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?
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 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.
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.
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!
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.