Because of Da Nang has a long-stretches beach right next to the town centre, The city is a popular holiday destination among sun-seekers and surfers. In fact, the city is also an ideal destination for digital nomads.
Let me briefly explain why. First of all, The cost of living is unbelievably cheap that you can minimize the fixed cost. Both short-term and long-term lease apartments are plenty for foreigners. Mouth-watering Vietnamese food keeps you away from getting sick of eating out every day, and you never get in trouble finding a cafe or a co-working place to work. At your days off, you can make your way around the region to enjoy sightseeing in Central Vietnam, or just chill at a beach whole day.
There’re not many places in the world where ticked off so many ‘list of needs’ of digital nomads, aren’t they?
I have been here nearly 3 weeks now. Although I’m loving it in terms of a base as a nomad, I haven’t seen much nomads around – that quite shame really.
I decided to write this article to introduce the 5 reasons to stay in Da Nang as a digital nomad. I hope it could contribute to get more attention and bring more nomads in the future.
- 1: Cafes and coworking spaces are everywhere
- 2: The beach on your doorstep
- 3: Cheap cost of living (could be cheaper than Thailand)
- 4: Grab app makes easy to getting around
- 5: Great place for sightseeing Central Vietnam
1: Cafes and coworking spaces are everywhere
Needless to say, nomads need a place to work – cafes and co-working spaces with good Wifi. You will never get bothered finding those place in town.
Modern cafes are a great place to work
In Da Nang, It is very true that “You walk a bit then you’ll find a cafe”. Not only in Da Nang, but the whole country filled with cafes and coffee shops that you’ll never get a shortage of caffeine!
There’re two types of cafes: a cafe with basic interiors where locals gather daily in the morning (picture above: often open-styled), and a cafe where young students and foreigners come for studying and working (picture below: open-styled + indoor with A/C). The later is the suitable for nomads.
Those modern cafes are mostly airy and spacious with many tables, chairs and power sockets to use that you don’t need to stress about finding the best position to work. Even some cafes have a tranquil koi pond!
WiFi is usually steady, sometimes not. but there’re always 2-3 signals that help from being unstable by a position of the cafe and prevent from completely disconnected.
【Why Coffee Roastery】
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 19, 2018
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 29, 2018
Because of enjoying a cup of coffee for a long time is a staple ritual of local Vietnamese people, Cafe staffs usually don’t really care if you stay for a very long time. They even come over to your table to top up a glass of water often!
Booming start-ups and increasing co-working spaces
Major co-working spaces are gathered around the iconic Dragon Bridge to the centre of Da Nang, in the west part of town across Han River where IT businesses and startups are booming.
I went Enouvo Space – the new, and the only coworking space in the east side across the river. It’s being used for co-living space as well for guests and staffs of the mother IT company of the building. They share all facilities in the 5-story building.
The Interior is modern, clean and bright with big windows on each floor. There’s a rooftop where you can overlook Da Nang city which is quite nice for switching off yourself for a while. A stairwell from the top to the ground creates airly atmosphere that can boost creativity.
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 24, 2018
Co-working spaces seem to host events and meetups for entrepreneurs and students regularly to connect and socialise. You can find the list of co-working spaces in Da Nang at Coworker.com
2: The beach on your doorstep
Nomads love beaches, don’t we? It’s time to make ‘The proper digital nomad life’ happen that lying on a beach bed with a cocktail on your hand and a laptop on another hand to work! (…that sounds very busy actually)
It seems difficult, but here in Da Nang you can easily make this happen if you want to. Even If it doesn’t sound tempting to do, you can still jump in an ocean straight after work. And it’s ever so refreshing than you imagine!
The main beach in Da Nang is called My Khe Beach. It takes 10-15 minutes to get by bike from the city centre, or you can walk down if you stay nearby.
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 21, 2018
Da Nang beaches are popular among surfers due to its high waves, particularly in winter, and many surf schools offer surf lessons. It might be a good chance to start if you are interested.
My Khe Beach comes alive the most sunset time. Check out my short video on YouTube!
An Thuong – A lively neighbourhood next to the beach
I live in a neighbourhood right next to My Khe Beach called An Thuong. It’s a very popular neighbourhood for tourists and foreigners as its prime location.
It’s also a relatively convenient area to live in – with many small local shops to purchase daily necessities, a local market to buy food ingredients and cafes and restaurants are all within walking distance.
When you feel like to eat something from your home, there’re many international restaurants you can eat at. When you get tired from working, you can drop in a massage place which can be seen almost every corner. And at night, you can hang out to vibrant bars to mingle locals and fellow nomads. Plenty to do while staying as a nomad!
However due to its increasing popularity, constructions are happening throughout the neighbourhood – so the construction noise and dust could be an issue.
3: Cheap cost of living (could be cheaper than Thailand)
Despite of rapid economic growth, The prices are still surprisingly cheap! It’s ideal for someone want to save the money.
