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"A witty crew of freelance motorbike guides who where truly born to be wild whom's popularity is reaching cult proportions among travelers seeking an alternative to being herded around on the usual open tour bus trail." (Lonely planet February 2003)</do>
 
"A witty crew of freelance motorbike guides who where truly born to be wild whom's popularity is reaching cult proportions among travelers seeking an alternative to being herded around on the usual open tour bus trail." (Lonely planet February 2003)</do>
 
  
 
==Learn==
 
==Learn==

Revision as of 02:25, 3 September 2011

Da Nang (Đà Nẵng) is Vietnam's third largest city, and is located on the South China Sea coast, midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The city itself has neither the atmosphere of Hanoi nor the hustle-bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, but has its share of sights, and is close to the charms of Hoi An and the imperial capital of Hue.

Contents

Understand

The regions surrounding Da Nang (My Son, Quang Nam) was founded by the Cham practicing Hindus most possibly 3000 years ago, serving as the capital city and centre of the Hindu Champa Dynasty. Vietnamese invasion into the region in the 17th century significantly halted Cham development and during the Vietnam War, vast monuments and buildings were bombed. Given Danang was the first point of colonial invasion, many vestiges of French architecture are present in the historic buildings. The city has grown rapidly in recent years, and has a 2008 population estimated at 900,000. Until recently, this growth was mostly outward and infill, but now there are high-rises going up. There are many remnants of the "American War" leftover in Da Nang. Each bridge has a different builder, whether they be French, American, or Vietnamese. On the way to the popular tourist spot; China Beach, the ruins of a military base remain in the form of helicopter hangars, although these are now more easily spotted at the airport, which serves both civil and military flights.

The city is often overlooked by tourists but is one of the most friendly to backpackers in all of Vietnam. China Beach, a former R&R destination for American G.I.'s, is now home to a small community of guest house owners, marble statue shops, and other various trades. Some of the most beautiful and isolated beaches in Vietnam are found here, among some of the friendliest people. This is a must stop for the budget traveller.

Until relatively recently, Da Nang was somewhat hostile to foreigners, a consequence of the attitudes of those who then controlled the provincial government. In the early 90s, however, this changed, and since the late 90s the provincial [actually autonomous city] government has been enthusiastically pursuing foreign investment and developing infrastructure. Da Nang has some of the best roads in the country -- the coast road is at least four lanes from northern provincial boundary to southern provincial boundary. Compared to either Hanoi or HCMC, traffic in Da Nang is always relatively light, although huge trucks blare along every now and again and there are brief 'rush hours.' Development is visible and rapid; the city has expanded tremendously in the last ten years, and several multi-story buildings as well as more beach resorts are under construction, and there are now at least three large supermarkets as well as a Metro wholesaler. This also involves redevelopment of areas near the city beaches across the river, with whole blocks of old housing being razed and new roads installed and luxurious villas constructed.

The downside to the very laid back, less serious and frenetic, aspect of Da Nang is that even locals frequently complain that there is nothing to do except drink, which they do a lot. This is not really true -- there is a zoo, a soccer stadium, many tennis courts and pool halls, several large modern discos/night clubs, etc., and of course the beaches and Son Tra peninsula. However, it is also true that coffee and beer drinking are the most common leisure activities of most local residents.

The hottest months of the year are June, July, and August, when the temperature can get to as high as 40 degrees Celsius, and it is generally very dry. There are usually tropical storms in October and November.

Get in

By plane

Da Nang International Airport (IATA: DAD) is the smallest of Vietnam's three international airports. There are frequent flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on both Vietnam and Jetstar Pacific, as well as limited services direct to Nha Trang, Buon Ma Thuot. Silk Air operates the only international flights to Singapore and Siem Reap. Aside from a money changer, airport amenities are rather minimal, although some upgrading was done to the airport in late 2007 and early 2008. As of November 2006, international departure taxes should be included in the price of your ticket. Compared to larger Vietnamese airports, Da Nang is a little bit laid back; local travelers often arrive less than 30 minutes before their flights; there are also a couple of restaurants/coffee shops opposite the terminal, which offer more choice, if not lower prices, than inside the departure area.

