Wednesday Wanderlust: Da Nang
After the beautiful adventure in Saigon, I was on the move again, to catch yet another flight, not too far this time, one hour away, to Da Nang. Da Nang is a city located on a beach in central Vietnam. Once I got there, I spent a few days in Hoi An but I will cover this in a few weeks. Da Nang greeted me with rain & grayness, & me thinking "great, spending three days on a beachy city, but not actually on the beach". But as always, the weather improved & was in search of what Da Nang had to offer.
The beach that I was staying on stretched out for miles, and it was a beautiful beach. Sand, sea, sunrises & sunsets are a few things that I will always miss, no matter where I go. & Da Nang beach had some amazing views to offer, I even managed to go out for a morning run, but only that one morning, which made me realise how unfit I was. The clouds over that mountain didn't shift the whole time I stayed here which i thought was pretty awesome. & having walked up & down the beach a few times, I've noticed that there's lots of construction work happening, new resorts & hotels probably. I'm sure if I went back today, it would all look completely different as would any other city in the world.
One of my plans here, was to do some surfing as I read that there was a chance to catch some waves. The weather being a bit stormy, there was a bit of a swell with some waves to chase. I did some research into local businesses & I read that there is this famous surf shop called Tam’s. It’s run by a woman who has run the business for more than a few decades & has many stories to share including her experience during the Vietnam War. So take your time, chill & have a chat with Tam, if she’s there or just mingle with fellow tourists and locals. The shop is located down a cute little street (An Thương 5, My An) about 5 or so minutes away from the beach. I rented my usual 7 footer board, & luckily there was someone else doing the same thing as me, so helped me carry the board. The surf, wasn’t fantastic, in fact, it was dismal. Both of us kept getting caught in currents & it just wasn’t fun, so decided to get out, head back to the shop & have banana pancakes & milkshakes! Awesome decision!
Another rainy day for me! & you know what, I’m so glad that I left the hotel because I managed to get some amazing shots of the city. Those blue boats in the water & the stormy seaside were spot on. For what I thought, this city was a bit dull, turned out to be a fantastically inspirational one. Note to myself: don’t complain, go explore!
Once again I was in search of some good coffee and local pho. I found this beautiful restaurant with an amazing interior/exterior, like a secret garden, half of it was outside & the other half inside. I ordered a traditional Vietnamese cup of coffee, in a cup in which it should be served, & this spicy, local to Da Nang cuisine Mi Quang, part soup part salad. Perfect lunch! The day soon turned into night, where I had more coffee & then beers, & found another Cong Caphe overlooking the Han River.
There was one night where I decided to go exploring the city at night, find myself a nice restaurant & a few drinks. Looking at the map on my phone it didn’t look far, & me being the person who loves walking everywhere, i set off. I’ll be honest, this is where I thought my trip might end up badly here. I got lost, & ended up in really remote residential areas. I had bikes & cars buzzing by, kids running around, people singing karaoke. Ok, it doesn’t sound that scary, but I found myself panicking a little. Once I gathered my thoughts & focus, I managed to get to the main strip of awesome bars & restaurants. I hung out in the area for a bit, did some night photography of the streets & bridges, including the Dragon bridge & headed back to the hotel. Yup, I walked home, but I took the main roads this time, no more getting lost!
Once I got back home, I wanted some late night snacks for the room, as you do, after a few drinks. Where I was staying, there were no corner shops or convenience stores, so I was kinda stuck. I asked the staff where I could possibly get anything & how far it would take me to get there. There were some Korean supermarkets on my wander back, but they were a bit far out. The staff, drew me a map of this place, but I’m sure I got lost, again. I ventured upon this place where I saw a few bottles of fizz displayed on the window, it didn’t look like a shop at all but saw a few cracker things & thought that will do. Ok, what happened next, really took me by surprise. It was a family house, who were making snacks & food for the rest of the members I presume. Their English was pretty much non-existing, but when you have lived in Asia for so long you learn how to communicate. I told them that I only wanted that one bag of those home made crackers, I ended up leaving the house full of other home baked goodies, a few selfies & family portraits. The kindness of these people was so beautiful & inspiring. & the feelings I had earlier in the night of being panicky, to this, has made me look at things in a more positive way, & know that there are good people out there. & I’m thankful for my trip to Da Nang ending on a high!