Warning: Illegal string offset 'type' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233

Warning: Illegal string offset 'context' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233

Warning: Illegal string offset 'file' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233

The Reunification Express – Da Nang to Hue

Things to do in Vietnam, things to do in hue, Thien Mu Pagoda, vietnam history, vietnam tourist attraction, Vietnam travel, vietnam tourist spots, vietnam destinations, where to go in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam, vietnam trains, reunification express, how to get around vietnam, best train rides in the world

The Reunification Express - a top ten train ride !

Trains, love them or hate them, they are still very much a part of our modern society.

The daily commute on the work doesn’t exactly inspire romanticism or a burning desire to go traveling either.

It’s usually more of a ‘get me the hell off this thing as fast as possible’ scenario. I know because I traveled by train to work and back for the better part of five and a half years.

Here in Vietnam though, we rediscovered the fun of journeying by train. This adventure took only 2.5 hours and it’s called the Reunification Express. Here’s why we loved every moment of it.

What is the Reunification Express?

It’s a beautiful sounding name isn’t it? And rightfully so but, here’s the thing, it’s not the name of a train, but rather the line itself.

The Reunification Express line spans approximately 1,726 kilometers. It links the capital, Hanoi in the north to bustling Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

Her trains faithfully creek, groan and rattle their way up and down this beautiful country every day, wooing her passengers with spectacular views along the way.

Views of verdant rice paddies, lush jungles and sublime coastal scenes. Not to mention the hair-raising acts of squeezing through tiny towns with practiced precision.

Main stops include Hue (the last imperial capital of Vietnam), Da Nang (tech and beach haven), Nha Trang (Cancun of Vietnam) and Mui Ne (desert meets beach). A stop for every adventure!

We spent three months living in Da Nang and enjoyed a spectacular few days in Hue. We highly recommend these destinations.

Why is it called the Reunification Express?

Jean Marie de Lanessan commissioned the line as part of his vision for the future of Vietnam.

He wanted to create a train line from Hanoi to Sai Gon, calling it the ‘backbone of Indochina’. A trunk line from which other routes would spread. Construction started in 1899 and finished in 1938.

But it wasn’t all roses and sunshine. Sabotage, bombings and destruction inflicted some nasty scars over the years. Scars that were inflicted from World War II through to the end of the Vietnam war, leaving the line in ruins.

All was not lost though. At the end of 1975, Hanoi made efforts towards making the line operational again. At the end of 1976 she was back in business. Reunifying north with south and thereafter known as the Reunification Express.

Sadly, today she displays the signs of poor infrastructure, planning and maintenance. For such an integral part of the country’s transport infrastructure it’s surprising.

Yet through it all, she still performs her duties to the best of her abilities.

What makes the Reunification Express so special?

Simple. It runs along some of the most amazing scenes you will find in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. Not to mention, she’s on the list of top ten train rides in the world, and for good reason.

We took the opportunity to ride Reunification Express line between the coastal city of Da Nang and the last imperial capital, Hue.

If you’ve never seen images of the Reunification Express, then picture lush, dense jungle covered peaks on one side with a vibrant blue ocean on the other, sprinkled with colorful rural villages in between.

It’s a feast on the eyes and you get to experience the best parts of Vietnam’s 3,260-kilometer coast line. Yup, it is an epic coastline and we can’t wait to experience more of it!

Sold? Want to know how to get in on the action?

TRAIN SCHEDULE

The Reunification Express schedule is on the Vietnam Railways website. It doesn’t just cover north to south and visa versa either.

The overall rail system can get you to most places in Vietnam and you’ll find al the schedules on that website.

Travel Tip!: The Vietnam Railway website DOES NOT accept payment from international credit cards (only Vietnamese issued credit cards). If you want to book with an international card, head on over to Baolau . And another head’s up, they do charge extra for the convenience so check your transactions before you hit OK.

Alternatively, you can buy your tickets directly from the train station (or hit up the link below for more options). We purchased our first round the night before and it pays to take you passport with you as they will ask for it. If you chose to buy your ticket on the day, get to the station well before you want to depart. The ques are long and the crowds vast.

