ĐNĐT-Sáng 5-12, UBND thành phố Đà Nẵng và Tập đoàn Sun Group tổ chức họp báo công bố chính thức Lễ hội pháo hoa quốc tế Đà Nẵng 2017 (Da Nang International Firework Festival – DIFF 2017).
Với chủ đề “Tỏa sáng Ngũ Hành Sơn”, DIFF 2017 với sự tham gia của 8 đội đến từ các quốc gia Úc, Ý, Anh, Áo, Trung Quốc, Nhật Bản, Thụy Sĩ và Việt Nam. Lễ hội sẽ diễn ra trong gần 2 tháng, từ ngày 29-4 đến hết 24-6. Đây là một trong những lễ hội pháo hoa có quy mô lớn nhất châu Á với nhiều hoạt động đồng hành, hưởng ứng và sẽ trở thành lễ hội rực rỡ sắc màu trong suốt hè 2017.
Theo Ban tổ chức, DIFF 2017 sẽ được trình diễn vào thứ bảy hằng tuần, lấy cảm hứng từ hình ảnh Ngũ Hành Sơn, với 5 đêm pháo hoa mang tên Hỏa – Thổ – Kim – Thủy – Mộc. Không gian bắn pháo hoa là sân khấu Ngũ Hành ở vị trí trước khách sạn Novotel, đường Bạch Đằng, được dàn dựng theo công nghệ hàng đầu thế giới về âm thanh, ánh sáng và pháo hoa.
Thời gian và lịch bắn pháo hoa Đà Nẵng 2017
+ Chủ đề Lễ Hội Pháo Hoa Đà Nẵng 2017 sẽ mang tên: “Tỏa sáng Ngũ Hành Sơn”
+ Số đội tham gia dự thi: 8 đội
+ Thời gian diễn ra cuộc thi: 5 đêm mang tên Hỏa – Thổ – Kim – Thủy – Mộc
• Ngày 29/04/2017 (Hỏa): Đội Việt Nam và Đội Áo
• Ngày 20/05/2017 (Thổ): Đội Thụy Sĩ và Đội Nhật Bản
• Ngày 27/05/2017(Kim): Đội Trung Quốc và Đội Anh Quốc
• Ngày 03/06/2017(Thủy): Đội Úc và Đội Ý
Ngày 24/06/2017(Mộc): Chung kết & Bế Mạc
A side trip to the Marble Mountains located midway between Hoi An and Da Nang is on its own merits an awesome experience, but there is a lesser travelled path that is consistently overlooked when going to see the main big one. Marble Mountain has four little sisters, all within a five-minute walk and included in the 15,000 VND entrance fee, which offer some smaller but equally impressive caves and pagodas — without the crowds.
Each of the mountains is named after an element. The main and most visited Thuy Son (water mountain) is the largest, with three caves and a secret ‘road to heaven’ — a steep, rocky climb through the cave to the mountain peak, where on a clear day you can see for miles all around. The show stopper though is the last cave, Am Phu, which has a huge Buddha statue set among large stone pillars and wells said to connect the mountain range to the sea.
Thuy Son’s four little sisters — Kim Son (metal), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire) and Tho Son (earth) — are all easily accessible from Thuy Son and offer more natural caves, grottos, tunnels and Buddhist temples. They really are worth the trek, and although it’s hard work on a hot day, there are lots of quiet shady spots for relaxing away from the crowds and getting a better picture of what makes the mountains a hugely popular pilgrimage site. Hunt hard enough and you may even find a few bullet cartridges left behind by the American and South Vietnam occupancy during the war.
Although guides will be happy to walk you up Thuy Son, you’ll struggle to find one who will show you the others. When you buy your ticket, ask for the map — it’s an extra 15,000 VND but includes all five mountains, their caves and pagodas, and is well worth the extra spend. If you want to take a bit of marble mountain home with you be warned: all the marble sculptures are made from marble imported from other provinces and some of it is not marble at all (a good test is if it’s warm, it’s not marble). Be prepared to haggle to at least a third of the original price quoted and remember your luggage allowance! If you just want to take a peek at the sculptors in action, the best ones are tucked away in tiny shacks away from the main drag where there is less hardcore selling and the carvers are happy for you to go and have a poke around.