The airport is located within the city, just 3 km south-west of the center of Danang, a 10-minute trip at most. Many travelers now choose to stay in Da Nang as it is considered as a gateway to Central Vietnam World Heritages Sites: Hoi An (25-30 min, US$15) or Hue (2 hours, US$35), My Son (1,5 hours). The hotels and resorts in Da Nang have their own travel desks which offer some half day or a day trip to those destinations. It is easy to get a meter taxi immediately outside the terminal building. If you arrive on a late night flight, you may encounter an unscrupulous taxi driver who has a fast meter, but usually there are lots of taxis and companies like Mai Linh, Taxi Xanh, or Song Han are reliable; avoid Airport Taxi, especially at night.

By train

The Reunification Express makes a stop in Da Nang. Many motorbikes and taxis are available outside of the station. Scheduled arrival and departure times are loosely followed. If you just want to get to Hue, you can also take the 'local' train which is slow (about four to four and a half hours from Da Nang to Hue, with several stops along the way; a car or taxi does it in two), but incredibly cheap (25,000 dong including a meal) and passes through some spectacular coastal scenery.

By car

By bus

Sinh Cafe, the popular bus-pass service, makes a stop in Hoi An, a short distance from the city. It is of a distance where a taxi is better than a motorbike.

At least two other bus-pass services make stops in Da Nang, and can be taken to either Hue or Hoi An or further in either direction. Fare to Hue is $3 as of late 2007, trip takes about three hours with one refreshment stop on the way. The bus uses the tunnel so does not go over the spectacular pass between Da Nang and Hue.

A bus station serves transport to several cities including a few locations in Laos. It have dairly bus to Savannakhet,Tha Khek and Vian Tieng in morning

By boat

Sustainable Tour operator & vegetarian restaurant "Karma Waters" (www.karmawaters.com) 47 Cua Dai Street, Hoi An tel. 0510 3927632 operates Danang - Hoi An boat tours & shuttle service.

Get around

In order to get to Hoi An, as many tourists do, there are a couple of options:

  • As of February 2011, backpackers at train station said that $10 was the standard rate for going to Hoi An. You can try and negotiate with a taxi driver at the train station, and agree on a fare of $10 (200,000d.)
  • Alternatively, you may walk out from the station and turn right on the street. Walking along this street will lead you to a park, where you can see a bus number for a yellow-coloured bus #1 - Da Nang - Hoi An. The fare is 20,000d. per person to Hoi An. This same bus also passes by Marble Mountain (Vietnamese: Nuoc Nam). It is possible to do as the locals do and insist on paying your fare according to the distance (i.e. from Hoi An to Marble Mountain, 15,000d. instead of 20,000d.) This may work better if your Vietnamese is good. Taxi drivers may park in front of the bus stop and tell you that the bus is not running, trying to get your business.
  • Alternatively the best way to go and like most local would do you could go by motorbikes. Rent a motorbike to travel to Hoi An from Da Nang cost about 150,000VND per day for most hotel and rental companies in Da Nang. The locals pay about 50,000-100,000, with alittle bargaining and renting for a number of days you could bring down the price. The distance is approximately 28km and take about 45mins to 1 hour. The route is fairly simple and straight foward and takes you along the coastline of Da Nang allowing you a extradinary experience and view along the beaches to Hoi An. The traffic is light and make sure you bring along a windbreaker or sweater as during the Autumn and Spring Period the temperature along the coastline can be alittle cold. Avoid riding in Winter seasons as the wind is particularly strong and rain is particularly frequent.

