LIVE – Dragon Bridge Fire Show – Up Close – in Da Nang, Vietnam

The Dragon Bridge here in Da Nang, Vietnam, actually BREATHES FIRE every Saturday and Sunday night at 9pm. I got so close I could feel the heat from the flames.

It’s a very festive atmosphere – and I’m here seeing it with a bunch of locals who are loving it as much as I am. The show is free and there’s plenty of activity, including live music and street food in the surrounding area.

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The Dragon Bridge Fire Breathing Show is definitely a must-see if you’re in Da Nang over a weekend. You can watch from the rooftop of one of the nearby restaurants, but it’s not nearly as fun as being right on the bridge under the dragon’s head.

Living in Da Nang, as the unintentional expats we’ve become, we cross this bridge regularly. It’s beautiful when it’s lit up in different colors at night. The Dragon Bridge is 666 meters (2185 feet) long and crosses the Han River. It officially opened on March 29, 2013.
This video was done as a live broadcast and I ended up with a few connection issues, but they’re not detrimental to the final video. Besides, I have an absolutely adorable co-host that you don’t want to miss.

Visitor Information for the Dragon Bridge Fire Show

To get to the Dragon Bridge, call a Grab or a cab, and tell them you want to go to the Dragon Bridge. If it’s Saturday or Sunday night, they’ll probably assume you’re going for the Fire Show. Make sure they drop you off directly under the bridge, and not in the Night Market area. Look for the wide stairways that lead from the street up to bridge level.

Sorry, there are no elevators. If you can’t climb stairs, you’ll need to access it from the street level that actually crosses the bridge. Not a bad choice for anyone, but a longer walk to where the action is, unless you can get the driver to stop on the bridge itself.

Definitely make time for this if you’re in Da Nang.

Travel Tip #1: Keep an eye out for the very colorfully lit tour boats that travel along the river for the fire show. They’re a light show unto themselves.

Travel Tip #2: Right next to the stairs for the Dragon Bridge, if you’re facing the dragon head on, it’s on the left side, there’s an area where they perform traditional Vietnamese music, and sometimes cover pop tunes on their traditional instruments. It’s a nice little music bash.

Video Transcript

>>EMILY: Hello!

>>TRINA: This is my new friend, Emily, and she has been talking to me and telling me what to expect from this Dragon Bridge that is going to go off. Tell them, tell my friends what is the dragon gonna do?

>>EMILY: I want to take the word number 100.

>>TRINA: But what about the dragon, what is it going to do?

>>EMILY: It can breathe fire and water, my daddy says, twelve times it can breathe fire.

>>TRINA: Oh, cool. Shall we show my friends what the dragon looks like?

>>EMILY: It looks like a snake.

>>TRINA: There is the dragon, and it goes all the way down the bridge. It’s not lit up right now, they’re saving the drama. The whole bridge does light up. I just tuned in, I got this going a few minutes early to make sure we don’t miss anything. We’ve got fire will come and we’ve got water coming, and we’ve got Emily.

So this is what we’re here for tonight, is to see the Dragon Bridge. As you can see, we’re pretty darn close to it. I’m going to hope that I can get out directly underneath it.

So I’m going to show you a little bit around town, what’s going on. I’m going to flip the camera, and there is quite a crowd.

You’ll see a lot of people are not wearing masks and that’s actually completely okay. We have almost no Covid in the country, and what we do have is brought in from outside. It’s usually someone coming in through the airport. They get figured out shortly after they get off the plane, and so honestly there’s almost no Covid here to worry about.

Let’s see let me see if I can go over the crowd a little bit. In the distance there’s a Ferris wheel. I don’t know if you can see it, but yeah, I didn’t know there was going to be this big of a crowd.

I also didn’t know the night market is open. I’ll have to do the night market on another night.

But, yeah as I say, there’s almost no Covid in Vietnam at all right now. They’ve done a great job of handling it.

It’s going to be one of the countries that I highly recommend coming to when you first want to travel after the pandemic and once you’ve got your Covid shots and you know, everyone’s moving around again. Because if it were to crop up again I know they would do a good job of handling it.

So that’s the situation here. If you don’t see people with masks, that’s why. Obviously we’ve got a few minutes yet, because the bridge is still open. The bridge is still open. They will close it down to traffic. Emily loves to talk, and that’s awesome. I’ve been talking to her for about 10 minutes.

So let’s see let’s see what else we can show you around here. As I say, you can see actually quite the crowd, quite the crowd.

If you’ve tuned in early, thank you for tuning in. Sorry there’s gonna be a few minutes wait. I don’t know exactly how long. Whoops. I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to be. Usually I think they started pretty promptly.

But I seem to be having some connection issues so I was trying to avoid that, which just happened, as you saw. Maybe it’s because there’s a lot of people broadcasting here right now. Maybe it’s the location, but so yeah, that’s the one thing.