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

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

Affiliate disclosure: The information in this posts contains affiliate links for our travel partnerships.  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 them but if you do, we want to salute and thank you for your support, we appreciate it!

There are four trains running between north and south daily, two in morning and two in the evening. Each full trip can take anywhere from 30 – 35 hours plus. And plan on delays. We’ve done the Reunification Express twice now on two different trips and got delayed twice by an hour plus. Nothing out of the norm for here though.

Our advice is to check for your preferred arrival time rather than departure time (if that’s an option). No point getting to your destination at 04:45 and you can’t check in until 14:00.

Things to do in Vietnam, things to do in hue, Thien Mu Pagoda, vietnam history, vietnam tourist attraction, Vietnam travel, vietnam tourist spots, vietnam destinations, where to go in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam, vietnam trains, reunification express, how to get around vietnam, best train rides in the world

No choice in departure time?

There are storage lockers available at a cost in Hanoi. Head through the main doors and towards the waiting rooms. Walk all the way until the last room, the lockers are in there. We haven’t used this service personally.  Last account we could find of costs were VND 50,000 (~USD 2.00 / ~AUD 3.00) for 5 hours or VND 100,000 (~USD 4.00 / ~AUD 6.00) for 8 hours.

Ho Chi Minh City offers lockers too, but we are unable to confirm the costs or location at this time sorry.

If you have some updated info on the locker situation, feel free to hit us up in the comments with the new info. Thanks, we appreciate it!

There were no storage facilities we could see in Da Nang either but most hotels in Vietnam will store your back until it’s time to check in or you’re ready to leave.

ALL ABOARD!

Now that you know what it is, where it goes and how to book it, you probably want to know how much a ticket on the Reunification Express costs. Costs and seats go hand in hand.

TAKE YOUR SEAT PLEASE

On the two trains departing in the morning you have the choice between two options of seats and two options of berths and sleepers.

The prices listed below are for adults as at July 2018.  Children under 2 are free and if they are between 2 and 5 years (and shorter than 1.3 m) they are 75% of the adult fare. They have this strange measuring system for kids here too, we’re not sure what that’s about.

Well, let’s get to it then.

The cheapest option is the hard seats at USD 53.00 (~VND 1,222,000 / ~AUD 78.00) and they are as their name suggests, a hard wood bench seat.

The more comfortable soft seat varies between USD 67.00 and USD 68.00 (~VND 1,545,000 / ~AUD 99.00 and ~ VND 1,568,000 / ~AUD 100.00), they are nice leatherette seat that recline and come with a bit of personal space. The latter is gold when travelling in Vietnam, take it from us lol.

When we booked our last trip, the only seats left were forward facing seats, where you share a table with the seats directly opposite you. What we didn’t expect was ‘ol mate in the seat opposite us using the table it as his personal footrest. Bare feet and all lol! We were trying so hard not to laugh and wake him up.

He turned out to be a sweet old man, accompanying a younger family member all the way from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. It was fun talking to them.

Also, there are NO HARD SEAT options available on the evening trains. Only soft seats and the two sleeper options.

Speaking of which.

Things to do in Vietnam, things to do in hue, Thien Mu Pagoda, vietnam history, vietnam tourist attraction, Vietnam travel, vietnam tourist spots, vietnam destinations, where to go in vietnam, best places to visit in vietnam, vietnam trains, reunification express, how to get around vietnam, best train rides in the world

PREFER TO CATCH UP ON SOME ZZZ’s INSTEAD?

All four trains offer a choice of four (soft sleepers only) or six (hard sleepers only) berths.

The hard-sleeper will set you back between USD 89.00 and USD 91.00 (~VND 2,052,000 / ~AUD 131.00 and ~VND 2,098,000 / ~AUD134.00) and we wouldn’t recommend this one for the whole 35-hour journey, but it’s your call.

The soft-sleeper comes with better linen and much softer padding and costs around USD 93.00 to USD 95.00 (~VND 2,145,000 / ~AUD 137.00 to ~VND 2,191,000 / ~AUD 140.00), depending on what time you depart.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Believe it or not, there is a luggage allowance on the train. Although, we never saw anybody try and enforce it lol.

