LIVING IN DA NANG AS A DIGITAL NOMAD...
is one of the best decisions we could have made for our productivity. Since settling ourselves in Da Nang, Vietnam a few months ago, we’ve reached unprecedented levels of focus and drive. We've logged a lot of teaching hours, and produced a HUGE Da Nang travel blog in the meantime.
Da Nang is awesome for long term travelers and digital nomads. There are a few coworking spaces in town, so many workable cafes, and plenty of things to do to keep you busy.
Da Nang is a rapidly changing place, the internet is good, and more expats are arriving each day. The laid back beach-city vibe is a real draw for people who aren't into the high speed life of Hanoi or Saigon and the inexpensive local foods will keep your belly full on a budget.
With the way things are headed, we're anticipating that Da Nang to become the "Chiang Mai of Vietnam" within 5 years.
GET THE FREE PDF E-BOOK
With just one click you'll have access to
the entire 45 page guide!
Seriously... Just Click Here to Get the Guide!
SAVE IT ON ANY DEVICE
NO WIFI REQUIRED
READ IT ANYWHERE
IT WASN'T EASY AT FIRST
Our first 2 weeks living in Da Nang was a huge period of personal growth for us. Da Nang was not the easiest place for us to transition to and (after nearly a year of travel) we dealt with some of the most difficult culture shock we’ve ever experienced.
It was hard to find good local food where we were living, which made going out to eat very frustrating at first.
Eventually we began to find our groove, settled into our Da Nang routines, found some restaurants we could go back to, and connected with some fellow expats we could share a drink with.
By the time we left, we were ready to add Da Nang to our list of best cities for digital nomads.
It’s amazing what a few weeks and a change of attitude can do for you.
WHY DA NANG?
Central Vietnam offers the opportunity to experience a rich cultural history, new amazing foods, and new levels of culture shock.
We were surprised daily just how different Vietnam felt from other Southeast Asian countries we’ve visited.
The food options are quite healthy, the coffee is amazing, and there’s no shortage of tropical beauty to explore.
Da Nang is still a city on the rise, which is immediately evident by the wide, uncongested roads (in comparison to places like Saigon or Hanoi) and the many buildings under construction. Da Nang definitely offers a more relaxed pace of life than other Vietnamese cities.
There aren’t a ton of activities to distract you, so if you’re looking for a nice place to relax and focus on your work for a while, Da Nang is a great choice.
WHAT DOES DA NANG OFFER DIGITAL NOMADS?
A SMALL BUT LIVELY EXPAT COMMUNITY
We met some lovely expats from all around the world in Da Nang. Over time they’ve built a really cool and welcoming community.
TONS OF COASTLINE TO EXPLORE BY MOTORBIKE
DaNang is famous for some of it’s amazing scenic motorbike rides close by. The SonTra peninsula is a must visit, along with the High Van Pass, best known for being featured on Top Gear.
GREAT DAY TRIPS & SIDE TRIPS CLOSE BY
The ancient city of Hoi An is just a short ride away and is a must visit. Many Digital Nomads prefer Hoi An to Da Nang. It’s just a matter of preference.
PLENTY OF GREAT CAFES TO WORK FROM
Da Nang has some of our favorite cafes in the world. There are so many options to choose from within walking distance from the beach. Vietnam is mildly obsessed with coffee and an awesome cup can be as cheap as $1. Indulge.
WHERE TO STAY IN DA NANG
There are tons of great places to stay in Da Nang for any budget. Da Nang is growing quickly and new places are opening every week, but here are a few of our favorite recommendations. Check the links for photos and reviews.
So close to the beach and a great price. We stayed here while we were shopping around for an apartment. The staff were very friendly and the rooms were clean and comfortable.
This place is run by our friends Alex and Duon. They have a great social community atmosphere, chill spaces to relax and dedicated workspaces for digital nomads. They have both dorms and private rooms. 4 minute walk from the beach.
Such a friendly place. We stayed here for a few weeks the first time we were in Da Nang. They have dorms, private rooms, and a couple of apartments. The staff is so friendly, and the breakfast is always delicious. They have musical instruments for evening jam sessions. Very close to the beach. We fell in love with their charming top floor studio apartment.
Located upstairs from one of the best cafes in Da Nang (see our cafes section). Six on Six is a great choice for digital nomads. Their rooms are clean and comfortable with air conditioning and strong internet. A short walk to the beach, and very close to the local market.
Da Nang Moment- Boutique Serviced Apartment
Apartment style housing with all the amenities including a kitchen area with refrigerator, microwave, and stove. Close to the beach, and great neighborhood right next door to the apartment we lived in for 4 months. All rooms have a balcony, air conditioning, wifi, and smart TV (good for Netflix & chill). They even have an onsite restaurant and bar with live music on the weekends.
**By booking through these links, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
CHOOSING AN APARTMENT
Where do you see yourself spending the most time in Da Nang?