See

  • Cham Museum (Bảo Tàng Chăm), Trung Nu Vuong and Bach Dang Sts. Founded in 1915 by the École Française d'Extrême Orient, it houses a collection of stone sculptures from the Hindu-practicing Cham civilization, which occupied much of central Vietnam in the first millennium C.E. through about the 14th century. Entrance is 30,000 VND, and the museum can be toured in about an hour. The sculptures are nearly all made of sandstone, and some have weathered badly over the centuries, but you can still appreciate the delightful artistic quality of the figures, which include Shiva, garudas, nagas, lions, monkeys, and elephants. The collection also includes striking examples of the ancient Hindu icons of fertility -- lingam altars decorated around the sides with rows of breasts. The sculptures were mostly removed from the facades or interiors of Cham ruins (which would have been looted otherwise.) The ruins themselves, such as nearby My Son, now tend to be crumbling piles of bricks and somewhat disappointing, giving little sense of the spectacular artwork produced by the Cham civilization. Any visit to My Son should be paired with the Cham Museum. The collection is also interesting to compare with Balinese sculpture and the early, Hindu phase of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
  • The Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son; admission 15,000 dong, tel. 511.961114) are 9km south of Da Nang. The group includes Kim Son (Mountain of Wood), Thuy Son (Mountain of Water), Hoa Son (Mountain of Fire), and Tho Son (Mountain of Earth). Several Buddhist temples have been built into the caves and grottoes, and it's a popular pilgrimage site. The real fun, though, is at the Am Phu cave, where you can make the steep climb up toward the light and a view from the top of the mountain, surrounded by approving sacred images...or head in the opposite direction, physically and spiritually, down to the crude Hieronymous Bosch-esque statues of sinners getting their due in the caverns below, with appropriately eerie lighting. Either way, bring walking or climbing shoes. Open-tour buses will stop here, but you'll be rushed along; any moto driver in Da Nang or Hoi An will be happy to take you and let you set the schedule. Guides are available. Watch out for the rapacious statue-sellers outside, though.
  • Ba Na Hill Station 45 minutes drive from Danang or around 40km west of Danang, Ba Na is located 1,487 meters above sea level in the Truong Son mountain range. Ba Na was formerly a 1920's French resort and once boasted 200 villas, restaurants, and clubs. It is well known as the second Da Lat or Sa Pa in central Vietnam. Its temperate climate, unspoiled forest, and spectacular views over the South China Sea and the Lao mountain range made Ba Na a popular retreat for both the French and the wealthy Vietnamese. Today the area still attracts locals and tourists alike, although extra effort and a four-wheel drive are required to reach Ba Na as the roads are quite rough. Come to Ba Na Hill! Visit this exclusive hidden gem of Central Vietnam! And go to the top of Mount Chua by a new cable system that was officially opened on 25th March 2009 and set two Guinness World Records for its height and length!
  • Cham island (Cruising, sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling and enjoying seafood), 0510.8505605, [1]. Pick up at hotel at 07:00, transfer to Cua Dai beach harbor by an air-conditioned bus. On board at 08:00, we cruise to Cham island by wooden boat for 1+1/4 hours or take a speed boat for 30 minutes. On arrival, we visit Hai Tang pagoda, the boat shelter, a local market at Bai Lang, then keep cruising to Bai Chong for swimming and snorkeling to see the coral reef before having lunch with seafood at a local restaurant on the island. Relax for a while after lunch and get ready for cruising back to Cua Dai beach harbor. Bid a farewell at 15:00 and transfer you back to your hotels. For 2 days and 1 night trip, going fishing at night, seafood BBQ on the island, sleeping in a tent, dormitory or homestay experience are included in the program.
  • Linh Ung Buddhist Temple, Bai But, Son Tra Peninsula - features a stunning view of the sea, the sky and a 67-meter tall statue of "Quan The Am" facing the ocean (Google Places: [2]). The pagoda is built in 2010.

Do

  • Easy Rider Vietnam, Vietnam, [3]. *Easy Rider Vietnam, www.easyrider.vn [4] email:contacts@easyrider.vn (a motorbike and driver/guide) is a great way for a non-motorcyclist to tour the central highlands, providing access to places you would otherwise never know about. They speak good English, are from local villages, seemingly know everyone, and will probably find you before you find them. You will know the driver is legit when you are presented with a book, full of praise from other excited tourists. From about USD20/person for an 8 hour tour, up to USD60/day for long distance multi-day trips, often including accommodation. "A witty crew of freelance motorbike guides who where truly born to be wild whom's popularity is reaching cult proportions among travelers seeking an alternative to being herded around on the usual open tour bus trail." (Lonely planet February 2003)

Learn

It is difficult to learn Vietnamese in Da Nang as the ex-pat community is quite small and the demand for the language learning is not great. You will be able to find many people who are willing to do language exchange with you and there are a number of qualified Vietnamese teachers. The current rate is about US$5/hour. You can also contact some volunteers to speak vietnamese to them. It is absolutely free.