You’re allowed one cabin bag and one piece of luggage up to 20KG. If your sitting in a seat, be it hard or soft, you will need to fight for overhead compartment space. Most backpacks will fit up there or you can squeeze them in under your seat.

The hard seats are first choice for local travelers and you will have to fight for a bit of space to store your bags, but it’s all part of the adventure, ‘wink’.

Hard luggage, especially big suitcases are a bit of a pain in this situation. We had to jam one of ours in under out feet and then watch the other passengers commandeer it as a footrest lol.

The other one was sitting the half in the walk way. This meant we had to hold onto it for the whole trip and move it out of people’s way. Not ideal.

Other things luggage related

Oh, and you don’t board from a tradition platform in Da Nang. You have to climb up into the train then heft your bags up from the ground too. If you’re short like Tash lol, you’ll need help getting up there.

We have since moved to backpacks due to a change in plans. We’re hoping this will work in our favor as we are considering the sleeper option later in our travels.

Talking to others who have done the overnight trip, they say it’s best to try and grab the bottom bunks. That way you can put your bags under them.

If you’re on the top, your luggage goes up there with you so, something to think about. Anything of high value should stay as close as possible to you.

(If you’re considering this option and wondering how to secure your valuables, then head on over to this post.  There we tell you how we keep our valuables secure. It’s well worth the read.)

TRAVEL SUPPLIES TO PACK

The first thing we always say is to take is water. We make sure to fill up out trusty 1L water bottles for short trips and take extra on longer trips. You can also buy water and other beverages on board.

Not one for Vietnamese cuisine or dubious about where your meal comes from? Then you’re safer option would be to pack your own snacks for the journey. Not saying the food is dodgy, just that the selections cater more towards local travelers and there is minimal English available on board. For our first journey two years ago, we departed at 02:30 and we had some collapsible food containers with snacks in them.  This time round it was a much shorter journey so we didn’t bother to pack snacks.

If you have had the pleasure of dining on the Reunification Express, please share your experience in the comments. We’re super curious to find out if it’s worth it or not. And we will update this post once we have experienced the things we missed out on.

Is the Reunification Express worth the trip?

Riding along the Reunification Express reminds you of why it used to be so much fun riding the train. Sure, it’s not the cheapest option but there are three very good reasons to consider this train line.

One, flights are cheaper but domestic flights are prone to constant delays, cancellations and disruptions. If you’re short on time then flying is your go-to but you miss out on so much scenery by just flying over it.

Two, buses and sleeper buses  are a popular option too. But if you’ve been in Vietnam for an extended period of time, or like us, travel on the roads yourself you would know why this is a terrifying prospect. If you want examples, head on over to our travel updates page.

Apart from safety there are many scams and perils to consider when travelling by bus. Do your homework is all we’re saying.

Three, if you have time up your sleeve for slow travel, try at least one part of it, if not all. The sights will not disappoint and you’ll end up wanting to do either more or all of it next time. Not to mention, slow travel is sooo much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Leon and Tash Vlog

Riding one of the top train rides in the world and our introduction to Hue!

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…

Helmet buying in Vietnam and what to consider before spending money

How to buy helmets in Vietnam
buying a helmet in vietnam, motorcycle helmets, what to know when buying a motorcycle helmet, ECE accreditation, DOT, SNELL, SHARP

Do you need to wear a helmet in Vietnam?

Short answer – Yes you have to wear a helmet.

Long answer – legally in Vietnam you have to wear a helmet when riding a scooter/motorbike. If caught riding without one, you are liable for a fine of ~VND 100,000 – 200,000 / USD 4.40 – 8.80. Or jail depending on the circumstances. That may sound like a small price to pay for those outside of southeast Asia, but we assure you, it’s not worth the hassle.

 

Don’t run

Running when the red light is swinging at you, could be tempting but in reality, it’s a bad idea. They will take chase. As a result, you can cop a hefty fine and they will impound the bike. Probably not worth it.

Fun fact – traffic police are by law obligated to salute you when they stop you. Found that bit of info on the RentabikeVN website. Great reads on their blog, go check it out.