1| I need serious beach time, and a solid expat scene.
2| I like to be in the heart of the local culture, and city vibes
3| I like a healthy dose of both.
Da Nang is split down the center by the Han River.
There are now 6 unique bridges that connect the 2 sides.
The inland part of the city is the older side of the city, it’s connected more to Da Nang’s local history, culture, and cuisine. This side of the river feels more like a city, with daily hustle and bustle. There are a couple of established coworking spaces on this side too.
On the coastal side of the city, you’ll see new growth every day. The My An neighborhood is very popular among expats. Huge buildings are on the rise, and and new restaurants, cafes and bars are popping up. New apartment complexes are abundant, and there are a few really chill expat hangouts that are great for beer, and many places to work from. We lived in My An when we were in Da Nang and were amazed by the abundance of great places to work and eat.
FINDING AN APARTMENT IN DA NANG
Good news. Finding an apartment in Da Nang is easy as long as you're staying for at least a month. As of right now, there are many new apartment buildings being built every day.
If you check AirBnB only it may seem that hotel rooms are all there is to offer. But really, there are many apartments available starting as low as are $300 USD/mo for a studio in the city, and rising from there.
We were able to find a quality Da Nang apartment within 3 days of arriving.
HERE'S HOW WE DID IT:
Day 1: Check into a short term accommodation for a few nights while you start searching for Da Nang apartments online.
We used Facebook groups to get an idea of what was available. We connected with a few different landlords and arranged to visit the apartments the next day.
There are many FB groups for Da Nang Apartments, Here are a few.
Apartment for Rent in Da Nang
Room for rent- Da Nang Hoi an Expats
Da Nang Apartments and Rooms
Day 2: Visiting apartments. Put your game face on. Even if you're desperate don't let on.
Let them know you're looking at multiple apartments today and that you're just getting an idea of what's around.
Ask to see multiple units, check wifi speeds on your phone. We use an app called Speed Smart.
Day 3: Contact the apartment you liked best, and find out when you can move in. Probably today or tomorrow. Pay rent (and maybe a deposit) and move in.
We found a great little 1br apartment a 5 minute walk from the beach in My An for about $450usd/ month plus electricity.
We rented with Da Nang Beach Apartments. We've stayed for 3 months now and they've always been super kind and helpful.
AirBnB works well for shorter term stays. On our first trip to Da Nang we only had 3 weeks to spend, but we fell in love with the top floor studio apartment at Hi Da Nang Beach Hostel.
WORK & TIME ZONES IN DA NANG
Vietnam is 12 hours ahead of EST so if you’ve got video calls to NYC you’ll be starting your work day around 9pm. If your company is based anywhere in Europe, then you’ll be about 6 or 7 hours ahead. There aren’t many 24 hour coworking spaces available in Da Nang yet, so if you’re going to need to work late night be sure to have solid wifi in your apartment, or a portable wifi device that you can tether to.
WIFI | SIM CARDS | COWORKING
Wifi in Vietnam is abundant, although not overwhelmingly fast. Adam was able to successfully teach, with video calls, from our apartment though we did have occasional outages. Be sure to do a speed-test before you make any long term commitments.
Sim Cards are relatively cheap and easy to buy. We purchased a Viettel LTE sim card with 3GB data for 120,000 VND from a Viettel Store in My Khe. Top up scratch-off cards are easily purchased from convenience stores or mobile shops. For specific information on companies and plans check out this comprehensive blog post from Too Many Adapters
Only a few co-working spaces have popped up so far. Da Nang is very much a city on the rise.
New high rises are being built everywhere, and each day more digital nomads are settling in to Da Nang.
Don’t be surprised to see Da Nang listed as the next Digital Nomad “hot spot”
CAFES IN DA NANG
As I’ve mentioned before, Vietnam is mildly obsessed with coffee.
There are coffee shops everywhere slinging quality coffee for around a dollar. Talk about heaven. No matter what your style, you’re certain to find a spot that fits your mood.
Hop around and try them all, or find your favorite and stick to it.
Check out this post for more information on How to order coffee like a local in Vietnam.
Tanh Tam Coffee and Bakery
A perfect cafe to work from, big laptop friendly tables, plenty of plugs, indoor/outdoor seating. Vietnamese coffee from 18K-25K. Gabby really loves their coffee with cacao.
Our go to for all day crushing. Awesome working environment, air conditioning, lots of laptop friendly tables, plenty of plugs, and comfortable chairs. Espresso drinks starting at 25K.
Six On Six
A cafe with style. Espresso drinks start at 50K, we've heard their breakfast burrito is to die for. We haven't tried it yet. They have a few tables suitable for working, and available plugs.
Another cafe that focuses on quality. The coffee is amazing. The working environment is great with high tables, a clean appearance, air conditioning and a friendly staff.
