The final time we had been in Vietnam was 2016. Issues had been less complicated again then. Nobody knew what a pandemic was, ChatGPT wasn’t threatening to interchange jobs, our dad and mom had been all wholesome, and the one factor we apprehensive about was how badly we had been going to get scammed. We’d learn an article from seasoned funds traveler Nomadic Matt known as “Why I’ll By no means Return to Vietnam,” and had been fairly apprehensive about going there. In any case, we’d simply been spoiled by Thailand, “the land of a thousand smiles,” which had a customer return charge of fifty% whereas Vietnam solely had a 2% return charge. So pointless to remain, we had low expectations.
Vietnam, because it turned out, far exceeded these expectations (which wasn’t precisely onerous, because it was just about within the gutter). We did get scammed far more than in Thailand, however having visited Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hoi An, Na Trang, and Kat Ba, I found that Vietnam has rather a lot to supply when you simply give it an opportunity. But it surely’s not going to be as handy, snug, and laid again as travelling in Thailand so simply set your expectations accordingly.
And now, 7 years later, we had been going again to see if there are any massive adjustments. Particularly provided that Da Nang has been touted by many digital nomads as the following up and coming hub now that Chiang Mai is getting saturated and overpriced.
Seems, 7 years makes an enormous distinction as a result of Da Nang shocked me in some ways.
After spending among the best months of my life with a bunch of thirty FIRE buddies and digital nomads in Chiang Mai and paying solely $440 USD/month for a 1-bedroom rental with a pool, I didn’t assume lodging may probably get any cheaper and higher.
Seems, I used to be unsuitable. In Da Nang, the Lagom house fashion resort with roof-top pool ended up costing us solely $13 USD/day or $390 USD/month. That’s lower than how a lot most individuals spend on lunch in North America! Plus, it got here with every day cleansing, laundry, and was solely 5 minutes stroll from the seaside. After staying at over 100+ lodging everywhere in the world, I’ve discovered that house fashion lodges are my favorite. You get one of the best of each worlds: a front room, kitchen, and laundry that makes it really feel like house quite than resort, plus resort facilities like a pool, every day cleansing, and recent towels day by day.
I’d say, of all of the locations we stayed in on this planet, this one, arms down, was one of the best worth based mostly on worth for high quality. We received fortunate because it was simply in-built 2022, they usually’re charging a ridiculously low worth attempting to entice vacationers after the pandemic. Even when the associated fee doubled, for the situation, the extent of high quality and repair, it’s nonetheless price it.
I’ve all the time needed to decrease my expectations for service in Vietnam in comparison with Thailand, as a result of they merely don’t have as a lot expertise as their neighbours when it comes to welcoming travellers. Plus, due to colonization and the conflict (they don’t name it the “Vietnam Warfare,” they name it the “American conflict”), they’re naturally much less trusting and relaxed than the Thais, however this time I used to be pleasantly shocked. Apart from the grouchy ticket counter and safety employees on the “Marble Mountain” vacationer attraction and the touts in that space, service has been nice. I additionally received an amazing haircut for less than $8 (one of many most cost-effective and finest I’ve ever gotten) at Ly’s Salon. Typically, I didn’t really feel that Da Nang was a touristy place, though we stayed within the touristy Khe Seashore space, which is without doubt one of the cleanest seashores in Vietnam since they rent folks to choose up trash day by day. It felt like a chill place I may dwell in for the long run.
Hoi An, which is round a 45min drive from Da Nang, is one other story. For the reason that final time we had been there, the place appears to have exploded in recognition—particularly with Korean vacationers. Curiously, previous to the pandemic, the largest cohort of vacationers in Southeast Asia had been Chinese language. Now, Korean eating places and indicators are in every single place, changing Chinese language ones and the tour buses filled with Chinese language vacationers have all been changed by Koreans.
The primary cause I like Southeast Asia is the meals. The range, price, and availability of night time markets simply can’t be beat. I merely have by no means discovered something prefer it anyplace else on this planet.
Weirdly sufficient, Da Nang didn’t have a wide selection of night time markets (which may be very unusual for Southeast Asia), however it wasn’t an enormous deal as a result of there have been tons of fine eating places to select from.
