What you need to know
DaNang is the third largest city in Vietnam in terms of urban population and one of the major port cities, in addition to Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong. Situated on the coast of the Eastern Sea, at the opening end of the Han River, it is the biggest city in Central Vietnam. It is governed as one of the five direct-controlled municipalities of the SRV and is thus under direct administration of the central government. Da Nang is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam, with a well-sheltered, easily accessible port; its location on the path of National Route 1A and the North–South Railway makes it a hub for transportation.
Danang is known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port. It’s a popular base for visiting the inland Bà Nà hills, located to the west of the city. Here the Hải Vân Pass has views of Da Nang Bay and the Marble Mountains, 5 limestone outcrops that are home to pagodas and caves containing Buddhist shrines.
Population: 1.047 million
Area: 496 mi²
- The currency in Ho chi minh is the Vietnamese dong, which is issued in banknotes only. Denominations available include: 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 dong notes.
- US dollars are also widely accepted. Visitors may tender dollars as payment but receive change in dong. The import and export of local currency is strictly forbidden, but there are no restrictions on foreign currency
Da Nang has a tropical monsoon climate with two seasons: a typhoon & wet season lasting from September through March and a dry season lasting from April through August. Temperatures are typically high, with an annual average of 25.9 °C (78.6 °F). Temperatures are highest between June and August (with daily highs averaging 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F)), and lowest between December and February (highs averaging 24 to 25 °C (75 to 77 °F)). The annual average for humidity is 81%, with highs between October and December (reaching 84%) and lows between June and July (reaching 76–77%).
On average, Da Nang receives 2,505 mm (98.6 in) of rainfall. Rainfall is typically highest between October and November (ranging from 550 to 1,000 mm (22 to 39 in)) and lowest between January and April (ranging from 23 to 40 mm (0.91 to 1.57 in)). Da Nang receives an average of 2156 hours of sunlight annually, with highs between 234 and 277 hours per month in May and June and lows between 69 and 165 hours per month in November and December.
A distinct local dialect of Vietnamese is spoken by Danang locals, although the primary form of the language used by the media and government is understood by the majority of the city’s residents. English is normally spoken only by those working in the tourist industry and by some students.
It is a comparatively safe city but be sure to lock up your belongings at night (as everyone does) which includes not leaving your bike out on the street. Everyone generally brings them into their houses. Beware of the Taxi scam. When going to Bana Hills or Hue, some taxi driver will stop and agree at a very low price for a return journey and once you reach you destination, he will triple or quadruple the price knowing you don’t have an option to return. When you do return to your hotel (he will park the car slightly away from the main entrance of your hotel), he might lock the central locking and demand the price first before letting you go. To avoid this, use only MAI LINH Taxis and agree a price with them. They are generally honest. A better way is to take your driver to the Hotel reception to confirm the price again and leave the Taxi details (like the number on the plate) with the Hotel reception. Also be extremely wary of my khe beach hotels and apartments. There are some extremely dodgy hosts in the area. DO NOT book any apartment or hotel before asking around and finding out about the owner’s reputation. There is a lot of talk around town of severe scamming. Watch out for a business called Mahalo.
Danang Family Medical Practice With in-patient facilities; run by an Australian doctor.
Da Nang has a number of hospitals, including: Da Nang Hospital, C Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Dermatology and Venerology, Traditional Medicine
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is also known as “Da Nang lung” as many cases occurring during the Vietnam War were treated at a medical centre in Da Nang.
Getting around on foot is highly unadvisable if not impossible, as Da Nang spans many kilometers in all directions. Unlike a city such as Hanoi, the tourist destinations are not concentrated into a single district. Instead, many of the destinations of note for foreigners are far from one another and require motorized transportation. On the bright side, Da Nang’s generously spacious roadways, bridges, and walkways may be a welcome change to those who want a change from crowded urban living.
Renting a motorbike would be the most convenient way to travel if you want to keep costs low and have high flexibility in where you travel, which can be a very big advantage in a city as large as Da Nang. But it’s not really legal unless you have a Vietnam license, but this is a point commonly ignored by tourists and motorbike rental agencies. It’s up to you whether you’re comfortable with this, but to be pragmatic, this point only becomes salient if you do something illegal enough to have to engage with the police (like get into an accident).
All taxis are equipped with meters. Sometimes people used to report that taxis waiting at the rail or bus station would refuse to use their meter, preferring to negotiate a price, but this is not the norm. If you call for a taxi (the numbers are printed on all the taxis–worth taking note of some), all of the taxi services have someone at their answering desk who can answer you in English.