Gold Star Cafe
Chill, laid back, on a street corner where you can watch the world around you. The seating is not the most ideal for productivity. But their coffee makes up for it. French Press, Pour over, Latte, Siphon… Gold Star Coffee... Have it Your Way.
Wanderlust Coffee & Cocktail Bar
Chilled out cafe by day, and swanky cocktail bar by night, you can get your work day started and finished in one place. Ca phe Sua at 9 and gin and tonic after 5. (note: they stop serving coffee at 5pm so make sure you get your caffeine fix before your nightcap)
Brewman Coffee Concept
Across the river and down a quiet alley, is this delightful little cafe. It's beautiful open design puts a smile on our face. Oh wait... maybe that's the single origin coffee they serve, with tasting notes. Space is limited, and it's easy to spend hours there.
DA NANG CUISINE
Da Nang is full of hidden gems in back alleyways, noodle carts that can change your life, and surprises around every corner.
Don’t be afraid to wander into someplace random and say “1 please.
At first, figuring out what to eat was one of our biggest struggles here in Da Nang. We didn’t know what anything was when we got here. At first every meal will be an adventure. The best thing to do is just wander around and sit down at random places.
Once you find some favorites, keep going back to them between culinary adventures.
Do your best to find the true local flavor, even if that means stepping outside of your comfort zone and into a dimly lit alleyway in search for food.
There are so many amazing foods to try in Vietnam. Central Vietnamese is a cuisine all its own.
We relied heavily on 2FoodTrippers Central Vietnam Food Guide for inspiration and guidance.
They never steer us in the wrong direction.
Watch this video created by Da Nang Cuisine get an idea of the kinds of food you’ll find.
Here’s a great guide for survival vietnamese phrases to use when ordering food!
LET'S TALK FOOD
You’ll see this word on the outside of many restaurants. It can also used generically to mean food.
There are several different kinds of noodles around if you pay attention. Here are a few to be aware of:
- Bun- thin vermicelli noodles
- Pho- broader flat rice noodles
- Mi Quang- fatter flat rice noodles
- Banh Canh- fatter round rice noodles
When ordering your various dishes you’ll often have an option which kind of meat you want. The menu may not have english translations, so it helps to know these basics.
- Ga- Chicken
- Bo- Beef
- Thit Heo- Pork
- Thit Nuong- BBQ Pork
- Tom- Shrimp
- Ca- Fish
DISHES TO TRY
Banh Mi (Bread)| This can refer to the sandwich or just the bread itself. There are many different kinds of Banh Mi available. Each place has their own flair. We tend to order “Trung, Thit Noung” for bbq pork with egg.
Pho (Gai)| Pho is the dish the most foreigners are dreaming about when they come to vietnam, only to end up disappointed by how different it is from what they expected. Start with an open mind, and don’t settle with the first bowl of pho you eat. Try different places, and pay attention to the subtleties of the dish. Our favorite bowls of Pho were usually served on side streets or from carts. It might take some work to find the best ones.
Bun Cha| Tiny flavorful pork patties, crispy spring rolls, vermicelli rice noodles, vegetables, and a tangy sauce, need I say more?
Mi Quang| A central vietnam staple. This is the noodle dish that changed everything for me. Once I found a friendly cart that served this one well, I was hooked. It’s basically a bowl of comfort food consisting of big fat noodles topped with meat, herbs , and a small amount of broth. It’s the hot pepper jam you’ve got to be on the lookout for. It’s a local specialty and it’s sure to add a delicious kick to any dish.
Mi Xao/Pho Xao| Xao means fried, Mi and Pho are just two kinds of noodles that are served this way. You’ve definitely got to try them.
Banh Xeo| Crispy Vietnamese pancakes. They look more like tacos and you eat them like a spring roll. This is a more hands on meal, and your chopstick skills will be tested. Here are the basics: Rice paper. Veggies. Pancake. Meatstick. Roll it up and dip it.
Banh Canh| Made with Cassava or Rice noodles, a gravy-like broth, some pork and sausage, and hopefully a long fried donut to dip into it.
Hai San (Seafood)| Da Nang is famous for freshly caught seafood. There are tons of seafood shops along the beach selling fresh catch. You can also get some great seafood for cheap in the local markets. Go for the seafood hot pot cornucopia, of perhaps you’d prefer some tamarind crab?
Lao (Hot Pot)| Hot pot restaurants are very popular, and you’ll find all sorts of different ingredients.
EATING VEGETARIAN & VEGAN IN DA NANG
It is possible to find veg friendly restaurants but you'll find most of them are in the city. There are great meat renditions and veggie versions of some of our favorite Vietnamese dishes, and then some.
Our best advice to you is to check out HappyCow.net and just start trying them one by one
" ăn chay " is the Vietnamese word for vegetarian, That's how you'll know you're in the right place.
