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Danang - Hoian

 

 

Da nang is the fourth largest central city of Vietnam, after Hochiminh city (Saigon), Hanoi and Hai Phong. It has an area of nearly 1,260 km², and a population of 752,493 people. Together with Hue, Da nang is the city in the South Center Coast, on the coast of South China Sea, the middle of Vietnam.

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. Why do they call it the seaside and riverside city? Because Da Nang is a picturesque city by the Han river, and by the coast of the East Sea with distinctive attractiveness in comparison with other sea cities, luring hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world!

The city is in the site of the East Sea and Han River with special different charms. Nature has offered the city a great position among three World heritages generously: ancient royal capital Hue, ancient city Hoi an and Holy land My Son. Thanks to this, Da Nang plays an important role in hosting, serving and transferring visitors. Not only being in the middle point of three world heritages, but also does it has numerous unforgettable beautiful scenes, such as Han River, Hai Van Pass, Son Tra Peninsula, Ba Na Mountain, Marble Mountains, etc.

Besides the bustle of the city center, there are ancient villages and traditional trade villages hidden by the range of bamboos in the city's suburban areas of Da nang. Outside the city, Phong Nam ancient village, Tuy Loan ancient village have a vast view of rice fields, small paths under bamboo shade and sometimes feeling peaceful atmosphere of hens' sound in the afternoon. In the village, there still remain the old-aged communal houses through ups and downs of the city history. However, there are sacred holy atmosphere but to be very close to the spirit of Quang Nam and Da nang people.

 

Hoi An is a unique town in the history of Vietnam in that is has kept most of its old buildings and streets and was declared a World Heritage site in 1999 in recognition of this. The centre of town still is a fascinating mixture of winding lanes, historic buildings and Chinese shops. This central area is quite small and easy to get around though it will involve walking for transport most of the time. The old town has a useful coupon system where for roughly US$5 visitors can visit many of the landmarks which includes several museums and the popular Japanese Bridge.

There are a wide range of hotels in Hoi An which are extremely competitive, this is great news for the tourist as it ensures great prices and high standards of accommodation. The famous China Beach is 20 minutes from Hoi An and has luxury accommodation options. 

From Hoi An, there are a range of boat tours, bike tours and beaches including Cua Dai Beach which is easy get to by taxi or bicycle and offers pleasant views of the rices fields along the way. Tours are also available to Cham Islands where there are several decent snorkeling and scuba diving locations. The spectacular ruins of the ancient Cham empire, My Son, are only an hours drive from the town.

 

 

Da Nang bars and nightlife

While nightlife in Da Nang doesn’t compare at all with Saigon or Hanoi, there are a few welcoming bars where you can settle in and enjoy a chat with local expats. While you’re there, check out the local brews – Da Nang Export and Biere de la Rue.

Christie’s Cool Spot: If you’re hungry, head for the upstairs restaurant, but the main pull of this place is its gregarious downstairs bar, where a mix of expats and tourists sound off on the issues of the day. There’s a small book exchange as well.  112 Tran Phu, tel: +84(0)511 382 4040. $$

Bars in Hoi An & nightlife

Due to the steady tourist trade, there are several bars offering a convivial atmosphere to enjoy a drink after dinner, though there’s nothing so raunchy as a disco in town, as yet anyway.

Tam Tam Café: Though there’s typical bar food available here (sandwiches, steaks, etc), most people come for the happy-hour beers or cocktails, the pool table and chill-out lounge.  21/110 Nguyen Thai Hoc, tel: +84 (0)510 386 2212. $$

Treat’s Café: Hugely popular hang-out for budget travellers, with lively music and a long happy hour every evening. 158 Tran Phu, tel: +84 (0)510 386 1125. $

Price guide

$ – dishes under $3; quart of beer $1; whiskey shot $1.50;cocktails $2

$$ – dishes $3-10; quart of beer $1.50; whiskey shot $2; cocktails $2.50

$$$ – dishes $10-20; quart of beer $2; whiskey shot $2.50; cocktails $3

$$$$ – dishes over $20; quart of beer $3; whiskey shot $4; cocktails  $5

Shopping in Hoi An

Hoi An shopping is characterized by the traditional Vietnamese local markets, with more offerings of traditional craftsmanship and cultural souvenirs than usually found elsewhere in the country. The range of merchandise available in Hoi An is more limited than other places in Vietnam, but highly regarded cultural souvenirs are more prominent here.

There is no better place for a bit of shopping spree!

You will find that wandering around the shops of Hoi An is the main joy of Hoi An, and browsing through the shops will occupy many pleasant hours. In Hoi An, there is a wide range of gift for visitors to buy. Especially, Hoi An lanterns and tailor-made clothing are renowned throughout Vietnam. Hoi An is indeed well known for their shops, especially clothing shops. It is simply incredible what the tailors can make for the prices they charge. Most shops have the latest fashion catalogues, and you simply choose what you want, have a fitting and they set to work making it for you - often very quickly. You will also find plenty of other souvenir shops, especially shops selling paintings, wood carvings and the aforementioned paper lanterns, which are beautiful when lit up at night.

Tourism has become an important and established industry in Vietnam over the last decade and most visitors usually have a very enjoyable experience in their interactions with the Vietnamese people. That said, like any country Vietnam has a diverse population so it can pay to be informed about what you might expect from the local population when visiting their country. 

Generally speaking, the Vietnamese people are very friendly and hospitable to foreign visitors. Around the major cities, the prevalence of tourism means that locals are well acquainted with travelers and will make you feel welcome. In the more remote and rural areas however, local people are not always accustomed to the sight of foreigners and may stare at you in harmless fascination. The best response is to always stay happy and smile or wave, and you will usually receive the same in return.

 

When purchasing goods outside of large department stores, bartering is an expected part of the transaction. Foreigners will generally be quoted a higher price than local people on the expectation that some haggling will occur. How much prices are reduced depends on how skilled you are at the process, however a reduction of at least around 10% can usually be expected.

Tipping is not usually expected, and can often be already factored into the price you are charged. However if you choose to tip, it will certainly be appreciated by staff working in low-paid employment.

The predominant religions are Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism.

One aspect of traveling in Vietnam that can occasionally cause problems for visitors is the persistence of some street sellers, vendors or taxi drivers determined to make a sale. This can sometimes be interpreted as a personal indignity by visitors, however it is usually just a case of a trader trying to succeed in a very competitive market. If you are followed along a street or through a market by an unwanted seller, simply keep reiterating that you are not interested. Losing your temper is the worst thing you can do and will only leave you appearing arrogant and inconsiderate. Stay happy, be respectful and enjoy the experience for what it is.

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