Best Time to Visit Da Nang

Da Nang is widely regarded as the happiest place in Asia, known for its stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. Therefore it’s an easy decision to visit the vibrant city of Da Nang, but when is the best time to visit? There are a number of draw cards to this part of Vietnam, and as such,  it draws the crowds. So taking into consideration climate, temperatures, festivals, public holidays and insider knowledge, Hidden gives you an idea of what Da Nang looks like at different times during the year at the major tourist hot spots. All with the aim of helping you decide when the best time is for your visit to Da Nang.

The Dragong Bridge in Da Nang
The world-famous Dragon Bridge in Da Nang

Best Time to Visit Ba Na Hills & the Golden Bridge

The Ba Na Hills is a hill station and resort located in the Truong Son Mountains,  west of the city of Da Nang. This ancient resort was built in 1919 by French colonists to be used as a leisure destination for French tourists. Located 1500 metres above sea level, it is now the spectacular home of a fully-fledged French replica village of epic proportions. It also has one of the best views in Central Vietnam. Read our full guides to visiting the Ba Na Hills, the Ba Na Cable Cars and the Golden Bridge to get the most out of your day.

We suggest visiting the Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge during the period from March to September. During this time the weather is stable and therefore ideal for sightseeing. Let’s face it travelling by cable car 1500 metres above sea level,  you don’t want to be caught in inclement weather!  

The Effects of Altitude on Your Day at the Ba Na Hills

Being situated at such a great height, the Ba Na Hills is very similar to the climate of the north of Vietnam: In the early morning, you experience spring-like weather. A cool breeze gently blows through the early morning’s fog. At noon, the sun begins to shine, increasing the temperature so it feels like summer. However, while Da Nang at ground level can reach high temperatures, it is always cooler at the Ba Na Hills. Therefore as it is not too hot, you can enjoy all the leisure activities the resort has to offer. In the afternoon from 3.p.m to 6.p.m, a gentle autumn breeze comes your way. Then after about 6.p.m, temperatures drop back down. While it’s not quite winter (unless you visit during the wet season), you’ll be grateful for an extra layer of clothing. 

The Golden Hand Bridge
For the best photos, visit Ba Na Hills Golden Hand Bridge in good weather. Photo: Kristen Wells

Best Time to Drive the Hai Van Pass Between Hue & Da Nang

Many believe that there is nothing more worthwhile in central Vietnam than travelling from the historical city of Hue to Hoi An through the Hai Van Pass.  Located along the central coast of Vietnam, the Hai Van Pass connects the two major cities of Da Nang and Hue.  It is approximately a 21 kilometre stretch along National Highway 1. It is one of the most quintessential roads in Vietnam, weaving through breathtaking mountains overlooking the stunning coastline.  

The Hai Van Pass acts as a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam.  Thus sheltering the city of Da Nang from the “Chinese wind” that blows in from the northwest. We suggest visiting the Hai Van Pass during the dry season between March and early October so that you don’t miss out on the heavenly views up there. Because during the wet season (mid-October to February), the weather on the pass will more than likely be cold and wet. Therefore not great driving conditions and the Hai Van Pass’ beautiful views are at times, obscured.

motorbiking at Hai Van Pass
Motorbikes navigate the twists and turns of the Hai Van Pass

Best Time to Visit the Marble Mountains, Da Nang

According to ancient folklore, a dragon emerged from the water on Non Nuoc Beach and laid an egg. A thousand days followed before the egg hatched, and a beautiful girl was born. The fragments of the shell were left on the beach and eventually grew into five mystical Marble Mountains. 

The Marble Mountains are open year-round from 7.a.m. to 5:30.p.m. The best months to visit are March-May and September.  Ie) avoiding the peak summer season and the rainy season. Visiting in the height of summer June – mid-August, the heat can be stifling. However, If you are visiting during the summer, then just make sure you do an early morning visit!  From October to November, heavy rains can come up suddenly and their torrents slick the marble stairs, making them slippery and dangerous. Visiting outside of these times you will be able to experience all the area has to offer, climb around and explore without getting too wet or too hot!