Be aware that the Da Nang dialect of Vietnamese is distinct from both Hanoi and HCMC versions, although closer to HCMC than to Hanoi. If you learnt your Vietnamese in Hanoi, many ordinary people in Da Nang will have some difficulty understanding you until they realize you are trying to talk like the presenters they see on TV. Even trained teachers will tend to teach you to speak like a Da Nang person unless you emphasize that you want to learn Hanoi dialect, which is understood [eventually] throughout the country as it is the 'official' version and that used on TV. If you spend a fair amount of time in Da Nang, either employed or as a volunteer, it is fairly easy to find recent English graduates, or current students studying English, from the College of Foreign Languages of the University of Danang who will happily work through a Vietnamese textbook with you for a lot less than $5/hour, and this is probably as good a way as any to acquire some Vietnamese; there are lots of books that are Vietnamese courses for foreigners; Teach Yourself Vietnamese [Huong Dan Tu Hoc Tieng Viet, a Complete Course for Beginners] by Dana Healy is one of the best; Jake Catlett and Huong Nguyen's Vietnamese for Beginners is easier and less comprehensive; Nguyen Anh Que's Vietnamese for Foreigners is good and has a lot of material and vocabulary.

Work

There are a number of schools (ILA, Apollo and the University of Da Nang) where qualified teachers can teach English. The salaries are many times above the average national wage.

Buy

There are several local shopping markets scattered around the city and a few shopping centres. Hung Vuong, Hoang Dieu, Phan Chu Trinh and surrounding streets offers a wealth of quality goods; clothes, shoes, homewares, dvds etc..

Eat

There are many places in which you can have a good meal in Danang city. Because of its position, in the middle of Vietnam, you can find many sorts of food come from the other parts of the country. If you prefer the fresh air and fresh seafood, it's a great idea to have a walk along the street named Pham Van Dong. There are lots of seafood restaurants and seafood bars there. Get into a named restaurant, not the ones on the street side, to have safe and good quality seafood.

There are several seafood restaurants along the My Khe beach, the other side of Cau Song Han -- the big lit-up suspension swing bridge. It is a couple of kilometers straight from the bridge to the My Khe beach, then if you turn right there are seven upscale restaurants on the beach side of the road, and many local restaurants on the land side, with beach side seating a bit further along from the upscale ones. Further South on the beach road are two nice seafood restaurants next to My Khe Beach Hotel [My Khe is the oldest], and the Czech microbrewery restaurant across the street from the new My Khe 3 Hotel. Highly recommended to try are grilled cuttlefish, grilled oysters and clams [you will find the latter two are different at every restaurant], and everywhere you can find 'hotpot' or lau, the Vietnamese hot fish soups. The seafood restaurant Trieu Chau is one block closer to the beach and one long block in to the right from the Golden Sea Hotel that serves a wonderful Lau Thai Lan.(Spicy Thailand style fish soup)

If you prefer a cheap meal with safe and quite good quality food, the small bars are the best choice. There are many kinds of small bar in Danang, but they seem to be the same in the food they sell, quite good but not the best. Best if you go with a local person who can order for you.

There are also many specialty restaurants, such as the goat restaurant on Tran Hung Dao [across the Han River from downtown], or the smaller Czech brewery restaurant near the airport that specializes in turtle [although many other places serve turtle; don't worry, they are farmed, mostly for export to China. Farmed crocodile is also available many places.]


