Having heard that many people are exploring Da Nang as potential home base for the digital nomad lifestyle, I decided to investigate and live there for 26 days.
Da Nang is a peaceful city in Vietnam known for having friendly people and cheap food.
Is the city a good place to setup base for your digital nomad lifestyle or are there better cities somewhere else in the world?
Looking for an apartment in Da Nang
The first thing I did before arriving in Da Nang is arrange a monthly accommodation. I ended up finding a studio apartment on Air bnb and paid $350 USD for 26 days (I could have stayed 30 days but I made other plans already).
Just like in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was able to contact the Air bnb host and ask for a discount. What I learned is that if you are staying close to a month, then they are more than happy to give you the monthly discounted rate.
The studio apartment that I got was pretty decent. It’s located by My Khe beach with lots of restaurants nearby.
The only thing I didn’t like about my location was that the mall was quite far away forcing me to take a taxi or ride a motorbike to get to it.
I also never used my kitchenette and should’ve just rented a room instead of a studio.
Food in Da Nang Vietnam
One of the things I didn’t like about Da Nang was the food options. The local restaurants all served the same type of food. They were cheap but got repetitive after awhile. You can only eat Pho so much before you get sick of it and their dishes seem to always lack protein.
On the bright side, I’ve never eaten healthier during my one year trip around the world than when I lived in Da Nang. Their food always came with tons of vegetables and salads and occasionally kimchi. If you like eating healthy, you can’t go wrong with Da Nang.
Buying groceries was a challenge. I found markets to be quite far from where I lived and grocery stores were non-existent or too far away. I highly recommend that if you plan on living in Da Nang, that you find an apartment near the mall; otherwise, you’ll get frustrated finding enough food variety or having your own groceries to cook.
If you can drive a motorbike or scooter, then you are golden in Da Nang. I personally rented one for 25 days because I wanted to learn how to drive one. However, I regretted this decision because I barely used it during my time in this city. (I paid 1,150,000 VND for the 25 day rental)
Taxis is also a decent option which I used a few times. They are typically metered and taxi drivers seemed honest in Da Nang compared to other Vietnamese cities. Grab Taxi is also an option but I didn’t get a chance to use it because I couldn’t get the Grab App to work. Uber wasn’t available at all.
I also took the local bus to go from Da Nang to Hoi An. Be careful with the local buses because they tend to scam tourist. The price to go from Da Nang to Hoi An is 30,000 VND but the locals like trying to price gouge you and charge you 50,000 VND. Some are downright intimidating and will threaten to throw your belongings out of the bus if you don’t fork out the scam price.
Working in Da Nang was interesting. My studio apartment turned out to be the best spot to film YouTube or online videos thanks to perfect lighting and having a white wall background. The apartment I stayed at even renting out tripods for 40,000 VND per day. I rented one for a week and paid 280,000 VND.
I took the time to film some videos for a product I plan on launching in the future.
The studio apartment I rented also came with a desk which served me well when I needed to write blog post articles or do any online related work.
Da Nang also has co-working spaces available but were quite far from where I was staying.
The internet speed in Da Nang was not bad for a Southeast Asian countries but there were times during the time when it would dramatically slow down or get cut off which can be frustrating.
Entertainment is severely lacking in Da Nang. Besides the beach (very beautiful by the way!), it’s actually quite a boring city to live in. There’s not much going on which can drive you crazy after awhile.
If you are introverted or like staying indoors to relax, Da Nang is great but if you want entertainment, you might not like living in this city for an extended period of time.
Gyms are present in Da Nang but I didn’t get a chance to try them out. They were quite far from where I lived which I found frustrating.
I ended up playing badminton or tennis to get my exercise. The landlord I lived with would invite me to play sports with them which was very nice of him.
Physical fitness doesn’t seem to be a priority in Da Nang as it is when I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Socializing in Da Nang can be good or non-existent at all. I made friends and chatted with local Vietnamese working in restaurants. Also, I took the chance to chat up expats living in the country as well as individuals who work in Vietnam.
Vietnamese people are very friendly in Da Nang and if you make the effort, you can make friends with them.
Living in Da Nang, Vietnam was a neat experience but I’m not sure if I’ll repeat it. I’d definitely like to come back and visit but I would personally not setup base here in the future. Especially since there are better options such as Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The Vietnamese people living in Da Nang, Vietnam are very nice and interacting with them was the highlight of my time living in this city.