Hidden Hint: Always wear comfortable shoes to explore the caves, peaks, tunnels and temples of the Marble Mountains

People typically only spend an hour to an hour and a half exploring just the main mountain, Mt. Thuy. Without a doubt, the best time to visit is when the tour bus hoards are absent.   This is usually early in the morning—before 8:30.a.m. The first buses begin to arrive around 9:15 a.m. Alternatively visit later in the day, after the bus tours have left, approximately 4.p.m to 5:30.p.m. Visiting at these times has the added benefit that you avoid the hottest part of the day and have the best light to photograph the expansive views. Click here for our full guide to exploring the Marble Mountains.

the city of Da Nang as scene from above
A cityscape of Da Nang. Photo: Marissa Beth

Best Time to Visit Da Nang’s Beaches

If you are planning on travelling during the dry season, from March until September, don’t forget to put your swimming suit in your bag. The beaches in Da Nang are a wonderful blessing!  My Khe Beach or Non Nuoc Beach are just two of the astonishing white sandy beaches in the area.

Hidden Hint: Visit the Son Tra Peninsula, and find some of Da Nang’s hidden beaches. Located just 12km north of the city, it’s also a nature reserve that is home to the rare red-shanked doucs monkey. 

When planning your beach holiday visit to Da Nang, bear in mind that October through January is considered the “wet season”, averaging between 13 and 21 rainy days. February and March are lovely “shoulder season” months to visit, as are August and September. The  “dry season”, can be hotter than some people enjoy, with peak heat coupled with high humidity in June, July, and August. But then again during this time be selective about when you venture out. it’s always cooler at the beach with a sea breeze and the ocean to dive in to!

Mornings and evenings definitely have the most foot traffic at the beach. In contrast, you will be surprised by the quietness of midday. The midday direct sunlight can be unbearable at certain times of the year, but just enjoy the shade of the beach loungers and a cool beverage between 12.p.m – 3.p.m. However, for a long walk on the beach or to hang out near the water’s edge, we recommend morning or evening hours.

When is the Best Time to Visit and Experience Da Nang’s Festivals?

Visiting Da Nang during a Vietnamese festival provides opportunities to see and experience Vietnamese culture first-hand. From the famous Da Nang International Fireworks Festival to the all-encompassing festival of Tet and people burning fake money offerings in the streets. These experiences can have a big impact on your stay in Vietnam and in Da Nang. 

Here is Hidden’s guide to some of the larger festivals that have a local or regional impact. Additionally there are many other smaller festivals in villages and provinces that are not listed. 

Da Nang International Fireworks Festival

Held annually for five weekends – June through July (summer months)

If you are planning to visit Da Nang City during the summer, don’t miss the Danang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF), one of the largest fireworks events in Asia.  Over the course of five weekends in June and July, Da Nang locals, visiting Vietnamese, travellers, and firework enthusiasts from all over, come together for a spectacle of world-class pyrotechnics. This is probably one of the most interesting fireworks celebrations in the world!

beautiful fireworks during the Da Nang International Fireworks festival
Fireworks over Da Nang during the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival

Tet Festival in Da Nang

  • Late January or early February

Tet, or Lunar New Year, is Vietnam’s most important festival. In many areas whole cities shut down to celebrate. The word Tet is short for “Tết Nguyên Đán” and comes from the Sino-Vietnamese dialect. It translates to “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.” This festival is held around January or February depending on the lunar calendar. 

Hidden Hint: Plan your trip carefully if arriving anywhere in Vietnam around Tet. Book travel and rooms in advance to ensure that you have a place to stay. 

We’ve dedicated a full article to Tet which you can read about here. Visit Da Nang in the weeks running up to Tet to experience the preparations and parties. Da Nang is very quiet over Tet itself but plenty of shops and restaurants do stay open.

The Year of the Pig
Paint your own pottery pig to celebrate The Year of The Pig

Reunification Day

  • April 30th

On April 30th, Vietnam celebrates Reunification Day. Some refer to this as Liberation Day or Victory day. If you want to impress the locals call it by its official name, “Day of Southern Liberation for National Reunification.” 

This day marks the end of the American War and the reunification of North and South Vietnam. As a public holiday, expect travel and government services to be disrupted. This is also a day when museums, parks and historical sites are flooded with Vietnamese visitors.

If you are planning to stay in Da Nang area during these days, you can appreciate live music shows performing victorious songs from the war. Look out for the Vietnamese red flags that every house hangs in front of their doors during this time.  

Wandering Souls Day

  • August 15th 2019

Don’t let the name scare you, ‘Wandering Souls Day’ is the Buddhist version of the Christian ‘All Souls Day’.  At this time the souls of those condemned to suffer in hell for their sins are freed for a day. Known locally as ‘Vu Lan Day’ it happens on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month.