The one time I turned on the range in my house resort in Da Nang was to boil some eggs for breakfast. All different occasions, we ate out and devoured Vietnamese specialties like:
Pho (beef noodle soup)
Bún chả (vermicelli noodles and veggies dipped in grilled pork and fish sauce)
Bánh xèo (crispy stuffed rice pancake)
Bun Bo Hue (Hue fashion beef noodle soup)
Mì Quảng Noodles (Da Nang specialty)
Cao lầu (Hoi An specialty of chewy rice noodles soaked in native water with lye)
Bahn Mi (Vietnamese baguette filled with chilly cuts and pate)
BBQ grilled Lobster
I’ve additionally observed much more worldwide cuisines and vegan cafes pop up since 2016…
My favourites had been: Pizza 4P’s Hoang Van Thu, Pokeman, and Khong Vegan Kitchen
Am I obsessive about meals? Who is aware of? However the factor about Vietnam is *inaudible as a result of mouth being stuffed*
I by no means get bored or lonely in Southeast Asia as a result of there’s all the time a lot to do! From bustling night time markets, road festivals, to animal sanctuaries, to scuba diving, to karaoke, to massages, to all-day saunas, the record is limitless! And also you by no means really feel lonely since you’re all the time surrounded by folks.
I knew that coming to Vietnam, I’d have to surrender the massages I’d gotten to like a lot in Thailand. They’ve massages in Vietnam, however not practically nearly as good or low cost as Thailand, however what I didn’t know was that there was a complete new factor to find!
Vietnamese hair washing! I actually thought this was a Taiwanese factor as a result of that’s the one different time I’ve ever seen it, however these providers have been popping up throughout Da Nang.
For 250,000 dong (or $10.65 USD), you get a “one hour hair wash bundle”, by which they wash your hair, therapeutic massage your face for half-hour, adopted by 25 minutes of head massaging whereas rinsing your hair. Then they blow dry and magnificence your hair. It’s so stress-free! We went to the “Khan Spa” in Da Nang each different day and it was heavenly.
Along with stress-free hair washes, we additionally visited the large White Buddha, the Marble Mountains, the Recollections Present in Hoi An, and the Dragon Bridge which spits fireplace and water each weekend at 9 PM. Once more, inconceivable to be bored.
My Khe seaside was additionally enjoyable to take a stroll on, although I discovered the water too wavy for swimming. It’s nice if you wish to learn to surf although.
Usually, I’m fairly glad solely spending every week or two in Vietnam, however after spending a complete month in Da Nang, I felt like I may’ve stayed longer. The method of getting a visa to go to Vietnam has additionally gotten simpler now you could apply on-line for a 30-day e-visa. Nonetheless, as of proper now, there isn’t a straightforward approach to keep longer, in contrast to Thailand, the place you will get a 60 day visa earlier than getting into the nation after which extending it for 30 days. Simply remember that you could be have to have the bank card identify match the identify of the Vietnamese e-Visa whenever you apply. Considered one of our buddies bumped into this drawback when she tried to make use of her husband’s bank card to pay for each.
So, after a calming time in Da Nang, I flew to Hanoi, staying one night time earlier than we flew out to Australia. However instantly, proper after we checked out of the Airport Hanoi resort, the employees tried to rip-off us by charging us additional for breakfast, which was already included within the worth, early check-in, and transportation to the airport, which was listed as free on their web site!
Now there’s the Vietnam I keep in mind!
Right here’s how a lot we spent every day for the month in Da Nang:
|Class||Price in USD/couple per day||Price in CAD/couple per day||Notes|
|Lodging||$13||$17.58||The Lagom house fashion resort was one among my favorite lodges in Southeast Asia with the highest quality for worth.|
|Meals||$24.47||$33.03 ($27.69 consuming out, $5.34 groceries)||We hardly cooked in any respect and principally ate out at eating places. I like how in Asia I can eat out on a regular basis and never acquire any weight. The truth that portion sizes are in all probability 2/3 to 1/2 the scale of that in North America and can also be low carb in all probability helps.|
|Transportation||$7.77||$10.50||Grabs (the Uber of Asia) had been tremendous low cost and solely price round $2-$5 to get anyplace in Da Nang and we had been inside strolling distance to most points of interest and the seaside, so many of the transportation price is the $100/particular person flight from Bangkok direct to Da Nang, amortized over the month.|
|Leisure||$13.82||$18.66||We had hair washes practically each different day and the opposite points of interest just like the Recollections present (round $24 per particular person) wasn’t costly so leisure was fairly low cost for the entire time there.|
|Complete||$59.06||$79.77||Even supposing costs have inflated considerably and we’ve integrated extra massages into our life-style and costlier meals, Da Nang Vietnam remains to be remarkably reasonably priced at solely $21,556 USD/ couple per 12 months or $29,116 CAD/couple per 12 months.|
What do you assume? Have you ever ever been to Da Nang? Would you ever dwell there?
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