Some Veggie Dishes We LOVE:
Battered Deep Fried Mushrooms
Deep Fried Tofu
Sauteed Jackfruit with Sesame
Veggie Banh Beo
Banh Cuon (fresh Spring rolls)
Bun Cha Gio Chay
(rice noodles with deep fried spring rolls)
Some Places to Get You Started:
NHA HANG CHAY LIEN HOA
THUC DUONG BAO AN - BAO AN MACROBIOTIC
Sugar Cane Juice| Summer time in Da Nang means one thing... Nuoc Mia. Cool off with a refreshing cup of Sugar Cane Juice! Seeing how they squeeze this fresh cane juice is a treat all in itself. The tiny kumquats they add for flavor are amazing usually around 5,000 vnd.
Banh Bo| Hot fresh Rice Donuts with a slightly sweet hint of vanilla that are dipped in chili pepper jam. We’re so there! You can get a dozen donuts for 60,000, that’s roughly $2.50. Banh Bo Literally translates to Cow Bread, but not to worry, there’s no meat in these babies, the name supposedly came from their resemblance to cow udders!
Vietnam is one of the few Southeast Asian countries we actually needed a visa to visit. We applied for our 30 day visa online through Vietnam E Visa National Portal on Immigration and had no trouble. Be sure to hold on to your e-visa paperwork the entire time you are in Vietnam. They will need to see it again to let you out of the country. Your passport entry stamp WILL NOT be sufficient.
More than 30 days:
On our last 2 visits to Vietnam we acquired 3 month visas. We applied online through Vietnam-Visa.com, a Vietnam Visa On Arrival service, recommended by friends. It was really simple, fast and convenient. (By using the link we've provided below, we'll receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, so thank-you in advance.)
The process is simple.
- Fill out the pre approval application online, pay a service fee.
- Receive approval letter in your email within 2 working days.
- Present approval letter with proper visa application and documents (you'll need a passport sized photo) at Visa On Arrival desk at your arriving airport.
- Wait for your name to be called. (Listen carefully)
- Once they call your name you can pay your stamping fee and receive your passport with your visa.
- Continue onward to immigration.
Tip: We waited almost an hour at the airport in Ho Chi Minh for visa processing, we nearly missed our connecting flight to Da Nang. To be fair there was a very important football match happening in Vietnam that night and Immigration officials were a bit distracted. At some point I walked ahead of the waiting crowd, let the officials know I was going to miss my flight, and they gave me my passport instantly. When all else fails, attempt communication.
VISA EXTENSIONS & VISA RENEWAL
If you find that you are absolutely loving your time in Vietnam and you’d like to stay longer, our best advice to you is you leave the country on a visa run and apply for a new visa.
According to a visa service we asked, visa extensions can run you about $300 USD and apparently the Vietnamese Immigration rarely accepts visa extensions anyway.
Flights from Vietnam to surrounding countries are fairly cheap. Since you’ll be applying for your visa online, (instead of going to an embassy), you can pretty much go anywhere. We took a 3 week trip to Thailand, and applied for our new 3 month visa while we were out of the country. We had no problems on the way back into Vietnam at the Da Nang Airport.
GETTING AROUND DA NANG
Uber/Grab | The recent purchase of Uber Southeast Asia by GRAB has left no question about the top car service in the region. In Da Nang, Grab is everywhere and it's easy to hail a car or motorbike to wherever you've got to go. It also has the added option of paying cash which makes splitting the cost of a ride among friends much easier.
Motorbike | Call us crazy, but we love riding our motorbike in Da Nang. Prepare to achieve new levels of focus, previously thought impossible. Motorbikes are certainly the primary mode of transportation around Da Nang. In preparation for future tourism, the roads are wide and relatively uncrowded. Pay close attention to the habits of Vietnamese drivers and learn the ways of the road. Traffic rarely stops at any intersection. Don’t stop in the middle of the street and don’t hit any other bikes. If you can follow these 2 rules you’ll be fine. Don’t forget to use your horn to let people know you’re there.
Taxi | Taxis are relatively cheap and widely available. Just be sure to have them use the meter, as always.
Walking | There is plenty of walking to do around Da Nang. The city is pretty spread out especially on the beach side, where the blocks are really long. And walking along the beach can feel like being in Vegas, the buildings are further than they appear. However, if you set yourself up in a little neighborhood, you should have almost everything you need nearby.
Da Nang generally has a very mild climate, with relatively warm temperatures all year round. Which makes it a perfect vacation spot for many surrounding countries. The summer months (starting at the end of April) see the heaviest tourist traffic. The rainy season runs from September to February with low temperatures in the 50 to 60 range The driest month is March which is the perfect time to escape the burning season in Chiang Mai.
Although Vietnam's traditional folk religion inherits it's teachings from the Chinese Taoism and Confucianism, there is also a heavy Buddhist influence.
In Da Nang there is a large Lady Buddha that sits out on Son Tra peninsula. It is visible from Da Nang's coast line.
