Is Danang in Vietnam worth a visit?

Is Da Nang in Vietnam worth a visit?

I moved to Da Nang almost 2 years ago and have been here ever since. Is Da Nang in Vietnam worth a visit? I have lived in Danang since March of 2017. I like it here. In my view, there are many things to like.

Yes. Da Nang is a beautiful modern city with a beach, in fact, several beaches. There are mountains, resorts, fine dining, golf courses, amusement parks, ferris wheel, rich culture and night life. At night, Da Nang is very colorful with billions of multicolor LEDs. Da Nang in Vietnam is worth a visit.

Some think of Da Nang as the ‘third’ city; in the middle between Hanoi in the North and Saigon in the South. Actually, Da Nang is the fifth largest city in Vietnam but is developing rapidly. As of 2017, its population was a little more than 1 million people. One of the reasons I stayed was to watch this city grow!

To help you out, I’ve made a list of the reasons why I personally love Da Nang, and from this list, you can decide whether or not it’s for you.

Not as touristy nor as crowded

Not as touristy nor as crowded. Before I moved here, my friend sayd to me “Hanoi is too big and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) is too crowded; try Da Nang”. I think he was right.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are huge cities with over 7 million people. Other popular tourist cities like Hoi An, although beautiful, are crowded with tourists.

Da Nang is spread out enough that you don’t have that same overwhelming feeling you have in other major cities.

Small but close-knit community

Although Da Nang doesn’t have nearly as much to do as Saigon, there is a growing community of expats who choose to live here 1 year or more. The culture in Da Nang is great, but everyonce in a while it’s good just to chat with some folks who share your culture.

That means it can sometimes get boring if you’re looking for nights out on town or a variety of events. That’s because Da Nang is more tranquil which is great if you’re working on your own projects.

There are meetups about digital nomads, relationships, WordPress, and other topics. Many people come for a visit and decide to stay. Some come from the US or Australia. There are also Brits and a fair number move between Chaing Mai in Thailand and Da Nang.

Da Nang culture is very friendly. If you frequent the same coffee shops, you’ll soon become known to the staff who will welcome you warmly.

Near Hoi An

Hoi An is a UNESCO city and one of those cities which is really worth visiting. It’s only a 30-minute drive from Da Nang city center to Hoi An. You can easily get there by Grab, car or motorbike. In fact, many people go there for the weekend.

Some of the attractions:

Da Nang wasn’t always known as much of a tourist attraction. Only a decade ago this was a small hamlet. Today its grown surprisingly fast and there’s no sign of stopping. Here are some of my favorites:

Golden Bridge

This opened up in 2018 and is already Instagram-famous! It’s worth visiting and snapping a selfie here just to say you’ve been there.

Ba Na Hills

Bana Hill is one of the greatest attractions in Da Nang. It was founded as a complex resort with French architectural buildings, world class restaurants and a fantastic amusement park. Modern travelers will find a delightful paradise with excellent climate and charming natural scenery.

Cocobay Da Nang

Cocobay Da Nang project is a beautiful living space, giving you an authentic 5-star resort experience on the ‘Truong Sa’, the road linking Da Nang and Hoi An. This has become a popular area for modern construction for many real estate resorts, and tourist complexes focusing on high-class quality living.

Lady Buddha Da Nang (Linh Ung Pagoda)

You can see this huge statue from the Da Nang beach, but it’s worth a visit on it’s own. I recommend renting a motorbike and driving along the beach road up the mountain to this beautiful spot. It’ll take just half-a-day to go there, walk around, and come back.

Asia Park (Sun World/Da Nang Wonders)

This is a world-class amusement park with rides, architecture, amusements, and family fun. It is geared for children. Expect to see Dragons frozen as they erupt from the pavement, monorail and rides.

Marble Mountain (Ng? Hành S?n)

This place will take you about half-a-day to explore fully. It has quite a history during the American/Vietnam war, but makes for a beautiful day hike. There are breathtaking vistas, Budhist grottos, and a world class elevator. There are also lots of steep stairs. Take comfortable shoes.

The food is amazing everywhere

I am not a huge fan of Vietnamese food, but there is no shortage of good food and fine dining in Da Nang. Besides Vietnamese, there is everything: Korean, French, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Indian and American cuisine.

The beach area is mostly popular with tourists. The food is fresh but the prices are higher. Here are some of the, in my opinion, best places to eat:

Six on Six (American Vietnamese)
LaLuna (American Vietnamese)
Hang’s Kitchen (American)
Al Fresco’s (American Diner)
Bambinos (French)

Some amazing international foods:

My Casa (Italian, Spanish, Moroccan)
Olivias Prime Stakehouse (Western Fine Dining)
Burger Republic (Hamburgers)
Also amazing Burgers –
Delicious Fried Chicken –
Incredible Korean BBQ

Da Nang is super friendly

This goes for most all of Vietnam. Many of the people in Da Nang are from another hometown or Provence. Since Da Nang was a sleepy little farm town just a decade ago, most of the people here are especially hospitable and friendly.

They welcome foreigners and love getting to know new people. This is great if you’re friendly and looking to meet new people. Many Vietnamese will smile when they see you and want to practice their English.

The “downsides”

By now you are wondering what’s the downside? And, to be fair, there are a few things people don’t like. So here are the things I have heard other people not like:

If you’re into a party culture and want to meet loads of hot girls for one-night stands, Da Nang is probably not going to be for you. This isn’t a bad thing – just different.

The people here are very conservative and family oriented. That means if you’re looking to date any girls here, be aware that they are looking for something long-term.

I often hear men prefer the dating in Saigon since they’re much more liberal and easy-going, unlike women from Da Nang. In my experience, that’s only partly true.

Many Da Nang women are from another Hometown or Province. They want to be “good girls”. They also want to be their own person, like any young person, and not follow their parent’s advice forever. They may be different on the next date.

There is also loads of construction happening. Due to the development happening and all the investments pouring in, you’ll likely be staying at a hotel that is near a construction site. Expect to hear jack-hammers and nail-banging during your stay. Not so much in the city, but definitely near the beach area.

In conclusion

There is much to see in Da Nang. I recommend you come for a visit and see for yourself. If you are in the neighborhood, and even if you aren’t, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by modern-day Da Nang. Yes, Da Nang in Vietnam is worth a visit. Look us up, Digital Nomads of Da Nang, on Facebook and let us know you are coming. We get together every other Friday at My Casa restaurant. See you soon.