 

Fines and bribes

Going back for a minute to fines (or bribes for that matter). You’ve most likely heard or read plenty about pretending to be stupid so you don’t have to pay the fine or get off. That may have worked in the past, but things are changing and not in the favour of stupid.

Thai traffic police for instance, have learnt how to read English international licenses. They now understand how the classes/restrictions should apply to foreign licenses.No more pretending your home license allows you to ride a scooter lol.

We learnt this from a man who completed an advanced motorcycle training course with us last year. He’d been to Thailand many times, riding a 110cc scooter on his Australian car license without incident.

Not to say that it will happen in Vietnam, but in reality, what’s to stop it from happening here in the future?

(FYI you can only ride a 50cc scooter on your car license in Australia and NZ. Anything bigger and you need a proper motorcycle license. Same goes for Vietnam.)

That all changed once he got wind of the new methods adopted by the local police force. He weighed up his options and figured it wasn’t worth the drama of getting caught. Hence why he opted for the course of getting a proper motorcycle license.

 

Speaking of valid licenses

Vietnam will only accept an international license issued by a competent authority of a member state of Convention on Road Traffic 1968. Do your research on that before you come to Vietnam, because most countries in the world won’t comply with that little requirement. And no, you can’t just roll around on your normal license, it doesn’t work that way lol.

But back to the topic at hand. We wouldn’t advise negotiating or engaging in bribery. Avoid if you can, it’s not worth it.

Ensure you have the correct paperwork on you at all times. That includes a valid license, vehicle registration, insurance and passport. It’s not fail safe but those are the minimum requirements as set out by official government law.

 

Also consider

Another thing to think about is Vietnam has southeast Asia’s second highest fatality rate. You don’t hear or see much of it on international news but it’s a stark reality once you’re here and experience the chaos for yourself.

In all fairness, they have improved vastly in the last decade but have yet to introduce a minimum safety standard for motorcycle helmets. That basically means you can wear anything on your head that resembles a helmet and it’s fine. Hell, we’ve seen cats here on 1,000cc street bikes wearing what looked like bicycle helmets.

There is a silver lining to that dark cloud. Since introducing the compulsory helmet law, 15,000 individuals can thank their lids for saving their lives. Progress, not perfection. But it is a good reason to cover your head, yeah?

 

Which helmet is best

We can’t tell you which helmet is best for you, but what we can do is give you the info you need to start your own research.

 

Types of helmets

Vietnam offers a plethora of helmet options including;

  • Half helmets – covers the top of the head only and most popular in Vietnam
  • Open faced helmet – covers three quarters of the head and second most popular option.
  • Full faced helmet – covers the whole head plus chin (least favorable option).

So, let’s see what the types of helmets are about.

 

Half Helmets

Half helmets or brain buckets, are the most popular option in Vietnam. Not because they are safe, but rather they are a cheap option to avoid copping a fine from traffic police.

A run of the mill brain bucket will set you back anywhere from USD2.00 to USD6.00 and at that price you can imagine the level of safety on offer. Oh, yes safety standards. There are none for this type of helmet.

By all mean if you have a $10 brain, buy a $10 helmet.

** UPDATE **: Something I didn’t consider when I first wrote this article was the integrity of used helmets.  As frequent travelers to Vietnam well know, motorbikes are bought and sold at an astronomical rate in Vietnam and most of them are second hand.  If are are buying a secondhand bike and the deal comes with a brain bucket (half helmet) we highly recommend you toss it and buy a brand new one!

One, they are cheap and readily available and it is totally worth it.  Two, you have no idea what kinds of knocks and hits that helmet has already had and have no idea of its integrity.   Would you rather have an inherited helmet and cracked head or a new helmet and a better chance at surviving?

At the end of the day it’s your choice, we just you to make an informed one.

 

Open faced helmets

Awareness of safety is filtering through to Vietnamese motorcycle riders. Offering more protection than a brain bucket, the open faced helmet is becoming more popular. To be fair, they do offer more protection than the brain bucket.