Healthy, delicious and cheap Vietnamese food
First of all, Vietnamese foods are healthy, delicious and absolutely cheap. For example, Vietnamese baguette sandwich called Bánh Mì costs from 10,000VND which is equal to 50JPY / 0.45USD!
If you eat Vietnamese meal at a local Vietnamese restaurant, the average price is between 20,000 – 40,000VND for the main dish.
Vietnamese foods are mildly seasoned, not too hot nor sweet. It makes easier to eat every day without getting bored, and also good for your wallet.
Many options of coffee to choose from
For many of you, coffee is a boost to get your work done efficiently. Vietnam has a rich coffee culture and because of people love it, Coffee shops offer not only traditional Vietnamese coffee but also different types from across the world.
A dence and sweet traditional Vietnamese coffee is 10,000-20,000VND (50JPY / 0.45USD), an italian espresso is 20,000-30,000VND (100-150JPY / 0.90-1.30USD) and an americano is 20,000-40,000VND (100-200JPY / 0.90-1.80USD).
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 26, 2018
There’re lots equipped decent coffee shop in town where you can choose your favourite coffee extraction methods like Pour-over and AeroPress. Unlike other countries, you can still enjoy these premium coffees at the cheap price from 30,000-50,000VND (150-250JPY / 1.30-2.20USD).
【Gold Star Coffee】
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 14, 2018
Modern and clean studio apartments
Due to an increasing number of foreign workers and entrepreneurs moved to town, An equipped modern apartments are in high demand in town. There’re plenty of options you can choose from depending on your members, budget and preference.
A rent for a studio apartment is ranging from 250USD(28,000JPY) to 350USD(38,000JPY) per month for single occupancy. You can stay in this price range without sharing kitchen and bathroom. If you want to save more, you can share the room with someone or stay in an apartment with sharing facilities.
A lease contract starts from a month to 3 months for most places. Even if you are planning to stay shorter, you can easily find a studio apartment at Airbnb for week basis.
You can look for an apartment by walking around the area you would like to live and visiting a property, or at Facebook groups such as Hotel, house, apartment, room for rent – Da Nang Hoi An Expats and Da Nang Hoi An Expats & Backpacker Sales.
4: Grab app makes easy to getting around
Although Da Nang is not a big city compared to Hanoi and HCMC, It’s hard to getting around without a motorbike when you want to extend your way outside of your neighbourhood.
But If you can’t ride a motorbike nor up for grabbing a local taxi, It’s no problem. You can call a taxi or a motorbike taxi by Grab app at any time. It makes so easy to getting around!
私が主にいるビーチ側の主要拠点間の移動に大体15kー20k = 70円ー100円くらい。
バイクを走る擬似練習にもなるけど、まあ走りたいと思えるような道路状況ではないですw 🏍 pic.twitter.com/Orz1N2QeyJ
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 17, 2018
You can check the fair price of the ride before booking and pay by cash or credit card. We live such a convenient era, don’t we?
Use Danabus to save more money
Da Nang city offers public bus service called Danabus. The price depends on the route but it’s very affordable starting from 5,000VND(25JPY/0.20USD) for a single journey.
You can check the bus routes and the timetables at a mobile app.
However the bus is mainly used for locals, you may be asked to pay a tourist fare which is somewhat extra to the local’s fare when you on board.
5: Great place for sightseeing Central Vietnam
One of the great benefits of being nomads who keep changing the home base, is that we can enjoy sightseeing of each surrounding area we stay.
Especially Vietnam has a rich cultural heritage and the tourism industry is keep growing. It is a great opportunity to travel across the country to discover the different culture.
Because Da Nang is located in nearly the centre of the country that stretches north to south, it’s convenient to head to anywhere. You could head to the north by a train, or you could head down to the south by a bus… you can take a full of advantages of it. It urges you to close the laptop at weekends to go out somewhere.
A must-go sightseeing spots around Da Nang
A white buddha aka ‘Lady Buddha’ at Linh Ung Pagoda in Son Tra peninsula is the north from the city centre, Hoi An is famous for its ancient town and a lantern festival, and Marble Mountain is located in the halfway between Da Nang and Hoi An.
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) May 1, 2018
— Akane (茜) @🇻🇳Da Nang (@hive_aka_en) April 16, 2018
It takes around one hour or less by a taxi or a bike to get these places, so you can easily to take a day trip. However, I recommend staying a night in Hoi An in order to experience a night in the ancient town where numerous lanterns are brightened up! It’s such a magical time to strolling down.
From working hard to playing hard, You can make all of the nomadic life here in Da Nang. Ever-growing IT industries and startups in town are energetic, and beautiful beach and surroundings are ideal environments to switch off your mind to refresh at your days off.
On the other hand, a living environment of locals and an infrastructure are still needed to be updated. However I feel the strong energy flowing through the town, people’s motivation and desire to develop further and make their life better are fascinating.
It would be a great time to come around to feel that energy by yourself. It should be valuable!
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