Da Nang – the must see city of Vietnam

Da Nang, Da Nang Vietnam, living in da nang, ex pats living in Da Nang, Vietnam holiday, places to live in Vietnam, best city to live in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam

What was so special about Vietnam that we moved here? Da Nang of coarse...

This unassuming city hosted us for one day and night in 2016, on a backpacking trip travelling from Hoi An to Hue. At the time we knew nothing about Da Nang, hence the short stay, but boy did she surprise us!

So, that’s why in 2018 we went out on a limb, selling everything bar a few precious keepsakes to move here. To start our new epic twelve-month journey to discover Vietnam and all she has to offer. And the adventure started in Da Nang.

You’re doing what? LOL that is the first reaction we got from all our close friends and family. The exception was those who had already experienced this country to some degree. What we have in common with the latter is that we all want to come back! There is so much to see and do!

Da Nang, Da Nang Vietnam, living in da nang, ex pats living in Da Nang, Vietnam holiday, places to live in Vietnam, best city to live in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam

Why Da Nang?

For starters, it’s pretty much in the middle of the country. Getting anywhere from here depends on your choice of comfort, whether it be flying or driving. And your travels are not limited to domestic destinations either. Da Nang sports an international airport too. But you don’t have to come here and leave for somewhere else.

Da Nang is becoming a world class destination. There are several activities and attractions already in place with more to come. We’ve seen significant changes in the two years since our last visit and impressed with what they have achieved in this time.

We also chose Da Nang because there was so much we missed the last time we were here. Now that we have more time, we can devour it and delight you with our tales.

Well then, where to start?! We were looking for a destination that offered affordable living. This included plenty of activities, food, transport and last but not least, accommodation. We found plenty here to keep us busy for at least our first three months. So here we go…

One of the world's most famous beaches

On our backpacking trip, one of the first things we learnt about was My Khe beach.

The driver looked a bit miffed that we didn’t recognize the importance of its name. So, he went on to explain that during the war, the American troops dubbed it ‘China Beach’. He got his desired reaction then. But, he went on to explain that the Vietnamese people aren’t very fond of this moniker and it would best not to call it that. Which was fair we thought, and why would you when it already has a beautiful name.

This impressive pale sand and blue water stretch of beach melts your senses. From its lazy waves, thatched beach shelters and comfy chairs, to palm trees dancing in the breeze. The best part is, there is 20-odd miles of it. While Lady Buddha watches over it all from her northern vantage point.

 

Surf to City

If sand and water between your toes isn’t quite to your liking there is an actual city to explore as well. Da Nang is central Vietnam’s largest city, boasting a population of 1.347 million (as at 2016). The city sits across from another well-known landmark, the Han river. She is accessible by four famous bridges known as Dragon Bridget, Thua Phuoc Bridge, Tran Thi Ly Bridge and Han River Bridge. Each is famous in its own right, but more on that in another post.

The city itself has plenty on offer to explore. We didn’t get the chance to burrow into its curious depths last time. But we will share our experiences with you as we delve deeper into this adventure.

Da Nang, Da Nang Vietnam, living in da nang, ex pats living in Da Nang, Vietnam holiday, places to live in Vietnam, best city to live in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam

Food, glorious food

The city itself has plenty on offer to explore. We didn’t get the chance to burrow into its curious depths last time. But we will share our experiences with you as we delve deeper into this adventure.

While the beach may be the main attraction, the much adored Vietnamese cuisine is hot on its heels! There are absolute endless options, no matter what direction you go. Venturing a block or so in from the beach, you’ll find all the options aimed at the tourist market. Including the usual suspects plus some western options. If you’re brave enough to venture into uncharted territory you could be richly rewarded too. Consider yourself warned though, you’ll be Googling your fingers raw. English is scarce but you’ll stumble across some photos which does make it easier. Being patient could be key. If you don’t mind doing research on the fly, then you might find some hidden local gems to fall in love with.

We’d been here for little over a week and we already had a couple of local eateries locked down as favourites. Both offer delicious meals, great service and super affordable prices. Making it easy for those like us on a fixed budget lol. And there are plenty others around we want to explore more too.