While they are a better option, they are not ideal as the chin is still exposed to injury. Sounds minor I know, but all you have to do is look at online pictures of these injuries to know how painful that experience is going to be (shudder).

Good news is, a few big brands make this type of helmet but it comes at a price. It’s still a better option as you now have peace of mind with minimum safety standards. Do your research first before you rush out and buy one. (We’ll cover those standards soon.)

 

Full faced helmets

If you want protection for your whole head, then you’ll want to consider a full faced helmet.

Do be careful as full face doesn’t automatically equate to safe. We found full faced helmets at Lottemart (Vietnamese version of Target) for USD 20.00 and they were nothing but a shell with some Styrofoam looking lining. Not saying it won’t do the job, but again a $10 brain = a $10 helmet.

 

Safety Standards

If you definitely want a helmet you can depend on then look into the following safety standards.

 

Snell

This is the king of helmet safety testing. Snell standards pertain mainly to the racing industry and for this reason considered the king of helmet testing standards. The testing process is both vigorous and detailed and the reason top manufacturers line up for Snell’s accreditation.

This however, is not a money-making racket either. The Snell Memorial Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focusing their testing on high level safety standards.
You can read more about them and their work here.

 

DOT

DOT is the American crash helmet safety standard and stands for Department of Transport FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) No. 218. This standard applies to helmets sold and used in the U.S. only.

The test covers a few things, but most notable is their testing for high speed and multiple angle impacts. The high speed is self-explanatory. What makes the multiple angle impact interesting is that there is no way to predict the direction and force of an impact on a helmet in an accident. So, these guys test the sides, top and back of the helmet to gain clearer insights. And that’s great!

Now while your helmet may have a DOT sticker on it, doesn’t mean the model was actually tested. Here’s the deal.

Manufacturers don’t DOT test all their models. They will get approval for some but not all. If they get audited and hit one that hasn’t gone through testing, well, we’re not sure what the penalty is for that.

Something to think about and you can read more on that here.

 

ECE 22-05

This is the European minimum safety standard. Also known as the Economic Commission of Europe Regulation No. 22 (05 is a specific amendment number).

ECE testing includes low speed and angle impacts as well as subjecting the helmets to environmental conditions, high and low heat, solvents, ultraviolet, humidity and moisture. It’s a comprehensive level of testing and why it’s popular worldwide.

Unlike DOT, if a manufacturer wants an ECE accreditation then testing must be across the entire range. So when you see an ECE sticker, you know the model has the appropriate level of protection for its specifications.

Knowledge is power right?

 

SHARP

SHARP is an online tool that takes ECE one step further. Here you’ll find the safety data from ECE complimented by test results for comfort and proper fit. at your fingertips for direct comparisons.

Basically, they have all the info you need on most helmets in one place so you can compare say, a Shoei to an LS2 and see which one offers what you’re looking for. When it comes to picking helmets, SHARP is your friend.

 

Where can I find a helmet in Vietnam?

Simple answer, almost anywhere.

Long answer, research is your friend. If you know what type of helmet you want and what level of safety you need, then a simple online search can point you in the right direction.

Vietnam has a big motorcycle culture and there are many shops that will have what you want.

Our advice is, always try before you buy! Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Find a shop that knows what they are talking about. Ask them about the safety features. If they can’t tell you the basics (which you already know), then keep going until you find one that takes your safety as serious as you do.

Plus, it’s a good way to meet like minded riders.

 

How much does a helmet cost?

Again, this will depend on your chosen options, but think about the following;

  • How often and how long will you be wearing the helmet for?
  • Type of conditions you expect to ride in?
  • Have a budget and make sure it covers at least your minimum requirements for safety and comfort.

At the end of the day, it’s your brain and your life. What’s it worth to you?

 

Summary

We went through this experience here in Da Nang not so long ago, hence why we’re sharing what we’ve learnt with you.

Back home it’s easy, you rock up to a bike shop and you know you’re getting the right advice and the right product.

We’ll be honest and say the no minimum safety requirement for a helmet here in Vietnam threw us. Motorbikes make up over 90% of registered vehicles on the road and accidents happen. You can’t have that many vehicles on the road and expect it to be all honky dory.