  • Cafe Indochine, Furama Resort Danang (China Beach), 84-5113847 333. his is the Furama’s signature restaurant, an Asian-style brassiere recalling the nostalgia of the French colonial period with its rattan furniture, ceiling fans, French windows and old photographs and memorabilia on the walls. By day, it is a bright, cheerful place for light snacks, while at night it turns more romantic. Guests can savour a wide range of international and pan-Asian cuisines served by waitresses in traditional ao dai outfits. There is an exotic menu of Vietnamese, Malay, Thai, Indian and Indonesian favourites prepared in the open show kitchens or over the barbecue. The restaurant serves a huge dinner buffet every night for only USD 25++ per person including complimentary drink at the Resort's Club Tourane. The buffet with 4 kinds of soup, salmon, ceasar salad in its huge selection of Vietnamese and International salads, grill corners with seafood, beef and lamps. Capacity: 140-seat restaurant. Open: daily from 6:30 am to 11 pm.
  • Sa Sa Gelato' is a good place to satisfy that sweet-tooth craving. Although it is tricky to find -- it's on Green Island, across the street to the east of Bia Tulip, on to the Nguyen Van Troi Bridge, turn right into what looks like a parking lot, with some restaurants , go right past the restaurants, go over another small bridge, turn right, it's past the tennis courts. Each scoop of Gelato is about 15,000 VND; chose from many local fruit flavors & the regulars, like chocolate. Sa Sa also serves sundae's and other treats to enjoy. Take home available. The staff has basic English.


  • Bread of Life Western Bakery and Eatery, 12 Le Hong Phong (2 minute walk from Cham Museum toward downtown), 0511 3565185, [5]. 7am-9:30pm. Closed Sundays. Take out delivery for orders over 70,000.VND. Bread of Life is run by an American couple who use the business as means of providing training for young Vietnamese deaf. All baking, cooking and serving is done by the deaf and profits go into school for teaching deaf Vietnamese the Vietnamese sign language and English. They serve breakfasts,lunch & dinner, Pizza, Pasta, Hamburgers and many excellent western dishes. Very good coffee. Fresh baked pastries everyday.The quality is high and you will enjoy interacting with the deaf. Orders are accepted in person or by phone for a variety of breads a day ahead then you can pick them up in the restaurant. very reasonable.
  • Ocean Terrace restaurant, Furama Resort Danang, 84-5113847 333. Overlooking the white sands of China Beach, this casual restaurant provides a peaceful, poolside setting for al fresco dining. A Mediterranean-inspired menu offers garden fresh salads, Italian appetizers, delicious pastas, and crisp pizzas and Italian breads baked in wood-fired ovens. A fine selection of Italian wine and Grappa is available. Nowadays they have week-end BBQ with a boat of seafood and another boat of Australian beef, chicken wing, pork chops, a huge selection of fresh vegetables and different dressings. Capacity: The 80-seat restaurant. Open: from 6:30 am to 11 pm.

Budget

Hoa's Guesthouse at China Beach. The gathering spot for backpackers in the evenings, as Hoa hosts "family dinners." For about US$1.50 you get treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet, courtesy of Hoa's wife. Picnic tables are full of travellers inside this tiny cafe, starting at around 7PM.

Mid-range

Bao Nam Tran- fine, private and popular place for coffee, business dealings, meals and light Vietnamese pastries,drinks and desserts. The restaurant/coffee house's ancient Vietnamese architecture; incorporating heavy dark ornate wooden panels and furniture mixed with modern amenities (escalator) is a must-see. Wireless internet connection and a selection of reading material is available. The restaurant has a lovely ambience at night. Come here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Located on 27 Nguyen Chi Thanh St.

Splurge

  • Ocean Blue Bar & Grill [6], 21 Xuan Dieu St. (near the corner of 3 Thang 2 Street, look for the 7 stories high building). An elegant yet relaxed, ocean-view setting overlooking the city skyline, the Hans River, Mount SonTra and the newly built Thuan-Phuoc suspension bridge. Try the Ocean Blue chicken wing, Alfredo seafood spaghetti and the special Peppercorn Steak! Reasonable prices( 2.0 - 4.0 USD/ dish). They also serve wines, cocktails and fresh fruits juice. Smooth jazz and soft easy listening is the house music. The staff are professional and friendly. Has a live band with Vietnamese and English music.
  • Apsara, 222 Tran Phu Street. A reasonably good, somewhat expensive place with a huge, mostly seafood-oriented menu and performances of traditional music on some evenings. Food style is Vietnamese with some Chinese influences, and some western dishes thrown in. Caters to overseas tour groups; tour buses are often seen parked outside. One of their specialties is mantis shrimp, a delicious creature that looks half-way between a shrimp and lobster.