On this day, Vietnamese families prepare a vegetarian meal and have an empty seat ready for family members that have passed away. The smell of burning joss paper fills the air as families offer goods to the wandering souls. The eve of the festival is also celebrated, with many families heading to Buddhist temples and graves of loved ones. It is a fantastic time to visit Da Nang as Wandering Souls Day is a cultural experience unlike any other.

a good day to visit Da Nang
Clear skies over Da Nang during August

Mid Autumn Festival

  • Middle of September or early October

If you have an interest in Vietnamese culture then the Mid Autumn Festival is something you can’t miss!  When autumn arrives, lions and dragons take to the streets of Da Nang. The sounds of drums and symbols fill the air as the Mid Autumn Festival rolls into the city and shops. Shows are seen in front of local businesses blessing the store and bring it good luck for the coming year.

Chinese and Vietnamese people celebrate the Mid Autumn as a harvest festival. Based on the lunar calendar, this festival happens during the full moon around the 15th day of the 8th month. On the Gregorian calendar, this festival falls around mid-September to early October, depending on the moon.

Hidden Hint: Visit Asia Park in Da Nang as it hosts the nation’s longest road of lanterns during this festival. In addition, under the guidance of a professional chef, visitors can also try to make traditional mooncake

staff light incense during the mid autumn festival
Staff at a local shop light incense

Best Time of the Year to Visit Da Nang

The best time of the year to visit Da Nang largely depends on what you want to experience in the city and in central Vietnam. From lower tourist levels in October to the long hot summer days of July, Da Nang has a lot to offer in any season. For a guide to Da Nang’s weather, along with today’s weather forecast, check out our guide here.

The two major seasons in Da Nang are the wet season and the dry season. 

Da Nang’s Wet Season

The wet season starts around mid-October and lasts until around mid-February. During these five months, Da Nang has many overcast and rainy days. October brings the most rain, with an average of 21 days of rainfall. 

While it may be wetter than usual in Da Nang, it rarely rains all day long. You can still experience the city, just pack a raincoat along with your sunhat! 

Da Nang’s Dry Season

The dry season starts around February and lasts through the summer months until about the start of October. During these months, the city has an abundance of sunny days and the best weather of the year. However, the peak of the dry season brings heat and the humidity slows down even the most acclimatised people. If visiting at this time, we advise building your days around long siestas with the aim of avoiding the midday rays.

April in Da Nang receives the least amount of rain, with an average of only six days. June is Da Nang’s hottest month with many days reaching the high 30s°C

What Month has the Best Weather to Visit Da Nang?

March, April, and September are the best times to visit Da Nang based on weather. These months provide the lowest average rainfall of the year and manageable temperatures ranging from 35°C (95°F) to 26°C (78°F). 

These months provide the best weather conditions for a balanced Da Nang experience.  However, if you are looking for long hot beach days, consider booking your trip around May-August when the temperatures are higher and the days longer.

The Dragon Bridge at night
Da Nang’s Dragon Bridge at night. Photo: Chase Martin

Typhoon Season in Da Nang

Typhoon season is when Vietnam experiences heavy rain. Most of the time, typhoons start in the north around May or June, then head south over the next few months, ending in the south around December. These typhoons seasons tend to land in Da Nang in October at the height of the wet season. August and September have also brought heavy rains. 

Travel plans get impacted when these storms roll in. If you are travelling around this time, check the weather and pay attention to what’s developing. Don’t get scared if you find yourself in a typhoon in Da Nang. Da Nang’s residents weather these storms with a smile year after year. If you have concerns, just ask for advice from your hotel. We suggest hunkering down someplace safe with good food and riding it out. 

 

rainy season in Da Nang
Lightning and rainstorms are usually not the best time to visit Da Nang

Hidden’s Thoughts

Although Da Nang is a big city, it feels much more relaxed than the capital city of Hanoi or to Ho Chi Minh. With so much to do, between spectacular festivals and adventurous tours in the neighbouring areas, Hidden thinks that the best time to visit Da Nang is in September.  At this time the rainy season is long gone, tourist levels are lower and the heat of the summer has dipped back down again. Additionally, the Mid-Autumn Festival during this time provides a great way to experience traditional Vietnamese life and it is not disruptive to travel. 

However, In the wet season, you’ll find a city not many tourists see; and as the saying goes: anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. So…Happy travels!