If you haven’t seen traffic here in Southeast Asia, a lot of motorbikes. A lot more motorbikes than cars, honestly.

I was going to show you the skyline of Da Nang, but there’s just too many people. I can’t get over to show you the skyline and then back out here to get really good shots of the dragon.

We’ve got a few clouds in the sky tonight, but we’re right close to the dragon. It’s not like they’re low enough to interfere. As I say, thanks everyone for tuning in.


One thing that you’ll always see here, let me walk around just a little bit, is people serving food from the back of motorbikes. People do everything from the back of motorbikes. If there’s a million things you didn’t think you could carry on a motorbike, they can carry it here.

We’ve got cotton candy and ice cream here. Ooh, ice cream is so tempting. I’m technically allergic to milk. If you ever hear this in the background of one of my videos, you get that kind of recording is always someone selling food off the back of their motorbike.

So they’ve got ice cream and cotton candy. There was someone, I think the guy down on the other end, was selling, I think he was selling like buns with meat in them. I think they were more of a dinner type item. So, oh oh my, okay.

There we go, there we go!

Hey, maybe that was just a heads up. I don’t know if that was a real thing, or just a heads up.

Okay, I think the bridge is closed now.

Okay, well we got everyone’s attention.

Okay, they shot off a few bits of fire.

“Whoa. Don’t worry too much about motor bikes hitting you. They are pretty good at avoiding you – most of the time. They have absolutely no interest or big ego in, ‘oh get out of my way’. They will avoid you, at least here in Southeast Asia.

We’ve got music going everywhere. I hope that doesn’t get me in trouble with copyright. Hopefully it’s not. Hopefully it’s not going to be a problem. Doesn’t matter, we’re going to show this to you and see how it goes.

Yeah, they say. I think those were maybe warning shots.

We’ll see. It depends on what comes out next.

Oh there we go, there we go. Oh look at that, look at that. Look at that, right up under it, right up under it!

I’m gonna follow the fire.

Okay are we back. I think we’re back. Sorry there was a slight pause, there seems to be a little bit of data issue here.

Hey everyone. Thanks for joining me.

Let’s see let’s see what’s coming out next.

Yeah, honestly there’s a lot more people here than I thought there would be.

If you didn’t catch it at the beginning, I’m telling you we got groups of people and we don’t have a lot of masks and that is because there’s almost no Covid here in Vietnam. They’ve done an awesome job of controlling it and I don’t think there’s any in Da Nang right now, and the few cases that are in the country are controlled and tracked and quarantined.

As I say, they’ve been doing an awesome job. So if you’re wondering why we’re all running around here looking like idiots without masks, we just don’t have a problem. It’s under control.

So I keep seeing headlights down there and hoping they don’t come closer because I’m kind of in the middle of the street. See I’m in the middle of the street here.

I was keeping the, oh it came back, just in time for the water.

Just in time for the water spray!

First the dragon breathes fire, then he breathes water.

He shoots it all the way out over there, all the way out over there.

And I actually know the trick. The wind always blows that way, so you stay on this side if you want to stay dry and keep your equipment dry.

So theoretically, the connection just rejoined, right when the water was going, so hopefully you all saw that.

Oh, here we go again. More water, we’ve got more water. All the way out, all the way out.

Water roaring out.

Now that’s a water cannon. That’s how you put out a fire.

Look at that, look at that.

Oh, traffic’s coming through a little bit.

Not sure if there’s more, or not. I presume lights will come up when they’re done. That, or people are leaving, so maybe, oh no.

One more, one more, one more.

Look at that, look at that, look at that, look at that. Ha hah!

>>EMILY: Dragon breathes water.

>>TRINA: Yeah, what do you think Emily? Did you like it?

>>EMILY: Yes.

>>TRINA: Very cool.

>>EMILY: Everyone over there is wet. [indecipherable]

>>TRINA: Yeah, if you’re on that side you get all wet. We’re on the dry side.

It’s been wonderful talking with you, Emily. Thank you very much. I appreciate the commentary. She has helped out a great deal.

>>EMILY: The time when he was breathing fire, it was so hot.

>>TRINA: Yeah, the fire was very hot. We could feel the heat down here.

Okay, okay. Let’s turn this camera around.

Okay, that was the Dragon Bridge here in Da Nang, Vietnam. It was breathing fire, breathing water, being really awesome and cool.

Sorry for the glitches, I’m not sure what’s going on with my connection.

Thank you for joining me.

Sometime in the next week or two I will get to, I’ll try and get to the night market, or the big bridge with the giant hands, something else interesting to show you.

Thank you for joining me tonight at the Dragon Bridge, and I will see you next time.

Trina Phillips

I've been traveling to off-the-beaten-path destinations for more than 20 years. Now I'm sharing my continuing adventures in Africa.

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