Hoi An is a perfect central hub for exploring the surrounding areas. And you know we like a road trip. You’ve got mountains, temples, the golden bridge, ancient sanctuaries and more. That about covers the locations in today’s post.
It was so hot the day we went on our road trip; I could not have been happier to be wearing my dress. Hello, air flow. This trip, like all of them, was planned by Nathanael. And I’d say it was pretty close to perfect in that we were never on the scooter for longer than two hours at a time. If you’ve never ridden a scooter, the comfort level significantly decreases after the two hour mark. This is particularly true for us, considering we ride together.
No matter if you take a car, or scooter, this road trip is a fantastic way to see SO MUCH of what Hoi An, Da Nang and the surrounding nature has to offer.
Simply type these locations in Google Maps and make your route. That’s what we did.
So, head out of town…
On your way to Da Nang you can see the temples of Marble Mountain to your left. GO THERE. This is the start of your trip.
There is an entrance fee and an elevator to take you to the top. The first photo is the view as you exit the elevator and enter the temple area.
You can see several temples and shrines, as well as go inside Marble Mountain. As I stated, it was freaking hot the day we went. And somehow, it was even hotter inside the mountain. There is not much to see inside the mountain – basically just a large opening with a small shrine. But it was super cool to see some of the polished areas of the marble.
After Marble Mountain, continue a short 20 minutes to Da Nang. Stop for some amazing coffee at Conkopi Specialty Coffee & Roastery then cross the Dragon Bridge, get some photos of the Love Pier and head to your next location. Da Nang does have a beautiful waterfront. If you have a decent amount of time in Hoi An, I suggest making one of your days a visit to Da Nang.
Head up the road, toward the mountains. You’ll drive all along Da Nang’s Miami-like beach until you begin to enter the green hills.
There was a small fee – honestly couldn’t tell you if it was for the temple visit or just for parking. But it’s well worth the visit. We actually came here twice during our time in Hoi An.
This is a location you simply walk around. There are several buildings, a large statue, garden like sections, and views of the city of Danang.
This guy was a quick stop. You’ll drive through winding roads surrounded by trees until you reach an opening where you can see a hill with a lookout. That’s where you’ll find this wise guy. We snapped a quick picture and it was back on the scooter for the main attraction of the day…
Welcome to THE tourist attraction of Vietnam. Not even going to lie, this was on the top of my list. Call me basic. I loved every second of it and more.
You’ll actually board a cable car at Ba Na Hills Sun World. That’s how you’ll get to the top. It was very well run (the same company that was in Sapa) and even with some clouds rolling through, you get great views of the valley.
The Golden Bridge is one of many attractions at the top. Once you arrive, you can board more cable cars that will take you to other places – like a super weird German/French town that looks like an Adult Disneyland. Very strange, but also visually appealing. We had a beer, and headed back down to the Golden Bridge area. Here you can walk through curated gardens, take in the views, and meander through the various paths.
Places like My Son Sanctuary remind me just how young the United States is as a country. To get to the Sanctuary it’s a decent walk, even after taking the trolly from the front gates. You’ll pay for parking and then wait your turn for the trolly to take you to the entrance. Then you’ll walk through the old ruins. It’s a simple path to follow, but things are quite spread out. We were chasing daylight so moved pretty swiftly through the sanctuary. I highly suggest visiting this place.
You will spend five to six hours on a scooter. But there are so many stops along the way it really isn’t bad. Just make sure to do some walking at each location. Trust me, this road trip is worth it!
Another road trip idea is to visit Hai Van Quan. This trip has less stops but UH-MAZING views along the way. Total drive time is around three hours. We chose to do this on a separate day than the road trip described above.
If you’re into road trips, Hoi An has you covered. These two road trips would be shorter if you were starting from Da Nang. So if you’re considering staying in Da Nang, that might not be a bad idea. Either way, make sure to get out of whatever city you choose to stay in – Da Nang, or Hoi An. Go see the temples, mountains, villages, ruins, and tourist attractions. They’re all worth the trip.
Planning a trip to Vietnam? Pin this post for later!
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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