Once you’ve had your fill of the mountains, a good rest stop is Hoa’s Place, about 100 metres towards Hoi An down a little dirt track towards the beach. He serves up some pretty good burgers and on a good day will entertain you with stories of the history of the area. If Hoa is not there, he’s got a nice stretch of beach, a very basic guesthouse and some ancient surf boards for hire.
If you are heading for Da Nang, there are some great seafood stalls lined up across the road from the stretch of beach known as Man Thai, all serving up freshly caught seafood or Da Nang’s new speciality dish, mi quang noodles similar to Hoi An’s cao lau, big chewy noodles served with pork and shrimp, packed with fresh herbs and served with a huge crispy rice cracker to break up and sprinkle on top.
A little further towards Hoi An you can’t miss the low rise celebrity hangout hotel – The Nam Hai. The Hoi An side stretch of beach just past this is where the sand-scribbling mute war veteran was featured on the Top Gear Vietnam special. It’s also a beautiful stretch of public beach that makes for a perfect picnic spot during the sunny hours of the day, when it’s practically deserted. If you happen to bump into the mute war vet, he’ll re-enact the planes coming in over the beach in drawings in the sand; be warned that he is somewhat anti-American, so if you are from the US it’s probably best not to tell him that.
The Marble Mountains are 15 kilometres from Hoi An along the coastal road.
This old sandstone building houses the world’s largest collection of Cham art and sculpture, and was established in 1919 by the Ecole Francais d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO). Da Nang was chosen as the location due to its proximity to the former kingdom of Champa, My Son and Tra Kieu. The museum follows Cham architectural themes, and was enlarged in 1936 as its collection increased. More than 400 original pieces of sculpture and text documents spanning the fifth to the 15th centuries are on show. Each of the museum’s ten rooms bears the name of the district in which the relics were found.
For us the most impressive exhibit is a huge stone Buddhist pedestal (the one with the missing head) sitting with his hands on his knees with his feet flat on the ground. It depicts the Champa king of Indrapura who was the only Buddhist Champa king; this is an unusual image of a Buddha sitting in a chair. Look closely and you’ll see that every available surface is intricately carved, with images related to the Buddha’s life — a huge artistic diary.
When we last visited in 2014, the buildings were being restored and a big chunk of the exhibits had gone off to a New York museum, which was slightly disappointing, but very much needed. Entrance to the museum is 40,000 VND, with free guides available for groups of five or more. The best time to visit (especially in the heat of April to September) is early morning as there is no air-conditioning and it can get uncomfortably hot.
Many visitors complain about a lack of information, a problem that was recently addressed with large laminated information posters in Vietnamese, French and English, positioned just inside the entrance to each room. They are easy to miss, especially if you are unfortunate enough to rock up at the same time as a tour bus, so keep an eye out for them.
If you plan a side trip to My Son, ask your guide to stop in at the Bang An Tower on the way through, a far better preserved example of Cham architecture.
Made famous by the American war (and the TV show), Non Nuoc as it is known in Vietnam first rose to fame when its close proximity to Da Nang led to it being used as an R&R destination for American soldiers.
Though subsequent decades left it with a tranquil vibe of abandonment, the crowds have returned once again, so though Non Nuoc initially avoided the over-development that other beaches like Nha Trang undertook after Vietnam opened its doors to tourism, it’s now looking to become the country’s next big beach resort.
On an earlier visit in September 2008, the vast stretch of beach, from the Son Tra peninsula to the north down to Cua Dai beach outside Hoi An to the south, was being prepped for a massive transformation. Thousands of acres of beachfront property had been appropriated by the government for use by international hotel conglomerates to build four- and five-star luxury resorts, and major chains.
Fast forward to 2014 and despite a large influx of resorts and villa complexes, including the Crowne Plaza, Hyatt, Fusion Maia, Vinpearl, Intercontinental and a couple of golf courses, it’s still a huge development site and most of the beach is still fenced off awaiting construction — making it inaccessible to the public. The half-demolished buildings have been joined by half-built resort projects abandoned during the recent global recession.
Some building has recently started again in earnest though, and a few new resorts opened their doors early in 2014. More resorts are earmarked for completion by the end of the year, although at this stage it’s quite difficult to imagine they will be ready in time.