Waterfront 150 Bach Dang , opened late 2009, open to street, view of Han River, modern international decor, bar on ground floor, good gathering place, comfortable seating, good selection of local & imported beer & large selection of wines by the glass or bottle. Good service. Full restaurant for lunch & dinner on 2nd level , balcony seating with great view of Han River, good ambiance, owned by expatriates open seven days.

Bambino a boutique style restaurant 122 Quang Trung, quiet location, good food wine selection, Australian steak grilled to order, international, French and local foods, run by a nice French couple, a good place for a quiet meal with friends.

Drink

  • Club Tourane, Furama Resort Danang, 68 Ho Xuan Huong (eastward of Danang city), 845113847333. from 8 pm to late night. The award winning Furama Resort Danang has opened its Club Tourane – the first 5-star night club in the central of Danang, Vietnam on 1 May 2008 The Club Tourane opens daily from 8pm until late (2 am) with a Filipino Band. Guests can enjoy live music and dance with the music from the 60s to the 90s. This is an authentic club with jovial charm, homey atmosphere and cheerful service. USD 2 to USD 5 per drink.
  • Chill Out Cafe, 36 Thai Phien Street, [7]. A relaxed little cafe suitable for light snacks or evening drinks. Full bar, regular happy hours and English speaking staff. Also a great place to get travel info, visa extensions and exchange books.


There are a few places around Danang for the traveller/ex-pat to take a drink and where English is spoken enough to make sure you get what you want. The first is Green Town Bar at 50 Bach Dang St. It is one of relatively few bars open past the witching hour and most ex pats drop in there for either an early evening or late night drink. The view is excellent with an outdoor terrace and 2 big pool tables inside.The prices are very reasonable. Up to 10 o'clock food is available.

Another popular haunt for local ex pats is the Bamboo Bar 2. Bamboo 2's owner speaks excellent English, there are always foreigners there, and it is easy to find at the corner of Bach Dang and Thai Phien. Eve Pub on Tran Phu near Prince hotel also stays open late, although its clientele is mostly Vietnamese. The discos all stay open until 12.30 or later. Many street side beer places stay open until the last customers leave, but most operators have no English.

Avoid the infamous "Coolspot" which has developed quite a reputation for overpricing and sub standard quality. It's in all the guide books so you know it's truly a place to be avoided.

If you are not concerned about mixing it with the locals, there are literally thousands of drinking places where beer is cheap as chips and the food is superb and cheap. Head down to the beach for excellent seafood meals. Try some of the "shacks" that line the road along the beach.

If you are really not in the mood for a bar environment, there are some fantastic cafes in Danang. Try Wonder Cafe or New Life Cafe on Le Loi Street. Or just wander down Nguyen Chi Thanh Street where there are quite a few good quality cafes.

For lovers of Micro Brewery Beverages try: The Czech beer place on Nguyen Tri Phuong Street and Tulip Danang in 2 Thang 9 Street. There are also some restaurants, New World Cafe on Tran Phu Street, and No.1 Disco.

This refers to the restaurants on the service road along the road leading to the twin bridges over the river from the roundabout. To get to Green Island, cross the small bridge past the New World Cafe, to Sa Sa Gelato, [ gelato, an Italian specialty], the Gelato is expensive, but excellent, and the staff speaks English.

No 1. Disco the most upscale disco in town is quite small. The two discos are near the mouth of the Han River. New Phuong Dong at 20 Dong Da is the less crowded [but still a scrum on weekends] and probably most fun for a traveler to visit, bigger in size, and more eclectic in their clientele, and with better entertainment [For example New Phuong Dong has a resident Ghanaian DJ and many visiting singers from Sai Gon and Ha Noi].

Festival, on the second corner going up river from Cau Song Han on Tran Hung Dao, is the newest disco and the only one on the My Khe beach side of the river. It's part of a complex with a restaurant and karaoke rooms. If you buy the staff a drink here [a normal thing to do in this kind of disco-night club] they can be very aggressive about drinking it fast and running up a big bill for you.

