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Dragon Bridge Show Da Nang - Bridge vs Cruise

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AsiaBridgesDa NangReviewsShowsViet Nam
Article author: michael
michael
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The Dragon Bridge in Da Nang is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The bridge, which crosses over the Han River and dons a fierce-looking golden dragon that spans nearly the entire 666 meter length of the bridge, breathes fire and water every Saturday and Sunday night at 9pm.

The bridge is located in the city center, and it’s easy to get to by taxi, motorbike, or even on foot if you’re staying in the city center.

Dragon Bridge Show Info

  • Address: Cầu Rồng, An Hải Bắc, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
  • Show Hours: Saturday and Sunday nights at 9pm
  • Time needed to visit: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Entrance fee: Free

The Dragon Bridge Show

The show starts at 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but if you want to get a good, up-close spot, you’re better off getting there early - a good 15 to 20 minutes early at the very least. The show itself only lasts for about 15 minutes, so if you’re late, you’ll miss it.

I had already been to see the Dragon Bridge show in 2019, and really enjoyed it. But our kids hadn’t seen it yet, and we had a few friends who also hadn’t seen it, so we decided to go see it again.

Since we had two groups of friends that wanted to join for the Dragon Bridge show, we decided to do it two different ways: from the bridge with a group of friends from our apartment complex in Da Nang, and a week later, on a river cruise with friends visiting from Hanoi - to see which one was better.

The Show From The Bridge

When I was here in 2019, I arrived early enough to be able to get a great vantage point, but ended up deciding to stay on the street level below the bridge.

Dragon Bridge 2019

While the view itself was fine, I wanted to get a closer spot this time around, so we went up on the bridge and found ourselves a spot near the head of the dragon.

Dragon Bridge 2023

10 minutes before the show starts at 9pm, the bridge is closed to traffic. At that point, the bridge really starts to fill up with spectators from every angle.

As the dragon is about to start breathing fire, the pilot flame in the mouth of the dragon comes to life,

Dragon About to Breathe Fire

and then …

Dragon Breathing Fire

Dragon Breathing Fire

Man can you ever feel the heat from this close up! The flame, not surprisingly, generates a pretty intense heat which you really feel at this distance. It’s really cool to experience it this up close!

The fire-breathing part lasts for about 7 minutes, and then the dragon starts to breathe water.

Dragon Breathing Water

I really thought we were going to get drenched, being so close up, but we actually made it out unscathed! 😂
As you can see in the pic above, the stream of water hit more of the middle area of the bridge, and not the sides where we were standing. That said, had it been windy, I’m sure it would have been a different story!

The Show From The Han River Cruise

The idea of a cruise on the Han River sounded like a really nice, relaxing, and luxurious experience, and getting to see the Dragon Bridge show from the river seemed like it would give us a great vantage point to see the show.

Cruise Pricing

Dragon Bridge Show Cruise
  • Adults: 150,000 VND
  • Children: 100,000 VND
Regular (no Dragon Bridge Show) Cruise
  • Adults: 110,000 VND
  • Children: 82,500 VND

I didn’t realize how many companies there are that offer cruises though, and I have to say the pre-dock area, where you have to get your tickets sorted out, is a freaking mad house. Total chaos.

As a foreigner who doesn’t speak any Vietnamese, I don’t think there’s any way I would have figured out that mess on my own. There are people everywhere, all over the place, shoving their way through, with no rhyme or reason, trying to get the attention of the few staff for each cruise company. It’s a total free-for-all. Typical Vietnam.

After about 30 minutes of that nonsense, we basically had to line up like a bunch of cattle, just waiting for our cruise’s turn to pass the ticket check on the way to the boat.

After finally making it through, we headed to the boat.

7 Stars Cruises

The cruise ship itself was … very basic. I mean, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was pretty bare bones. The seats were plastic, and the tables were plastic or maybe fiberglass, with metal legs. You do get a small plate of fruit, and a small bottle of water, but that’s it. Yippie. 😐

7 Stars Cruises

7 Stars Cruises

But I mean, we were here for the show right?

Dragon Bridge Show

The boat took a while to get into position, and I was sure we were going to miss the show, but we ended up getting there just in time.

Dragon Breathing Fire

Dragon Breathing Fire

We were of course much further away than when we were on the bridge. The view was still pretty decent, but of course it’s a completely different experience than being right up close.

Dragon Breathing Fire

So while the show is going on, the boat stays mostly stationary, but it does move around a bit, so you get a bit of a different view of the show from time to time.

Dragon Breathing Water

Dragon Breathing Water

My Verdict

While I originally thought a Han River cruise would be some luxurious experience, I feel it fell short of that. I mean it was ok, and granted the one we took with 7 Stars Cruises wan’t expensive, but it didn’t live up to the hype I was hoping for.

I’m sure there must be pricier options that offer a better experience though, and so I wouldn’t advise against taking a cruise in Da Nang, as it was still quite relaxing being on the water. Just don’t expect too much from a luxury standpoint if you opt for a cheaper one like we did.

On the other hand, from a purely show perspective, I’d say the bridge is definitely the way to go. You get a much better view of the show, and you get to feel the heat from the fire-breathing dragon, which is pretty cool. Heck, you may even get soaked from the water-breathing part of the show, if you’re lucky! 😏

Until next time,
michael 😀

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