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Da Lat Eats

Eating in Vietnam, Vietnamese local food, vietnamese streetfood, Dalat streetfood

Delicious Da Lat Eats and where to find them

We’ve gone on and one about the produce here in Da Lat and it’s time to put our money where our taste buds are. We’d like to introduce you to our Da Lat eats!

Our stay so far has been epic and one of the things that makes it epic is the food! We were lucky enough to have a decent amount of time in this spectacular city to enjoy an array of different eats. We felt it only fair to share them with you.

Da Lat Roadside eats

We’ve got corn, we repeat, we got corn

We’re normally a tad hesitant to take on roadside food without someone that knows what they are doing. But every now and then though, we luck out! Our first roadside experience in Da Lat turned out to one of those times and it was deliciouuuuus!

We walked past this little old lady frying something up on the side of a busy main road. We couldn’t tell what it was but it smelt amazing! It was sweet, but not sickly, fried but not greasy and had us super curious.

At first, we walked right on by but then decided to suck it up and scurried back to find out what it was.

We’re not sure what they’re called but we’ve named them Vietnamese corn fritters. Delectable little deep fried balls of whole corn kernels, coriander, chili and some other elements we weren’t sure of  all in a delicate batter.  They were soooo goood!

We added two more pieces to the corn fritters but these were slightly wide and flat and covered in the same batter as the fritters. What we had now were slices of sweet potato (kumara), covered in batter and deep fried. Ugh my mouth waters just thinking of it.

Combined, the whole lot only cost us VND 35,000 (~USD 1.00 / ~AUD 2.00).

They were so good, that they disappeared before we could take a picture. Sorry guys! We’ll see if can remedy that on a next visit. Wink-wink.

If it looks like a toastie, it must be a toastie

A few days later we were on our way back to our hotel after a long day on our feet. We stopped in at our new favorite, Lien Hoa Bakery, only to find almost everything sold out.

We pretty hungry by then and still new Da Lat, in an area we hadn’t been in before. There were small restaurants everywhere but we couldn’t tell what they were and didn’t want to risk it.

That’s when we saw the toasted sandwiches! Leon was happy to be guinea pig and ordered one. I was still dubious at this stage as the bread was a weird soft yellow color with brown stuff oozing from the middle.

I should’ve known then I was going to miss out! Leon offered me the last bite and after concluding it seemed safe to eat, I tried it.

Pineapple Lump Toastie!! (Sorry but that will only mean something to the Kiwis and Aussies right now.) But you guys read it right!

A light, sweet batter made with real pineapple and a gooey warm chocolate center, toasted to perfection. It was heaven!! Not to mention only VND 5,000 (~USD 0.20 / ~AUD 0.30)

We contemplated going back for more, but we had a dinner date with our friend Hà and had to get back.

Eat like a local - the best of Ha and Duong's Da Lat Eats

If you’ve read our Delightful Da Lat blog, then the name Ha will sound familiar. Our new friend was kind enough to introduce us to some of his and his brother Duong’s favorite Da Lat eats.

Nem Nuong at Ba Hung (Phan Dinh Phung Street)

Ha decided to introduce us to a Da Lat specialty called nem nuong. Delicious morsels made of seasoned pork, molded on lemongrass stalks and grilled to smokey perfection over an open flame.

Served with rice paper, fresh greens, pickled and veggies and finished off with peanut sauce and deep fried rice paper.

The fun part was making the rice paper rolls with all the ingredients in it. If you want to see how this went down, head on over to our vlog on the experience.

The ingredients don’t look like much, but don’t be fooled, it’s filling and food coma inducingly good! Plus it only cost VND 100,000 (~USD 4.00 / ~AUD 6.00) to feed three of us. Score!

Vietnamese pizza at Banh Trang Nuong Co Hoa (Thong Thien Hoc)

Erm, deep fried what now?

Ok, we’ll be honest and say there was no mention (that we can recall) of lung being on the menu. We were there for a Da Lat pizza! How they were different to other Vietnamese pizzas we weren’t sure, but about to find out.

Hà took us to Bánh tráng nướng Cô Hoa on Thông Thiên Học and introduced us to his favorite pizza. It was just before we ordered the pizza that Hà mentioned the place was famous for their pig’s lung.

We had a previous incident with chicken liver that scarred us for life. The idea of eating pig’s lung didn’t sit well, but we decided to be brave and give it a go.

We got the pizzas first and it was the usual rice paper base with toppings. What made this one so tasty was the selection of toppings. Everything from sausage, peanuts and herbs to green mango adorned the base and it was delicious!! We tried both the flat and rolled up pizza and they were both yummy but not exactly filling.

Hà assured us the main meal would follow. And with that the deep fried pig’s lung arrived.

The little pieces of black something presented on a bed of shredded rice paper with fresh herbs, seemed harmless enough. It looked like pieces of fried mushroom really, except we knew what it actually was.

Hesitantly we both tried it and were pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure what Leon was expecting but I thought it was going to be bitter, hard and/or chewy. It was anything but.

The outside was crispy and the inside still soft and chewy. It was very well prepared and we enjoyed every piece of it. Will I have it again, probably not, but I’m sure Leon won’t be shy about it.V

Skillet food at ChaCha Xot (Duong Bui Thi Xuan)

It was time for the main course. Hà took us to a spot just around the corner from our hotel called Chacha Xot. It’s one of his favorites and we can see why!

Their menu offers a large selection of rice or noodles with meat and/or seafood and veggies, or just veggie options. There is something for everyone!

The fun part is, you chose what you want and they deliver the ingredients on a hot plate ready for you to finish how you like. Almost like your own personal hot plate. But you don’t have to cook everything from scratch as it arrives partially cooked. All you have to do is toss the ingredients like a pro, finish it off with the sauce and get ready for a delicious food coma!

