We left Hue by train to go to Danang on November 6. The rain let up for most of the trip and we had an amazing view of the coastline all the way. We understand that the Hue-to-Danang stretch of the rail line is the most scenic of the entire Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City line. The only problem that we encountered was a man across from us with very odiferous feet. Fortunately it only took 2.5 hours to get to Danang.
We went to Danang not expecting more than a few nights in the big city and to complete our mission to check the immigration office for logistics about how to get our visas extended. What we found was very modern, stunning city which was lit up at night with lights on all of the 4 bridges that spanned the river. We stayed in a lovely place called “The Night Sky Hotel” ($20/night including breakfast) which overlooked the water and had a great view of all of the activities on the river, but unfortunately is a bit of a walk/taxi ride away from any shops or restaurants. Denise brought out her art supplies in the lobby and once again drew a little crowd of wannabe artists and soon a majority of employees of the lobby were drawing!
On Saturday we woke up to glorious sun and the first clear skies in about a week! We took advantage of our good fortune and headed for the beach (historical note: the stretch of beach at Danang was known as China Beach during the American War, and was the place where American soldiers spent time on R&R). Predictably, we got a bit sunburned, but not too badly.
We visited the dragon bridge on Saturday night per the recommendation of our hotel receptionist. The head of the dragon actually breathed fire. We could feel the heat from the fireball on our skin. Next, the dragon spewed water which luckily wafted to the other side of the bridge sparing us an extra shower! This is a weekly event (Saturday night only) and draws a huge crowd of locals and the occasional tourist.
We are taking a private car to Hoi An which is only an hour away!