The city also caters to all sorts of food buffs. Its pride-and-joy feature is its seafood and there are endless options as far as the eye can see. But fear not! There are plenty of options available for pork, beef and chicken lovers too. And if that is not your thing either, then you’re covered too. More vegan options are starting to pop up as popularity increases. Delivering some spectacular spots to get your eat on.

Dayum! How good is the coffee?!

And what about the coffee you ask? Well fear not, here you can find any caffeinated drink you can imagine and if you can’t find it, they will make it for you. Coffee is a huge deal here and they take immense pride in their craft. Which makes it an absolute pleasure being a ‘taste-tester’. Again, it wasn’t hard to find a great spot near our new abode. We are looking forward to finding loads of amazing new options on future foot patrols.

Ridiculously easy to get around!

Getting around is pretty easy too. There are a multitude of options from taxis to ride shares to the most popular which is renting a scooter.

We used taxis, share rides, rental scooters and eventually bought our own.  You can read . We tend to prefer foot patrol as we get to experience new areas in more detail this way, hence the lack of info at present.

(As I was writing this post, I was waiting for DHL to deliver my renewed driver’s license. I needed it to get my Vietnamese license. Did we need VN licences? It depends on what your insurance covers. Our policy would only cover us if we have the correct license for the vehicle operated. Our licenses had to be valid in our respective native country as well as the country we are traveling in. For this trip, we completed extensive motorcycle training to gain proper motorcycle licenses. We did this before we left and something we recommend you look into. What we learnt from our three-day course was invaluable from a skill and safety aspect. We like to do things the right way, it makes things easier in the long run. But do your homework and see what suits your travel and insurance needs best.)

Da Nang, Da Nang Vietnam, living in da nang, ex pats living in Da Nang, Vietnam holiday, places to live in Vietnam, best city to live in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam

Not sure where to start looking for bus tickets, time tables and the like?

No problem, we've got you covered. Hit search to find  your travel solutions

Affiliate disclosure: The information contains an affiliate link for our travel partner, 12Go Asia. Now, you don’t get charged extra for using these links and we may earn a small commission from them which goes towards finding and managing all the awesome content on our site.  You are under no obligation to use these links but if you do use them, we want to salute and thank you for your support, we appreciate it!

Accommodation in Da Nang

Last but not least is accommodation and there is no shortage on that front.

Airbnb leads the charge with hotels and private rentals in hot pursuit.

All you need to decide on is when, where, your desired comfort level, location and the city is your oyster.

We chose the Mai Boutique Villas in Son Tra for our first seven day. This was in the area we were thinking of looking for apartments and figured it would make a good base to work from. It was an affordable option and offered comfy clean rooms, great staff and plenty of areas to get some work done. The included daily breakfast was praise worthy. We miss our daily breakfasts 🙁

UPDATE: The Mai Boutique Villas no longer exists (we have a feeling it was because of the karaoke joint that moved  in next door LOL), but the link below will give you plenty of options to look at.

Planning on staying long term and want something more private? Then Facebook is your friend. We found our apartment via the expat pages and a local property agency. They helped us overcome the language barrier and made the whole sign up process easier.

Looking and choosing took longer than the sign up did. You have to know exactly what you want or it could take a whole lot longer. We did a fair bit of research before we left. We worked out that we wanted from an apartment and where we would like it to be. These specifics made finding options easy and we signed a lease four days after arriving in Da Nang. Easy peasy!

Da Nang, Da Nang Vietnam, living in da nang, ex pats living in Da Nang, Vietnam holiday, places to live in Vietnam, best city to live in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam

Looking for your perfect accommodation in Da Nang?

From 2 star to rock star, find your perfect stay right here!

Affiliate disclosure: The information above and subsequent info they lead to will contain affiliate links for our accommodation partner, Hotels Combined. We trust and used them for most of our trip and we are happy to recommend their services (especially since they were so easy to use and found us really good choices too.) Now, you don’t get charged extra for using these links and we may earn a small commission from them which goes towards finding and managing all the awesome content on our site.  You are under no obligation to use these links but if you do use them, we want to salute and thank you for your support, we appreciate it!

If this is your first visit to our site, then welcome!  Head on over to our Things to do in Vietnam Page where we tell you about more things you should add to your Vietnam itinerary.

Don’t forget to subscribe and join our Tribe!  You’ll find us on Twitter, Facebook , Insta  and YouTube too!

Thanks for reading guys and we’ll see you in the next post…