Back in 2016, during my third visit to Vietnam my then-partner mentioned that there is a place called Monkey Mountain just a short drive away from Da Nang. Since I really enjoyed visiting the Monkey Island near Nha Trang earlier, I liked the idea to check that place out.
We were staying in Hoi An so in order to get there we had to get a taxi to get back to Da Nang first, then drive further to the Monkey Mountain. I said cool, we might not have the chance to see it again so let’s go.
First we asked the receptionist in our hotel about the location and we were surprised that she never heard of that place. Then we got out to the parking lot where we asked a taxi driver – he was confident about where to go, confirmed that there are wild monkeys and also advised that it will be expensive to go there and come back. I was okay with the price, given that there will be no entry fees so we agreed on a price and started our journey.
Quite some time later, after passing Da Nang I started to become suspicious as I did not see any sign about the Monkey Mountain. We asked the driver and he insisted that he is going the right way and it will be worthy.
After another 20 minutes driving on some weird mountain roads he said that we are getting closer. We just passed the brand new Intercontinental that was also in the same location. I was getting excited to see monkeys free in the wilderness. Then just a few minutes after the driver stopped the engine and said that we arrived.
There was nothing there. Not a single building, not a food kiosk, nothing. Not even monkeys. I asked him where he took us and where the monkeys were? Frankly, I was starting to become really frustrated about wasting so much time and money going there for nothing. The driver responded that at this time the monkeys go to another place.
I got really angry and told him to get lost. I paid one way, half of the agreed return price and ignored his cursing afterwards. I hope that driver learned a lesson and next time he will not waste the time of others to get some money. Looking around there were absolutely no signs of monkey life there.
We met a group of people who came for a walk to the forest from the nearby Intercontinental resort and they said they were also looking for monkeys. We started chatting and went along an approximately 20 minutes very scenic route which was really beautiful.
The view from the Monkey Mountain itself is very nice, the air is fresh and the ancient trees were a welcome change after the polluted cities. Soon after we walked back to the nearby Intercontinental and took a cab home.
The place is really nice, definitely worth a visit for anyone who likes hiking. Later when I was looking for more information about the lack of monkeys I learned that they are usually at a totally different part of the mountain so missing them was entirely the fault of the driver.
This was a very good learning experience about traveling in Vietnam, after this occasion I always do proper research before visiting an “off the beaten path” location. I advise everyone to not solely rely on the advice of locals as they might not know or will want to rip you off – but try to find real information online before planning a longer trip and use reliable transportation such as Grab or get a quote from the hotel.
Daniel Diosi has an exceptional track record in transforming new hotels, late adopters and not so famous properties into leading brands that are successful and profitable online. Check out more at here