You'll find small shrines in most businesses and homes. Be respectful and try not to point your feet towards them.
A Christian influence does exist here as well. Check out the famous Pink Cathedral in Da Nang City.
Some ATMs will allow you to take out more cash than others. You may have to shop around a bit for which ATM’s will give you 100,000dong notes, or ones that will let you take out more than 2 million dong. We did find an HSBC ATM in town at the Vincom Center.
Largest Vietnamese Banks:
If you come to Vietnam with international currency, you'll want to track down a Phu Loc, or gold shop, they will exchange most currencies for you with a decent exchange rate.
*You can do a google search for basic things like banks and post offices.
We are not Doctors, do not make judgements solely based on our experience and information.
Malaria | Yes, you can get Malaria in Vietnam, however, (just as we were told when moving to Thailand) It’s not common enough in the cities, that you need to be taking Malaria medication.
If you plan on going off grid into the Vietnamese wilderness for a period of time, then you should definitely consider taking it.
Dengue Fever | This Mosquito Transmitted Disease is mostly a concern during rainy season. There is no vaccine or medication to take so carry bug spray, use it often.
Most importantly, if you get it, keep calm and Listen to our podcast about getting Dengue Fever in Bali
Air Quality | They air in Da Nang is cleaner than DN Hotspot Chiang Mai, Thailand. But be aware of burn piles and motorbike exhaust while driving around town. Luckily respiratory face masks are easy to find around town. They’re commonly worn so you don’t have to feel like a weirdo.
Drinking Water | The locals don’t drink the tap water and neither should you.There are large water jugs (DAQUA) available for purchase for your apartment (just ask your rental office about them. They should cost around 20,000 VND.
Food Poisoning | Occasionally you might eat something that wasn’t cooked thoroughly or is a little questionable. We’ve had very few instances of this, but when we do, we just don’t eat there again and we always have charcoal pills to help with the after effects.
Dogs | Pet culture in Vietnam may be very different from what you’re used to. Most neighborhood dogs are cared for by someone or other, but they do have the freedom to roam the streets. While we’re always looking to make new doggo friends, we always make sure that the dog is friendly first. The last thing you want is to be bit by a dog, or worse case scenario, get rabies. Just be smart.
For any sickness, injury, and medical concerns.
Hoan My Da Nang Hospital – Private Hospital
Family Medical Practice – Private Clinic
We took the time during our three months in Da Nang to get some dental work done. While many people travel to Thailand for Medical tourism and for dentistry specifically. We had a great experience here in Da Nang. We went into East Meets West Dental for a cleaning and to have a couple cavities filled. We hear great things about IDC Dental as well.
There are a few small local gyms within the My An neighborhood (update:There is a Rec center with a pool currently being built in this neighborhood) but if you’re looking for something a little more state of the art you’ll find a few options across the river. A short drive or grab ride away.
Bina Gym & Fitness (Beach Side)
Elite Fitness (City)
California Fitness & Yoga (City)
Nomad Yoga in Hoi An
If you want to practice yoga in stunning locations in Hoi An surrounded by a friendly and loving community. Or you want to complete your 200hr teacher training… this is the place for you.
We were happily surprised when our apartment came with a washing machine.
Most apartment building will at least have washing facilities within the building.
If not there are wash and fold services around town.
Dryers are unlikely to be found in your building.
Outlets in Da Nang can vary. In most newly built buildings you’ll find 2 prong outlets that accept the US Type A flat pins and the Type C and Type F rounded pins as well. Bring an Adapter for 3 prong plugs, etc. The power supply runs at 220 Volts so be careful with devices that require lower power.
REPLACING & PURCHASING ELECTRONICS
Da Nang is not the best place for your devices to crap out on you, but it’s not the worst either. We had to replace our Mac power cord while in town. It took visiting a few different shops, but Tom at Z Shop hooked us up with a 60 w cord for $40.
Note: Things to be aware of, not all Apple products are created equally, prices and quality vary from shop to shop.
We also had replaced our headphones at Phi Long Technology a multilevel electronics shop. They have pretty much everything, including many recognizable brands, but they can be quite pricey. A pair of Apple earbuds were around $40 US, but we found a pair of JBL that was on sale.
MARKETS, GROCERY & CONVENIENCE STORES
There are only a few large Supermarkets around town, and most of them are on the West side of the river. (Big C and Lotte Mart)
Vinmart (at the Vincom Center) is the only large grocery store on the beach side of town. You’ll find many locals shopping here.
My An Market this open air market is a great place to wander through, have some lunch and pick up some fresh fruit and veggies, seafood, meats, and live chickens even. Prices are not usually listed here so be prepared to negotiate for your produce.
