After transferring through Hanoi we touched down in Da Nang on the central Vietnam coast. For several years now I have been interested in the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, following a number of bloggers and Youtubers who lead this lifestyle. Da Nang had been mentioned by several ‘nomads’ as a good place to hang out for a month, with plenty to do, and a low cost of living. After doing a little research of my own I thought that it warranted a visit, particularly after finding out it has a ‘dragon’ bridge.
It was after 10pm by the time we arrived in Da Nang and I was in no mood to be ripped off by a taxi driver. After walking away from the first offer of around $25 USD for what I knew was only a 15 minute ride to our hotel, we negotiated a fare of $15 USD – still too high but we were tired.
Our hotel for the next 4 nights was the Stay Hotel on the northern side of town. It turned out to be an absolute delight. The staff were wonderful, the included breakfast delicious and varied, bar drinks cheap, and our room was the size of a small country. The view from our window was also wonderful, showcasing the various bridges that cross the river. The bridges of Da Nang are a real sight, particularly at night.
The Dragon bridge is the highlight though, with a 9pm fire breathing spectacle each Saturday and Sunday. I loved this bridge, strange thing to say, but I did.
We took an evening stroll along the river front after dinner one evening. It all felt very safe and seemed to be where locals congregated to socialise and even dance the evening away. We weren’t brave enough to just join in with the dancing, even though I’m sure no one would have minded. Instead we sat and watched for a while before continuing our stroll.
I used some Tripadvisor reviews when choosing restaurants, and we had a particularly pleasant evening at ‘My Casa’ which does delicious home-made pasta dishes and some excellent cocktails. We asked the owner for a bar recommendation for later that evening and she recommended the rooftop bar at Sky Bar 36, which was about 10 minutes walk from My Casa. We were not disappointed, the views were wonderful over the city, and enjoyed a few cocktails before catching a cab back to our hotel.
Having heard so much about the great food scene in Vietnam we decided to try a local street food tour. A few quick emails back and forth and we were all booked in and had arranged to meet our guide, Sally near the city centre. Sally spoke perfect English and had a wonderful sense of humour. The tour lasted about 5 hours in total, way longer than we were expecting.
We started the evening eating some kind of spring roll in the alleyway of a shop on those small plastic chairs that seem to have been designed for 5 year olds. We then moved on to a small house, where the lady of the house cooked a large pot of . . . snails right at her front door. We were invited to the back of the house and sat with a bowl of the snails and several other dishes. One had chicken liver I seem to recall. I bravely tried some of everything but my dear wife politely declined. Whilst we were there several locals arrived at the house, including teenagers on the back of scooters, to purchase some snails. It seemed that this family made their living from selling this dish.
A short walk back into town and we had what was probably my favourite food of the evening. From a tiny street vendor we had a very thin bread roll, maybe 30cms in length, filled with a mixture of ingredients. It was delicious. After a couple more places and many more dishes we went to a desert bar and tried a variety of deserts including one containing durian. I have tried durian before and almost vomited at the smell. I had a small taste but durian and me are still not best friends. The other deserts were reasonably nice, but not what the western palate might consider a desert.
Have you been to Da Nang? Let us know in the comments below.