We went back a second time to try two other dishes. Again, we walked out with stuffed bellies and big grins.

At VND 145,000 (~USD 6.00 / ~AUD 9.00) for both of us, it’s what we would consider a good mid-range option. 

The service was great, the staff spoke some English but it wasn’t hard to interact with them. The restaurant itself had great ambiance with a fresh vibe, which made the whole experience great.

We look forward to another visit the next time we’re in Da Lat.

Eating in Vietnam, Vietnamese local food, vietnamese streetfood, Dalat streetfood, what to eat in Vietnam, what to eat in Da Lat, chacha xot, skillet food, delicious

Chao Dem (Phan Dinh Phung Street)

Now this was a real treat! On our last night, Hà decided to introduce us to another one of his favorites but this time it wasn’t in a restaurant.

We got to experience an authentic street side specialty called chao dau xanh (green bean soup).

Settled into the customary small plastic table and chairs set up, Hà went straight to work on ordering our dishes. We had no idea what we were in for!

Before long an efficient young man plonked three large bowls in front of us. Each bowl filled with steaming light green goop and it looked mouthwatering.

Another five dishes arrived with some interesting looking condiments. Hà explained that the soup itself, made of rice and green beans, doesn’t have much flavor but that is where the condiments come into it.

These included two selections of cooked veggies, two selections of pickled veggies, anchovies, deep fried tofu, boiled eggs and chili sauce.

The shell on the egg looked very soft and the yolk wasn’t a normal yellow. They intrigued me because they didn’t look like normal boiled eggs and I was right!

Turns out the eggs are left in heavily salted water for five days and then boiled.  They were the saltiest eggs we’ve ever tasted but when combined with the green bean soup, tasted delicious.

We sampled all the vegetable on offer with the soup and on a cold, wet night, it was the perfect comfort food option.

If you ever see a sign that says chao dau xanh, don’t hesitate to give it a go!

Eating in Vietnam, Vietnamese local food, vietnamese streetfood, Dalat streetfood, what to eat in Vietnam, what to eat in Da Lat, what to eat in vietnam, what to eat in da lat, chao dau xanh, salted egg, pickled veggies

We just want to say a massive thank you to Ha for taking the time to show us so many of his favorite foods. We had an absolute blast trying out so many different and new dishes! And Duong, sorry we couldn’t spend more time with you, but we thoroughly enjoyed your recommendations too, especially La Viet Coffee!!

More Da Lat Eats for mentioning

Lien Hoa Bakery

Another one of our tricks for eating on the cheap is to look for bakeries. Here in Vietnam there is no shortage of them. Another great French influence that the Vietnamese have mastered.

In Da Lat though, there is one bakery that stands out by a country mile and we know why. Their banh mi rocks!! Welcome to Lien Hoa Bakery, a Da Lat eats institute!

Da Lat is unique in that it offers a different kind of banh mi to any other we’ve encountered so far. What makes the Da Lat version special is that it’s served with pork meatballs cooked to delicate perfection in a light and tasty broth. Add in freshly made pate, herbs and pickled veggies and you have a stunner!

Doesn’t sound like much but the simple things in cooking are usually the best. I devoured seven of these things during our stay by myself and at
VND 15,000 (~USD 0.65 / ~AUD 1.00) a piece, it was both filling and bang for our buck.

One thing to watch out for with Lien Hoa is that you never walk out of there with just banh mi lol. It’s a bakery and it’s a big one to boot too. We can vouch for their banh bao, sweet treats, cakes and coffee lol.

Eating in Vietnam, Vietnamese local food, vietnamese streetfood, Dalat streetfood, cheap eats vietnam, vietnam bakery, bakery food

Opening of a brand new Jolibees

If you’ve seen our vlogs, you will know we were big Jollibee fans! When we planned our visit to Da Lat we did look for it, but it seemed Jollibee hadn’t reached Da Lat yet.Only, on day two of walking around, we spotted some Jollibee signs with an upcoming date and we got super excited. That excitement was quickly squashed when we couldn’t find any info on the posters though.Three days before we due to leave, we found out that Jollibee WAS opening a new store in Da Lat. The best part was it was happening the very next day.

We had to do a fair bit of digging on the location as nobody, not even Ha knew where the store was. He gave us a general direction to head in and with that we set of the next morning.

Ha was right! We found a brand new Jollibee and it was having a great big opening party and we were there to celebrate with them.

Cheap Da Lat Eats

We were travelling on a budget and while we weren’t skint, we liked the challenge of making our dong stretch as far as it could. Along with bakeries, we looked for big versions of Super C, Lottemart or Vinmart supermarkets. Why you ask?

Simple, most, but especially the bigger supermarkets, will have a dedicated counter for ready made meals. Here we found chicken and rice with soup for VND 17,000 (~USD 0.75 / ~AUD 1.00) or beef and veggie noodle stir fry for VND 25,000 (~USD 1.00 / ~AUD 2.00).  These are the options we tried, but there were many more to choose from.

Their bakery section is another good spot for cheap eats.

So, if you are traveling on a super tight budget, look for these guys as their  ready made meals offer value for money.

Da Lat eats we missed out on

Unfortunately, we missed out on the night food market due to bad weather. Everything we read and heard about told us it was worth going to so it’s still on the list of things to do.

If you have been and have a dish or treat you think we should try let us know in the comments.

Leon and Tash Vlog

Da Lat is a sparkly gem in the Vietnamese central highlands and one of our favorite destinations. In our Da Lat playlist we'll show you where all the good spots are and some itinerary must have's!

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.

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


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