Convenience Stores: You’ll find small Vietnamese shops that sell odds and ends, K-markets that have mostly Korean products and small Vinmarts that will have an array of common products (including some produce)
HOLIDAYS & EVENTS
Tet - Lunar New Year (February)
Hung King’s Temple Festival (April 25)
Reunification Day (Apr 30)
International Fireworks Festival Various Dates from May-June
Dragon Boat Festival (June)
CULTURAL CUES & TRADITIONS
WARNING CULTURE SHOCK MAY OCCUR:
When traveling to a new country, it is a good idea to research the common customs.
If you’re ever feeling disrespected, confused or, angry there’s a good chance that there’s some cultural misunderstanding going on. Be aware that you are a foreigner here and that your customs and perspectives may be confusing for locals. Try not to take it personally.
HANDS & FEET
When giving someone money or an object use both hands to give and receive, or use our right hand while placing your left hand on the inside of your elbow/forearm. Try not to pass with your left hand.
Pointing or summoning someone with your finger is considered disrespectful. Use your whole hand to gesture towards something or someone, and use your whole hand pointed down to call someone over (as in a taxi)
Flipping the bird (giving someone the middle finger) translates to nothing.
Crossing your fingers is a derogatory gesture referring to a vagina.
Similar to traditions in Thai Buddhism it is considered disrespectful to point to something with your feet.
EATING & SHOPPING
Don’t be surprised when you’re out to dinner when you large groups of Vietnamese frequently exclaiming Mot! Hai! Ba! Do! (One! Two! Three! Drink!) If you’re asked to join the group, be prepared to cheers on almost every swig of beer.
Small table side trash cans at restaurants are for your napkins and bones, and any most other trash items. If there's no trash you'll soon realize the floor is another option.
Dual Pricing| It is common as a foreigner to be charged a higher price for something than a local. Be aware of this difference, but don’t make a big deal of it. If you are not comfortable paying the price, you can either negotiate it lower or not buy it. The cost of living in Vietnam as a foreigner is still very low.
Culture tip: For Vietnamese shop owners, the first customer of the day is believed to set the tone for the whole day of business. Try to avoid arriving at shops first thing in the morning, if you are unsure what you will purchase.
Some further reading about Vietnamese customs and etiquette
Vietnamese is a difficult language to learn, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Luckily, unlike Thai, Chinese, Japanese and many others...it uses roman letters, which means that you can learn to recognize words and phrases more easily, even if you can’t read or pronounce them properly. This makes hunting down your favorite foods a lot easier!
Here are a couple words to get you started:
xin chào (hello) sounds like: Sin-Chow
cảm ơn - Sounds like Com ung
Có - Yes
không - no
For long term visitors, we always recommend learning a bit of the language to make your life easier and to help you connect with the locals. We recommend you look at this post for some basic vietnamese travel phrases, or listen to a vietnamese language podcast!
For random questions, and recommendations check these facebook groups*
*please utilize the search function before asking questions 🙂
“Da Nang Hoi An Expats”
“Digital Nomads is Da Nang”
“Da Nang Hoi An Expats Support Forum”
“Da Nang Hoi An, Hue Expats & Locals”
DON'T FORGET TO PACK
(aka things that you need or are hard to find)
Unlocked Smart Phone
Nail Polish Remover
Practice Leave No Trace when visiting beaches and ancient sites.
Shop Local, supporting local businesses is great for boosting the economy.
Be sure to dress accordingly when visiting any spiritual sites or government offices.
Da Nang definitely isn’t the most poppin city in Southeast Asia (that’s part of why we like it)... but there are plenty of bars, clubs, rooftops, tapas bars, late night burger joints, and lounges to keep you entertained. A quick look at Da Nang’s SnapMap or local Instagram story will show you exactly what we mean…
A FEW CHILL SPOTS WE'VE ENJOYED
The Village | The village is an awesome beach bar where expats and locals can mingle. Enjoy a craft beer, or a tiger draft while listening to some live music, shooting pool, or bullshitting with the other locals.
Don Vi Toi AKA Minsk Bar | Make love not war. A super chill reggae bar to hang out at day or night. The staff are friendly local people and can help you find the vibe you're looking for. They have live music at least once a week. This place has a unique environment that's exactly our style. If you're lucky you might even get your ass whipped by a 7 year old at the foosball table.
Crazy Cat | This place is a gem. The day time vibe is super chill, great for meeting other expats or making friends with some of the local characters who hang out there. At night you'll find a friendly crowd and great music. You'll find whatever you need here most days. Visit the upstairs for smoking supplies or even get a tattoo!
My Casa | A bit of a walk from the My An neighborhood, it’s definitely worth it for the 2-for-1 Happy Hour. The atmosphere is laid back, the smells coming from the kitchen are divine and you really can feel like you’re hanging out in your friend’s backyard.
N Pub | Right in the Neighborhood. Npub has got the divey atmosphere we like with local art covering the walls. It’s also the home of the weekly pub quiz we’ve been attending. Check their facebook for events.
