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Travel GuideMonday, 08/28/2006, 02:34

Danang’s new city tour 

Mai Linh Travel Service Co. have just introduced a new tour to their itinerary for tourists to the region. In addition to their existing three hallmark city tours: “Champa Museum-Marble Mountains–Son Tra Ba Na”; “Hai Van Pass–Lang Co–Luong Springs”; and Han River–Son Tra–Marble Mountains”

Danang�s new city tour 

Looking down at the city from the top of Son Tra Mountain

Mai Linh Travel Service Co. have just introduced a new tour to their itinerary for tourists to the region. In addition to their existing three hallmark city tours: �Champa Museum-Marble Mountains�Son Tra Ba Na�; �Hai Van Pass�Lang Co�Luong Springs�; and Han River�Son Tra�Marble Mountains�, they are adding a new adventurous �Visiting the Champa Museum�Son Tra�Non Nuoc and Tasting Delicacies� city tour.

The new program is being organized every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a cost of VND220,000 per person.

This tour is regarded as being complimentary, or the �missing link� to the other three city tours. So, by including an ethnic flavor the organizers hope that they will be able to exploit another, as yet, untapped market, and be able to provide an unrivalled, fully comprehensive site seeing adventure holiday for all types and class of foreign tourist to Danang.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and the first stop is the Champa Museum, which is located at the key intersection of Bach Dang and Tran Phu, the only two one-way streets in Danang. The museum was built in 1915 and designed by Henri Parmentier, a famous French architect. Inside is a veritable treasure trove with more than five hundred Champa objects exhibiting their culture and advanced civilization to the world, including statues of the gods of Siva, Lasmi and Skanda amongst others.

Amongst the solemn and quiet atmosphere inside the museum, one can not only enjoy the cultural masterpieces of the ancient Champa people but also listen to a guided tour of their legends, histories and beliefs but also make educated guesses at their aspirations for the future. To help one get into the spirit of things, visitors can also watch traditional Champa dance performances, played by Danang�s expert dancers from the Museum Hall.

After leaving then Champa museum, guests are then taken on a trip along the beautiful beaches of Danang city, often rightfully compared to Australia�s famous Gold Coast, such as North My An and Non Nuoc beaches, right the way down to Marble Mountain and Non Nuoc village. Marble Mountain actually consists of five separate mountains, which combined represent the five elements of the planet: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.

 It is said in the Nguyen Dynasty, during one of King Minh Mang�s journeys throughout his kingdom, he passed by the area and decided to name it the Five Elements Mountains. So, now-a-days apart from being a famous national geographical landmark, the area is also the pride and joy of Danang-ites, famous not only for its history but also for its world famous pure white marble, and the numerous skilled masonry artisans who have gathered around its base in special handicraft villages. So, after struggling up to the summit of the mountains to pay one�s respects to the gods who frequent the pagoda at the top, visitors are then taken off for a spot of sightseeing and shopping.

For lunch, the tour pops by Khue Trung for a unique tasty local dish of pork rolled in girdle cakes, one of Danang�s specialties. After lunch, Son Tra Peninsula is waiting for us. The peninsula is five kilometers northeast from the city center and Son Tra Mountain is seven hundred meters above sea level. The trip is delightful but some twelve kilometers from the top to the bottom so one needs to prepare in advance for the expedition. During the bad old war time days, this was a notorious base camp, well known as a United States military zone command post complete with heli-pad perched a at height of five hundred meters.

Infact, the top of the mountain is still famous for its two radar stations that were built in 1965 by the American army. They were quaintly known as �Indochina�s eyes of god�, and �Air View� and �Sea View� station respectively. The reason the stations were called these names is because the observers could �see� into all three Indochinese countries at one time. In 1990, the Danang city government decided to use radar stations for a rather more practical and useful civil aviation purpose. None-the-less, standing atop of the mountain visitors can we can see the whole city perfectly clearly through the telescope that has now been placed there.

Finally, the very enjoyable day trip winds up with a sea bath and early evening chill-out on the beach below. So, as the sun sets on another beautiful day over Da Nang, just lie back and enjoy the calm surroundings and sea breeze with the silky sand. The tour ends at 5:30 p.m. the same day.

For more information, contact Mailinhtourism on 0511 522 333 or Vietnamtourism at 83 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Danang City, Tel: 0511 251 144.


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