Less than 24 hours in Danang, Vietnam
We arrived in Danang at about 6 pm so promptly got a taxi to our hotel. We stayed at the Hoa Viet Hotel and got a triple room – 3 double beds! What a great treat. Harris and Patrick each had a huge bed which left Steve and I with a bed to ourselves. The funniest thing about the room was that the porter proudly put on all the lights in the room turned into a blue light disco nearly. If only it had a disco ball!
We headed out into Danang to find dinner. If we had turned right from the hotel we would have found food easily … however we turned left, headed down to the river, enjoyed the beautiful lights lining the trees and streets; walked aimlessly with whinging children and finally settled on a Korean restaurant. The food was ok, the children atrocious but came under control enough that they finished their meals in order to receive supper from the bakery next door. Back at the hotel, no one needed rocking to get to sleep!
We awoke on our only morning in Danang and needed to find breakfast. Most places offer brekkie but not this one. Diagonally opposite the hotel we found a large eatery and were served fried eggs and baguette. The eggs also came with some mayonnaise and pate that was really delicious.
Fueled up, we walked down to the one and only attraction in Danang, the Cham Sculpture Museum; sandstone sculptures that date back to the 9th Century. For 60,000 VND all of us entered the aging little museum and took some great photos of the sculptures.
Heading back to the hotel we stopped for coffee, looked in a mall and were on a mission to find a way from Danang to Hoi An. Our first stop was the Sinh Cafe tourist depot. We have booked many buses etc through them and were generally happy with their service … but not today. First they quoted us one price; quoted us again to add in a stop along the way and we agreed on that price and then requoted a hugely inflated price that was totally unreasonable. We walked out and found another well known bus company/booking agent a few doors away that was much better and cheaper. Finally for a much better price we had a car to transport us from hotel to hotel, with a 1 1/2 hour stop included at the famous Marble Mountains; along the road to Hoi An.
We packed up our room and headed out to grab lunch before our journey to Hoi An. We returned to the breakfast eatery but discovered that the sign advertising 10,000 VND hamburgers was not to be and in fact they wanted to charge 28,000 VND. We left and just down the road found a very busy restaurant with fantastic, fresh and cheap Vietnamese food. See Harris’s post on ‘How to Make a Vietnamese Roll’.
Back to the hotel after lunch and our driver arrived to pick us up. We were surprised to learn that our private car ride wasn’t going to be so private when he pulled up at the tourist office to pick up 3 extra passengers! We had paid for 4 seats they told us in a car that could hold 8! Welcome to Vietnam! Anyway, we made it to Marble Mountain and were dropped off at a marble shop of course to have a look at their wares before they courteously showed us to the stairs leading up the mountain.
Up we went. It really was a worthwhile side trip. Had a view of China Beach from the top and the mountain was riddled with paths leading to pagodas and caves. Enjoyed an icecream when we got back to the bottom of the mountain and returned to our car and driver without buying one thing made of marble or something resembelling marble! We continued onto Hoi An and made it safely …