TOP 5 THINGS WE LOVE TO DO IN DA NANG
+ Sip delicious coffee and work in the amazing local cafes
+ Take day trips via motorbike to the surrounding areas, Son Tra Peninsula, Hoi An, Marble Mountains...etc.
+ Sunrise workouts at the beach among the locals
+ Getting your ass kicked in foosball by a 7 year old in a bar
Check out our list of 20 great things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam
THINGS TO DO IN DA NANG
Marble Mountains | Climb the stairs to the top for an unbeatable view, and explore the many caves on the mountain. This place has got everything. Nature, beautiful temples, folklore, tourists and stairs.
Sun Wheel | Asia Park’s Sun wheel can be seen from all over Da Nang. It’s a large 115 m high ferris wheel (the 10th largest in the world actually) Go for the ferris wheel but stay for the other rides. Entrance Fee: 300,000 per person
Dragon Bridge : Probably the Han River’s coolest bridge, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the dragon head shoots fire and water. I’m not going to blow this out of proportion. It’s not life changing but it’s pretty neat. Da Nang's own 7 Bridges Brewing Co. Taproom and watch it all go down from their rooftop.
Beach Life: We’re beach bums at heart. Nothing beats soaking up the sun or resting in the shade of a palm tree. There are a few trees on Da Na Beach that are perfect for a hammock.
Check out our list of 20 more things to do in Da Nang!
MORE THINGS TO DO IN DA NANG
Cong Ca Phe
Board Game Cafe
Upside Down World
Han River Riverfront
Fresco Painting Village
Tea Time at Avatar Hotel
Drink & Draw at The Workshop
Lady Buddha at Son Tra Temple
Art in Paradise| Trick Eye Museum
SIDE TRIPS FROM DA NANG
There are plenty of day trips and side trips to take from Da Nang.
You can start by renting a motorbike and exploring Son Tra Peninsula. Visit the Son Tra Temple to see the Lady Buddha up close, explore the mountain roads, and find the lighthouse; you’re likely to see some monkeys along the way.
Take a drive over the famous High Van Pass, on your way to Hue for the weekend.
Spend an afternoon or a whole week even in Hoi An’s ancient city. Soak up the sun on An Bang Beach, and ride a bicycle through the rice paddies!
You won’t even have to miss any work, Hub Hoi An, is one of the most charming coworking spaces we’ve had the pleasure of working in.
Flights around Vietnam are cheap, and a weekend trip up north to Halong Bay & Hanoi or down south to Saigon is easy to plan even from the middle of Vietnam.
lo | A 30 day visa will cost you about $25 for the stamping fee and depending on the website you go through, you'll also be charged a service fee.
3 month, 6 month, and 1 year visas are also available.
Accommodation | There is accommodation for every price range in Da Nang. You'll find 1 bedroom apartments with everything you might need for as little as $18-20 USD per night, and of course if you're looking for something a little more luxurious you'll find things in the $30-70 USD per night range.
Coworking Space | Coworking spaces in Da Nang are a steal! 1 month Hot Desk membership at Enouvo Space will run you $80 USD. We find it more enjoyable to work with a cup of coffee (around $1-2) at the numerous cafes around the area.
Transportation | Motorbike rentals are about $3-6 per day. Ask your accommodation to set you up with a rental, they usually have a rental shop that they work with. You can probably get An even better deal if you rent weekly or monthly.
Grab or taxi's won't cost you much either, just make sure they use the meter.
WE WANT TO KNOW...
Do you have a question we didn’t answer about Vietnam?
Got anything to add about your experience living in Da Nang?
Or maybe we got something wrong... Leave us a comment!
♥ DID YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL? PIN IT FOR REFERENCE! ♥
OR SHARE IT WITH A FRIEND
ABOUT LOCAL NOMADS
We're Gabby and Adam. Welcome to Local Nomads!
We started Local Nomads for the radical, free spirited, adventure seeking individuals who desire a life outside of traditional norms.
Our mission is to prove that anyone (even you) can live a rewarding life of long term travel.
We offer strategies and tips to get you started, and help you out no matter what kind of journey you’re on.
Whether you’re looking into your first Seasonal Job in Alaska...
or deciding which international city to remotely work from next.
What to Eat in Central Vietnam - A Central Vietnam Food Guide
[…] In fact, we could see ourselves living in Vietnam’s third largest city at some point in our future. When we do, we’ll be sure to use the Local Nomads guide for digital nomads living in Da Nang. […]
Vietnam Seafood Fest in Danang
[…] How much did we enjoy Da Nang and its abundance of fresh seafood? We could see ourselves living in Vietnam’s third largest city at some point in our future. When we do, we’ll be sure to use the Local Nomads guide for digital nomads living in Da Nang. […]
Thank you so much for your information it has really helped. I’ve decided to live in Da nang, my friends leaves Saturday and I have to start looking for somewhere to live now. I’ve travelled and lived in Aisa on and off for years but somehow Da Nang drew me back. I’m an older student studying so that I can work on line for good. Maybe I’ll see you in one of the cafes?
thank you so much, I’m going to look at the rental of apartments today! Wish me luck!