We knew we wanted full faced helmets. Apart from being a smart choice, it’s also the only choice back home.

We knew about the different safety standards and decided on a make and model that complies with the ECE standard. (Nothing wrong with the others, this one is just our preference).

 

What we wanted

We were happy to find a motorcycle accessory shop in Da Nang that stocked what we wanted and they delivered a great service. In fact, X135 went above and beyond to help us out and for that we thank them. If you are looking for riding gear or motorcycle accessories, they are the peeps to contact. You can find them on their website or Facebook.

(This is in no way a paid or beneficial piece, we really think these guys are genuine and great to deal with and we’re happy to recommend them.)

The only option available within our minimum criteria was the LS2 Stream EVO helmet .  It has the ECE standard, is rated 3/5 for comfort and fit on SHARP and it’s in our budget at VND 2,300,000 (USD100 give or take).  That is not much by western standards but here in Vietnam that is considered and expensive helmet.  Still we’re happy with our purchase as it delivers what we want.

We had a more important reason for spending dollars on full faced helmets, but more on that in coming weeks, hehe.

Sources

We also did a fair bit of reading on Billy’s Crash Helmets for info on EU standards. They have some great reads to, go check it out.

We hope this helps you find your perfect lid but if you have a question, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll help where we can.

Here is a link to a fun little vlog we made on buying our helmets and you get to see X135 in action if you are curious.

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 TwitterFacebook , Insta  and YouTube too!

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

Da Nang Fresco Village – a painted paradise

Da Nang Vietnam Things to do in Da Nang danang murals paintings

Looking for an artwork experience with a difference?

Then find out why the Da Nang Fresco Village is a must see on your Da Nang itinerary!

What makes the Da Nang Fresco Village so interesting and why should you go see it?

 That’s easy…

It’s a refreshingly different insight into,

  • Da Nang local culture
  • folklore, and
  • meeting talented local artists.

 

The Fresco Impact

In a city where growth is rampant, you have to give kudos to thinking minds. The face and spirit of Da Nang is rapidly changing with a big impact on local values and culture.

As little as six years ago it was a quiet seaside fishing town boasting simple living. Now there are hotels and resorts sprouting with lightning efficiency. Today there are more foreigners and out of towners than locals and that has a big impact.

 

Getting to know the community behind the project

The one thing I love most about travel is getting to know the inhabitants of the city I’m in. Beside being in a new destination, you also get to experience a genuine sense of culture, spirit and community. For a brief time you get to live life as someone else. You feel what they feel. You see the way they see and hear what they hear. Those experiences can leave lasting impressions.

Da Nang Vietnam Things to do in Da Nang danang murals paintings

Da Nang is paying attention to these modern methods of introducing tourists to local culture. The city is finding clever ways to introduce the ever-increasing hordes of foreigners to her way of life. No easy feat for any city, let alone one experiencing this level of rapid change. The Da Nang Fresco village is one of these initiatives and it’s well worth the visit!

 

Introducing the Da Nang Fresco Village

By now you might be wondering what a fresco village is.  A fresco, in short, it’s a painting done in watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling. The ‘village’ part relates to the neighborhood that scarified the outer walls of their homes to the cause.

So, when I first read about the Da Nang Fresco Village I knew this was going to be something extraordinary. We hadn’t been to a fresco village before and I can see why it’s so popular.

It gives you the sense of an open-air gallery of sorts, almost like a refined form of street art. It has that intimate feel about it. The one where you feel like you’re the only person there. You’re not only seeing the art on the wall, but you’re also absorbing it in the environment around you.

This project was the brainchild of a forward-thinking local community. Some of these families have been here for many generations. While others are supporters who came here, proud and passionate about their new home.

They not only want to preserve their history and culture but they also want to showcase it.

How did they do it? They teamed up with some very talented local artists to create something special. They created Da Nang’s first fresco or mural village.

Where is the Da Nang Fresco Village?

Location: 75 Nguyễn Văn Linh, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng

If you didn’t know exactly where on the map it is, you could easily walk past it and not know it. The small entrance sits off Nguyen Van Linh, not far from the Dragon Bridge.

