and Huế.
Đà Nẵng has a tropical monsoon climate with two seasons: a lengthy wet season lasting from May through January and a short dry season lasting from February through April. Temperatures are typically high, with an annual average of 25.9 °C (78.6 °F). Temperatures are highest between June and August (averaging 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F)), and lowest between December and February (averaging 18 to 19 °C (64 to 66 °F)). Short cold spells happen occasionally in winter, bringing even lower temperatures. The annual average for humidity is 83.4%, with highs between October and November (reaching 85–87%) and lows between June and July (reaching 76–77%). On average, Đà Nẵng receives 2,505 mm (98.6 in) of rainfall. Rainfall is typically highest between October and November (ranging from 550 to 1,000 mm (22 to 39 in)) and lowest between January and April (ranging from 23 to 40 mm (0.91 to 1.6 in)). Đà Nẵng receives an average of 2156 hours of sunlight annually, with highs between 234 and 277 hours per month in May and June and lows between 69 and 165 hours per month in November and December.
Da Nang has a status as a transportation hub for Central Vietnam and its proximity to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins fuels much of its tourist activity.
Mỹ Sơn is a remarkable archaeological site dating back more than a thousand years, in Quang Nam Province. Located in a remote forested valley some 70 km west of Đà Nẵng, this former capital and religious center of the Champa kingdom once contained in excess of 70 style temples and stupas. Although badly damaged by bombing raids in the 1960s, the site still has more than 20 structures and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Many statues, sculptures and reliefs recovered from Mỹ Sơn are kept in the Museum of Cham Sculpture, near the Han River in the heart of Đà Nẵng. Dating from the fourth to the 14th centuries, the sensual artwork on these works depicts daily activities as well as Hindu and Buddhist religious themes. The museum itself is housed in a beautiful French colonial style villa with open-air courtyards, fruit trees and bougainvillea.
The Marble Mountains are rocky limestone outcrops jutting out of the beach just south of Đà Nẵng. Paths lead to the top of the forested cliffs, affording spectacular views of Non Nuoc Beach and the East Sea. The caves nestled in the cliffs were originally inhabited by the Cham people. Later, Vietnamese under the Nguyễn Dynasty built numerous pagodas amongst the caves. Today, the Marble Mountains are home to various artisans producing sculpture and artwork at its base.
Non Nuoc Beach is a white sandy beach on the outskirts of Đà Nẵng is renowned for both its spectacular beauty and for its history as an R&R destination for American troops during the Vietnam War, when it was known as "China Beach". Today, the beach, along with My Khe beach to the north, are home to expensive resorts, surfing and entertainment facilities.
Bà Nà Hills is a mountain resort with a 5 km-long cable car system which carries guests up to Bà Nà's peak at 1487m above sea level. Visitors will enjoy the cool climate at the summit due to the elevation difference.
Son Tra Mount, just some miles away from downtown with some wild streams and resorts along the seaside.