Rachel from the UK.
Hey Rachel! That’s so exciting! We really love Da Nang, and we’re headed back there tomorrow actually. We’ve been in Thailand for the past month, and we’ve been homesick for Da Nang the whole time. Are you in Da Nang now? Feel free to message us through our Facebook page we’d love to meet up. Otherwise, you’re likely to run into us at any of the coffee shops around! We’ll be looking for an apartment tomorrow, so if you’ve found someplace awesome let us know!
Great post! Vietnam sounds like an amazing place. If I ever plan a visit I’ll be using your plans as guidelines.
Glad you enjoyed it, James! Let us know if you end up visiting Da Nang!
Da Nang is a cool place to work from and there are tons of opportunities to hit the rest of SEA.
So true! You can fly almost anywhere in SEA within a few hours from here.
This is the best Da Nang I’ve ever seen. Packing up and moving after deciding Hanoi isn’t the place for me and this guide is really helping me see what the city is like. Thank you!
Wow. This was ridiculously helpful! Maybe the best city guide post I’ve ever read….You really left no stone unturned. Thank you for taking the time!
Thanks for all the great info! We’ve finally arrived in Da Nang from Ubud…. and it’s beautiful, chilled, and super friendly here.
Just have one quick (newbie) question about visas: Is there a limit on visa runs or visa renewals?
For example: We arrived on a 30 day e-visa. At the end of our stay if we then fly to Bangkok for a few nights while having a newly organised 90 day Visa On Arrival, can we just fly back to Da Nang? Or is there a limit on how many times you can re-enter, or do you need to give it a certain amount of time to return?
So glad you’ve finally made it to Da Nang. We miss that place, and look forward to coming back again one day soon.
I’m really not sure the answer to your question. You should be fine spending a few nights in BKK and coming back for an additional 3 months though. We left for 3 weeks between our two 3 month visas and had no problem returning. I really have no idea how many times you’d be able to do that though before immigration would stop you. I also don’t know if there’s a certain amount of time you’d need to stay away. You could try asking these questions in a Vietnam expats group on facebook.
Either way, I’d be prepared to answer some questions about your plans in Vietnam and why you’re staying for so long. Something along the lines of “I love Vietnam and I want to be able to see everything in Vietnam” would probably suffice.
Great post, thank you for all the info. I am planning my first trip to Vietnam in January and will most likely visit Da Nang. Can’t wait!
That’s awesome! Da Nang is great. Nearby Hoi An is fun too, though a bit more touristy. Be sure to check out our things to do in Da Nang post for a list of things to keep you busy while you’re there. Send us an email if you have any questions 😛
Visas can easily be extended. We’ve extended our multiple times before having to do a Visa run. The best bet is to extend in Saigon and it’s quite simple. You just drop your passport off with a photo and then pick it up a week later.
Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this info. Would you mind letting me know the name of the place you got it done?
fantastic post!!! Thank you!
Thank you for such a great travel guide right here.
Your photos are beautiful. But I was hoping to see some photos of the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills. I was planning to go several times but always missed it! Anyway, thanks a lot for your guide. Will use it to plan my next trip to Da Nang 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Helene. We love Da Nang! We did have a chance to visit the Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills while we were living in Da Nang. You can read more about it here or listen to the podcast we recorded here. I hope you have a great trip to Da Nang!
Wow, great post guys! You’ve got yourself 2 new fans (my girlfriend and I 😉 ). We’re thinking of staying in Da Nang for a month or so, starting next week I think. So your guide will be of great help, so thanks!
Hey there Siem! I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying our little corner of the internet. If you’re thinking of moving to Da Nang, then you should check out the podcast episodewe recorded while we were there. We also have a lot more about Da Nang if you check out the Living in Vietnam page. A lot has changed since we were there. One of our favorite bars was sadly demolished this week. Enjoy your time there, let us know what you think, keep in touch!
I have been living here in Da Nang for 9 months after 2 years in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Excellent article! If people want to live even cheaper I just paid 1000US for a common countryside Vietnamese cement house … For 6 months! I then bought a used washer and fridge for 70 US each. I renew my 3 month visa by train-bus-bus-train(far safer than bus and more comfortable) to Lao Bao. … Cost 100 US total.
I am hearing they will require exiting Vietnam every 30 days after July of this yar even with 3, 6 or 1 year tourist visa. The Visa letter service i use said they have not received the details yet but have heard of this requirement
Wow. I haven’t heard of this. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have to look into it and update as necessary.
Thank ad <3
I want to visit Da Nang in the future. Where is the best neighborhood to experience local culture/city and be close to the beach…