As soon as you enter the small alley you’re transported to authentic Vietnam. Away from all the resort hustle and bustle.

Best time to visit

Unlike most attractions, this one doesn’t have hours.  The best time to visit is during the day to get the most out of your visit.

It’s neighborhood and you can visit it as long as you are being respectful to the residents.

How did the project come to be?

There is approximately 1,200 square meters of painted alleyways to feast your eyes on. The collaboration between artists and home owners provided a breathtaking labyrinth of murals.

Artists spent three months completing these frescoes. Each one telling its own story. Each depicting something about the area be it historic, cultural, scenic or legend. Every stroke drawing you deeper into the scene. 

It can be a constantly battle between wanting to stay longer or rush to the next one.

The community is proud of this project and eager to share it with anyone. They love listening to comments and eagerly inhale any feedback to continue its success.

An unexpected personal tour

In particular was one of the gentlemen we spoke to at the start of village, who told us about how the project came to be.

Nhan himself, a Ho Chi Minh City native, moved and ended up staying in Da Nang to be a part of this project.

His excitement was so contagious we couldn’t help but get excited with him.

After talking to Nhan for a few minutes, he volunteered to take us around and tell us more about the works. That was an absolute treat!

 

Hooray for amazing volunteers!

This is purely a community initiative with neighborhood people volunteering their time, services and products to the cause.

It’s not just about walking around and looking at pretty street art either.

The village also features an arts and crafts area for those wanting to explore their own creative side. You will have the choice of painting a nón lá (traditional Vietnamese leaf hat) or theater mask. Don’t want to get your hands dirty?  That’s fine too, you can simply pick a souvenir to take with you.

The food area showcases Da Nang food and those cooking are happy to chat and answer any questions while they cook your dish.  The dishes are simple, fresh and tasty with decent variety for everyone to enjoy.

What is great about the food area too is that the murals in the courtyard are courtesy of the neighborhood kids. Turns out they are just as talented as their adult mentors.At the moment, the alleys are functioning roads. There is a fair bit of scooter traffic zipping up and down so it pays to be vigilant.

Aiming for bigger and better

Nhan also told us that there will be other cultural additions to the project in time. Their hope is to expand the murals further. They want to make it bigger as well as add more cultural activities for visitors to enjoy.

There have been calls to make the area a pedestrian only zone but we haven’t hear much about that since.

 

These aren’t just pretty pictures

While the fresco’s are beautiful, each one has it’s own tale to tell.  The pink wings for instance. It tells of a mythical creature with a love of earthly things.  On one particular visit she is tricked, causing her to lose her wings, leaving her stranded on earth.

We won’t give it all away, but make sure you ask about them as they include folklore and poetry too.

 

Something special

Special mention should definitely go to the owner of little refreshment station.

Half way through the village we came across a small seating area offering a drink. There was a sign pointing to a colorful tray displaying all the ingredients.  It was very clever and visually appealing.

Da Nang Vietnam Things to do in Da Nang danang murals paintings

We enjoyed a traditional Vietnamese drink called nuoc mia. Traditionally it’s made from sugar juice, blended with ginger and lemongrass. This brew had a few other herbs and spices added to it and that’s the beauty of it, it too can be creative. A refreshing treat at a small cost and well worth supporting!

Support the Da Nang Fresco Village!

We had a fantastic time here and learnt more about Vietnam, her beautiful culture and rich history. We also met some passionate locals who are happy to make a new friend or two, just like us.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please go to their Facebook page. A massive thanks to all those involved in this initiative, you’ve done a great job!

There is a lot to learn from a local. In fact, we’re excited to see what the future holds for this project. If you do too, please support them, it’s worth it!

Da Nang Vietnam Things to do in Da Nang danang murals paintings

Leon and Tash Vlog

Follow us as Nhan takes us through the village and explains how it came to be and what it means to the local community

If this is your first visit to our site, 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…


Warning: Illegal string offset 'type' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233

Warning: Illegal string offset 'context' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233

Warning: Illegal string offset 'file' in /home/perfegg7/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Traits/Generator.php on line 233