And finally for a real late night place hit "Red Hot" Bar on Nguyen Van Linh Street.

'Late night' is more flexible in Da Nang than in Ha Noi; most of the time the discos and places like Red Hot [an approximation of a Thai girlie-bar] close at 1 a.m. or 1.30, but if the police decide to say the national rules should not be flouted quite so blatantly, they may unexpectedly close at midnight or 00.30. However, roadside open-air establishments will continue to serve beer long after that, if they still have customers; and there are some places along the main roads that cater to truck drivers and the like that appear to be open all night.


Coffee

As drinking coffee is a part of Vietnamese culture, it's a good idea if you spend your time on drinking coffee there. Coffee in Vietnam, especially coffee in the middle of Vietnam, is very strong and has a very wonderful smell. In Danang, people spend a lot of time drinking coffee and chatting with friends and family in coffee shops. There are several kinds of coffee shop in Danang: Luxurious coffee shops, mid-class coffee shops and special coffee shops.

Luxurious coffee shops can be found on many streets of the city, they are quite nice and of course the prices quite high. Many can be found along Along Phan Chau Trinh Street.

Mid-class coffee shops are found everywhere; the drinks are quite cheap and it's a place for a rest or meeting friends.

Special coffee shops are the most interesting, where you not only drink coffee or many kinds of drinks, but also have some special types of entertainment. For example, the Rock coffee shop where you can enjoy coffee and listen to rock music at the same time; you can ask them to play songs you like. Usually, they play ballads and soft rock in the daytime and hard rock and metal in the evening(very loudly).

  • Hai Quynh Cafe, 468 Hoang Dieu Street.
  • Scorpions, 140 Yen Bai Street.
  • CheRo, 79 Le Dinh Ly Street.

Other kind of special coffee shop is Chess Coffee Shop where you can drink soft drinks, fruit juices and play chess with other people. You can easily find a person to play with you. The drinks there are quite cheap and everyone is very polite when playing chess. This kind of coffee is a part of Vietnamese coffee drinking culture and it's a wonderful idea to try it.

One kind of special coffee shop is chatting coffee shop. There you can drink coffee on the street side and chat with you friend while you enjoy you drink. It's very cheap.

Famous coffee shops in Danang city:

  • Tuy Anh Chinese Chess Coffee Shop, 79 Le Dinh Ly Street (on the corner of Do Quang and Le Dinh Ly).

The most famous couple of chatting coffee shops are Long Coffee shop and An Coffee shop located on the corner of Le Loi Street and Quang Trung Street.

Don't be fooled by the guide books - Danang is a great place to visit and much cheaper than touristy Hoi An.

  • Hai Van lounge at the 5-star Furama Resort Danang

Cocktails and light snacks, relaxed setting decorated with cane chairs and carved Vietnamese furniture. A pianist followed by a resident Filipino band in the evenings. Free WiFi. Happy Hour buy 1 get 1 free from 6 pm to 7 pm. Open: daily 10:00AM-02:00AM. Drinks from 2 to 5 USD.

Sleep

Budget

There are plenty of budget hotels in Da Nang.

  • Hoa's Guesthouse, China Beach. Hoa the owner will make you feel right at home. Very friendly atmosphere and the local social gathering place. About US$8..
  • Phước Lộc, China Beach - Lô 19 B2. 1 Đường sơn Trà, 84 511 3847609. It's in the main beach street, just opposite to the steet going to Hoa's place. The hotel is new and an ok deal for the facilities that they offer (AC, wifi, hot shower sometimes, TV). They are 2 min walk to the beach. The staff don't speak good english but they are very polite. Beware as the beds are thick but stiff as boards and the pillows are so thick they hurt your neck and make sleeping difficult. The hotel is located 20km southwest of town, and cost 300K VND by taxi from the city center!!!! US$10-12.
  • Houng Lan Hotel, 05 Pham Van Nghi, (0511) 3652269 (fax: 0511.3652694). * Ngoi's Guesthouse, China Beach. That is not the actual name of the house but ask a motorbike driver to take you to China Beach, and they'll probably take you to Hoa's. Hoa will be more than willing to direct you to Ngoi's. You get to sit and chat with Ngoi over a few beers in the evening. His wife will make you delicious food. Air-con. About US$8.. About US$8..
  • Thien Duc Motel, 187 Dong Da, (0511) 3825232. An OK option which allows savings of a few dollars a night, though services are far from superior. 8 USD per night..
  • Dang Viet Hotel, 11-12 Ho Nghinh (one minute to the beach), (0511) 3941445 (), [8]. A new hotel with air-con, comfortable beds, fast wi-fi, hot showers, refrigerator and international cable TV. Staff speak English. (Beware Google maps directing you to the wrong direction from the roundabout next to the beach. For some reason, arriving from Da Nang city it directs to the left, when in fact you need to go to right.) From 300,000 dong.

