Da Nang is a big city – in fact it’s the fifth largest in Vietnam. It’s also incredibly spread out, which on first impressions, can make it appear lacking in character or atmosphere.
You can spend hours walking along the city side of the river bank in search of some street food and find nothing but a couple of overpriced café’s and restaurants. It feels like little is going on. Rec centres with go-kart’s, games arcade and ice skating rinks have a handful of people inside.
But the one thing that Da Nang can boast about, apart from its huge stretch of beach, is the people who live here. They happen to be some of the most welcoming and friendly people I have ever encountered across all my travels through South East Asia.
Whether it was super polite petrol station attendants, the Bahn Mi lady with a beaming smile or the wonderful Ngygun family who fed and watered me for 6 nights in a row – almost every person I met in Da Nang made me love it even more.
Visit Tam’s Pub & Surf Shop for a great burger and her perspective on the Vietnam War. She will chat away for as long as you stay and tell you about her own personal experience. It definitely makes for some interesting conversation!
The majority of tourism in Da Nang is domestic and during 10 days there I didn’t spot many foreign tourists so do expect to get the odd curious look. Many people only stop in Da Nang for a day if at all whilst on their way to Hoi An or Hue. But why not make it a couple of days and take advantage of the clean and very quiet stretch of beach here, or take in the breath taking views from the Son Tra Peninsula and Marble Mountains?
Whilst you’re here make sure you check out The Backpacker’s Café – a new Café set up in May 2015 that invites English speaking foreigners to come and chat to locals and help improve their English skills.