Is Da Nang, the digital nomads ultimate destination? There’s a lot of hype going around the future developments of Da Nang in central Vietnam; the excitement is real and justified, millions of dollars have been pumped into the city infrastructure, the private sector and more has to come. The city projection is to double its population within the next 3-5 years, and looks like it’s going to happen. Digital nomads willingly or not seem to be part of that development; only over the past 6 months, 3 new co-working places have opened. As it stands right now, as of March 2017, Da Nang is a well worth place to spend some time for a Digital Nomad, the future will tell if Da Nang will turn into the Vietnamese Digital Nomads Hub.
Digital nomads needs are easily met in Da Nang; fast internet connection, plenty of comfortable and well-organized coffee shops, a few co-working spaces, western standards like accommodation (apartments, hotels, motels of any flavour), good and varied food, bars and restaurants from most nations, a clean semi-deserted beach, well-preserved nearby natural areas and enough tourist sites to keep you entertained during the off work times.
Da Nang Layout
Da Nang (Đà Nẵng in Vietnamese) has two main areas divided by the Han river. The beach area tent to be more touristy and quite, life is slow going with the rhythm of the waves; the city area is slightly busy (nothing like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh), very local, well-organized, beating a the rhythm of a motorbike engine. The two sides (Eastside and Westside, as some local expats like to call them) are connected by 3 state of the art bridges. You can easily reach the extremities of the city from the beach to the airport in a matter of minutes by motorbike.
Da Nang infrastructures are brand new and designed to support at least twice the amount of flux. Roads are pristine and traffic is kind of regulated, in a Vietnamese way, of course. As off February 2017, in some parts of town, even red light cameras have been introduced, although not functioning yet. Also, as off February, 5 new city bus lines have been put in place, which make transportation options more than suitable for the “no way motorbike” people. Uber is not in town yet, but there’s plenty of taxis and Uber like “Grab” is functioning at very good rates. And, not to miss out is the International Airport with daily low-cost flights to some international Asian destinations as well as domestic.
Digital nomads meet each others at co-working spaces as well as at the by weekly Meetup which attracts a dozen people and is growing every month. There’s also a few bars and coffee shops which seems to be popular amongst digital nomads. Parties take place occasionally, events are on every lunar month and cool modern clubs can be found all around town.
After spending a week in town, I managed to work out the basis and started really enjoy spending time in Da Nang. The fast and easy connection between town and the beach, makes changing scenery incredibly easy; it’s almost like living in 2 places at the same time. I rented a motorbike by the month while I stayed on the beach side, it’s pretty much a must, unless you like to cycle. Motorbikes and push bikes can be rented by the months at really cheap rates. I then moved to Da Nang West side and gave up the motorbike (finally, it’s kind of stressful driving in Vietnam); buses are frequent and everything is much more tightly connected, so walking around is just fine.
While in Da Nang I took a few week-end trips to nearby notorious Hoi An, Marble mountains area, country side and fishermen villages. The combination of the above, together with visiting next door Hue and the mountains area, make Da Nang the perfect base to travel from, it is located right in the middle of it all.
What I will miss about Da Nang is the food, of course, the people and the easy lifestyle. Nothing is complicated about Da Nang, the place is small and it has been designed to be a relaxing and work minded, at the same time (optimal for Digital Nomads). In a few years it will be the place for the (work hard, play hard) type of people, right now it is not. If you are a Digital Nomad on the road in South East Asia, give Da Nang a try, you won’t be disappointed. I will be back, so maybe see you in Da Nang.
Of course, there’s a lot I have missed out on the post. Leave a comment so that we start a conversation and learn from each other experiences. Also, if you have any question, do not hesitate to post them below, I’ll answer to the best of my limited knowledge.