Mid-range

  • 'Alex - Hotel Men SPA [9], email info@alexmenspa.com. Is a villa in traditional Asian style. Doubles US$60.
  • Daia Hote, a one star hotel, address 51, Yen Bai Street, Hai Chau District, Danang.Tel: 84511-827532, web site: www.daiahotel.com. A friendly old hotel, the owner is involved with charity. You can visit " The Northwindbroom workshop" and "Bo Mung Orphanage". Rooms range from US$17 to suites of US$30 per night. The hotel is near to Catholic Church nearby.
  • Elegant Hotel.
  • Golden Sea Hotel. Located in Pham Van Dong road.
  • My Khe Beach Hotel 1 and 2. These two hotels, both under the same [Army] management, are both comfortable and very reasonably priced especially given that they are just the other side of the beach road from My Khe Beach, but still only a five minute or less moto ride from downtown. My Khe 1 is older, smaller rooms but the electricity does not go off in the room when you leave; My Khe 2 has very large rooms, caters more to groups of Saigon tourists [My Khe gets lots of Vietnamese business and government travellers, plus some tourists and some Lao visitors, business or government]. Staff at both places are friendly and pleasant, adequate English if you don't speak Vietnamese. Only downside for price is no in-room internet access. Opening in mid-2008 will be My Khe 3, which is bigger and better (?maybe) than the other two -- no information on prices there yet. It is opposite the turnoff from the beach road where the tour buses stop to tell people [misleadingly] that this is China Beach, with the tank farm behind it but the microbrewery restaurant across the stree. From $18/night, breakfast included, air-con room with refrigerator and private bath (My Khe 1) or shower (My Khe 2).
  • Sea Wonder Hotel, at My Khe Beach, 05113506143, 0983238256, [10]. The hotel is at the end of Pham Van Dong road straight to the My Khe beach. US$20+ pp.
  • Trendy Hotel, B2-B3 Tran Hung Dao (close to Han River bridge), +845113943888, [11]. Features a nice view of Han River's bridge (river view is available for Deluxe Room) (Google Places: [12]). Has a motorbike rental service for VND30000/hour or VND150,000/day. USD $30-$50.

Splurge

  • Furama Resort Danang has 198 rooms and suites resort 15 minutes from Danang International Airport. The resort has its own Diving Center, spa and health centre. Room rate is from USD 175++ per room per night.
  • HAGL Plaza Danang, 01 Nguyen Van Linh street, 84 511 2 22 33 44, [13]. It offers 206 air-conditioned rooms, all of which have cable television, Internet connection, mini-bar, and shower with bathtub. Some of its amenities include spa and swimming pool, fitness room/gym, and restaurant, bar, and café. Best rates on official website start at US$96.

Contact

Stay safe

It is a comparatively safe city but be sure to lock up your belongings at night (as everyone does) which includes not leaving your bike out on the street. Everyone generally brings them into their houses.

Cope

Da Nang is less Westernised than Hanoi or HCMC so it can be more difficult to feel settled here. The locals are friendly/curious enough to always be willing to help you (even when there is no language).

Get out

Frequent bus service to Hoi An (15,000 dong - but foreigners may be refused passage at this price), as well as other destinations throughout Vietnam is available at the intercity bus station. Very near Danang is the village of Lang Co.

Danang train station is conveniently located close to the center of town.



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