This guide and photos was contributed by Joanna Szreder of The Blond Travels, where she advises people on moving abroad and feeling at home in a foreign country. She has been living in Da Nang for the last 3 months.
Da Nang was once a quiet little town with not much to offer. It only started developing a few years ago and is now attracting more visitors each day, thanks to its immaculately clean beaches, exciting nightlife and low cost of living.
Despite now being a popular holiday destination to many, Da Nang has managed to keep its original character. Here you can experience the traditional way of life while enjoying modern facilities of the Western world. You can shop at a local market, where older ladies sell cheap fruit and vegetables, observe life as it happens while sitting at a traditional coffee shop, sunbathe on one of the beaches, have massages and shop at one of the shopping malls.
Women Safety and Necessities
The city is generally safe for women. Vietnamese people are approachable and friendly towards foreigners and crime is low, especially when compared to cities like Saigon (HCMC) or Hanoi.
Tourism here is relatively new and a Caucasian woman in a bikini might attract some unwanted attention. However, that doesn’t happen very often and women can feel free and safe here.
There are no proper co-working places in Da Nang as it is a relatively new destination for digital nomads. However, there are a couple of nice coffee shops where you can work.
Places to live
Finding an apartment in Da Nang is easy. You can stay at a hostel or hotel for the first couple of days while you go around the city looking for an apartment.
Facebook groups are a good resource. You can post a question on Da Nang Expats Facebook group, and there are plenty of agencies and private owners, who have properties for rent.
Other expats are always a good source of information. Make some friends at Bamboo Bar, or Golden Pine, where foreigners usually hang out. Chances are you will find someone who knows about available accommodation.
The most popular area for expats in Da Nang is An Thuong, an up and coming part of the city located just by the beach. Here you will find mostly apartment buildings and hotels, which rent their well equipped rooms to people wanting to stay in Da Nang long term.
At the moment it seems like it’s a one big building site, but you will find a good selection of bars and restaurants here. Plus, it is just by the beach, so you can enjoy it anytime you want.
When renting a property you will be asked to pay deposit. This is usually the equivalent of your rent. On top of that you will have to pay one month rent in advance. Remember to sign a contract in English, which clearly states how much deposit you’ve paid and your rent amount.
Average monthly cost of living
Cost of living is relatively low. However, Da Nang is very popular among rich Chinese and Japanese tourists, who come here for holiday. Restaurants around the main beaches are quite pricey (100,000 VND/USD4 for a plate of seafood and rice).
If you like to eat out, check out some of the restaurants and bars in the city centre, further from the beaches. There you can enjoy a plate of delicious noodles for 25,000 VND/USD1.20 or Banh Mi, the famous Vietnamese sandwich, for 15,000 VND/USD0.70.
Prices of accommodation in Da Nang varies, depending on the location. You can pay around USD200 for a studio and up to USD500 for a 2 bedroom flat. A room with a separate kitchen and bathroom that is close to the beach will set you back around USD350 per month.
Examples of other costs:
Taxi per km 15,000 VND/USD0.70
Scooter rental per day $120,000 VND/USD5.50
1 hour body massage 200,000 VND/USD9
Soft drink 15,000 VND/USD0.70
Beer 20,000 VND/USD0.90
Internet in apartment buildings is quite often unreliable, but that varies from one building to another. The best way to find out if the internet speed is fast is to check it when you view the apartment for the first time. Use Speed Test and ask the other tenants about the quality of the WiFi.
You can find good internet connection at coffee shops all over the city.
It is easy to buy a SIM card in Da Nang. To make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, you should buy your SIM card from an authorized shop. You can find authorized shops in the city center or inside shopping malls, such as Indochina Mall and Vincom.
Viettel is Vietnam’s largest telco with the widest coverage. You can get the best deal – free minutes and internet – for only 70,000 VND per 3 months (USD3).
Address: 34 Nhu Nguyet, Da Nang
Address: 59 A Le Loi, Da Nang
Address: 9 Quang Trung, Da Nang
Address: Vo Nguyen Giap, Da Nang
Supermarkets and Local markets
Da Nang’s shopping malls are not as big and luxurious as the ones in Saigon or Hanoi, but you will find a few Western brands here, such as Oasis and Accessorize. Indochina Mall is great for shopping for better quality clothing and domestic appliances. Lotte Mart and Vincom are great malls to hang out with friends and family.
At Vincom mall you can even go ice-skating, which is a great option for those looking for a cool activity to do during hot summer days.
Da Nang has pretty predictable weather, unlike other parts of Vietnam. The best time weather-wise to visit Da Nang is from February to May, when it is right after the rainy season and before the peak tourist summer season.
Temperature is highest from May to September, hovering around 24 degree Celcius. The proximity of Da Nang to the Pacific Ocean keeps it cooler during summer.
During winter from September to January, expect lots of rainy days, but the temperature never drops below 20 degree Celcius.
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