We have only been in Da Nang Vietnam for a week, but we already fallen in love with this city.
When we left Chiang Mai, Thailand, we thought that it would been hard to find another place which could compete with it. But so far Da Nang has a pretty good score.
We like it here for a few reasons…
The beach, obviously!
Da Nang has a very long coast with nice beaches. You can see the mountain with the Buddha. It is magnifacant to see the mountain and the beach is so close and corresponding to each other. The ocean has fun waves for swimming surfing.
Second, the People
Vietnamese people are incredibly nice. They are always smiling to the tourists and go out their way to help you even though they don’t speak English. Unlike in Chiang Mai, Danang residents seem to be not so used to foreigners. They still look at you curiously but not in a degree that makes you too uncomfortable.
We have been to some small restaurants and there were a couple of details that warmed my heart. We bought a lunch for 50,o00vnd (which is 3.5 dollars) for all 3 of us. The lady in the restaurant saw me eatting faster than the rest and only rice left in my plate. She came over with more meat and vegetables for me.
Another time, we ordered some beer and it turned out to be not cold. The restaurant owner brought ice buckets for us. He took it away after I tried to put my beer in. I didn’t understand that at first but he was actually adjusting the water and ice level to cool our beer down in the most efficient way.
Third, the opportunities!
In Da Nang, you feel that you are back to history, where everything is just being built, like in China 20 years ago. There are at least 50 hotels by the beach under construction. The government is really trying to turn this city to a desirable tourist destination, they built the Dragon Bridge which brought 3 millions of people came to see. They also keep building theme parks to make this city more interesting. So far there are Helio Center (Indoor Play Center for adults and kids) and Asia Park where there is a huge Fair’s Wheel.
We truly believe that Da Nang has a lot of potentials to grow to ‘Hawaii in the East’.
Fourth, Vietnamese food is surprisingly good!
Vietnamese food was not our first choice when we were at home in Canada. We were concerned if Rian ccould live on Vietnamese food for a month. Since we got here, we were amazed by the deliciousness and variety of Vietnamese food. It is a great mix of eastern and western food.
Vietnam was French colony country. A lot of Vietnamese learned to make French food. Their baked goods are amazing. We bought a huge donut bread from a bicycle vendor for 20,000 (over a dollar). It tasted even better than the bread from home!
In Hoi An, the ancient town 30 minute drive by Da Nang, the whole town smells like fresh French bread. It makes you just want to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee with it.
Motor Bike Based Traffic.
Unlike Chiang Mai, Da Nang has broader roads and better road condition. However, I am still not a big fan of traffic here. The system is pretty much based on the motorbikes and there are some interesting rules (or no rules). Taxies here are actually pretty good according to my observation. The fare is between 1-10 dollars to go anywhere in the city. There seems to be no easy public bus.
English Levels of Local People
Local people speak limited English. There are not always English translations on menus or other places. I had to draw pictures of spring rolls and rice to make them understand. We are not sure if they really understand us even when they say OK or nod sometimes. One time I asked for Tofu and the waiter responded yes, ok, but he brought me some green vegetables instead.
In general, Da Nang is an awesome place so far and it makes us interesting in digging more.