I'm Amanda. I'm a business and marketing coach for ambitious entrepreneur who want to create a freedom lifestyle. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali. I'm a strategy and systems girl and here to help you scale your business and become unstoppable.
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Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city and an up and coming digital nomad destination (and to be honest, it’s one of my favorite places I’ve lived abroad). Vietnam has this special charm about it mixed with this non stop chaos that swoops you in.
While Da Nang might not be as big of a city as Hanoi or Saigon, I personally prefer it as a digital nomad hub over those two larger cities because of the proximity to the beach and the smaller, more chill vibe. My other favorite thing about living in Da Nang is the many weekend trips and easily accessible adventure travel nearby. From Da Nang you can easily fly within or outside of Vietnam (due to its international airport) or you can grab your motorbike and head to places like Hoi An, Hue, Hai Van Pass, or even Cham Island.
It’s central location within Vietnam, plentiful cafes and restaurants, and low cost of living make it an ideal place to set up shop for a few months as a digital nomad–but be warned, you may never want to leave!
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The low exchange rate of the Vietnamese Dong makes Da Nang on par or even cheaper than other destinations in Southeast Asia. We spent about $900 USD/month for two people. For one person the costs would be even cheaper, at $500-600 USD/month.
Like most digital nomad destinations, Da Nang can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. We chose to live in a one bedroom, rather than a studio and we also paid for coffee almost daily because we worked out of coffee shops.
If you want to like a millionaire, you can splash out on fancy western restaurants, rooftop bars and excursions. If you want to save more, it’s also easy to live on a budget. Either way, your biggest expense will be housing (and it’s very affordable).
We stayed in the My An area in An Thoung, which is the most popular area for expats. There are lots of shops, cafes and restaurants, and you’re two minutes from the beach! The other big pro of An Thuong is that it is walkable so if you don’t feel comfortable riding a motorbike you can still get around.
The other most popular area to live in for expats/digital nomads is Son Tra which is north of An Thuong but still on the beach side.
Before arriving in Da Nang, check out expat Facebook groups for housing tips. You can post that you’re looking for a place, and the local realtors are very helpful! Then book a hotel or AirBNB to base yourself for the first few days while you house hunt (I think two nights is plenty of time).
Want more Da Nang apartment hunting tips? We have a whole video to walk you through the process step by step.
A few apartments that we looked at to live at are:
There are many more options than listed above and as mentioned previously, the best way to find one is to go door to door on the ground. However, I can’t stress enough to make sure you see the apartment in person before renting long term (watch my Youtube video for more information).
Apartments typically range from around $350-600 USD per month. We ended up paying $500 USD for a spacious one bedroom right in the heart of An Thuong.
For a more detailed overview of how to find housing in Da Nang, check out this video, where we take you on tours of several Da Nang apartments!
SIM cards can easily be purchased at the airport or in the city center. Viettel is the largest service provider, and their cost is typically around $3 USD for 3 months.
Internet may not be reliable in every apartment building, so make sure you check while touring potential places to live. If you end up somewhere with less than stellar wifi, you can always work from one of the many cafes.
Overall, we found the wifi in Da Nang to be very fast and reliable. Almost every cafe and restaurant has great free wifi and our data worked really well including for video calls. This is one reason we love Da Nang being digital nomads who strongly rely on good wifi.
We personally didn’t use coworking spaces that much in Da Nang, as they weren’t super up to date. Da Nang is more of an up and coming digital nomad destination, but coworking spaces are popping up more and more often. If you are looking for a coworking space you can check out Aspace and Enouvo.
There are also plenty of great cafes to work from with table space and solid internet (this is what we did almost every day if we were not working in our apartment).
43 Factory: This western-style speciality coffee shop is on the pricier side (at least by local standards), but ended up being our favourite place to work. Lots of people work from here so you don’t have to worry about taking up space. Try the coconut coffee–a modern twist on the Vietnamese classic!
Bread N Salt Cafe: Similar vibe to 43 Factory and lots of space to work.
Mua Coffee Shop: More of a local spot than the other options, with great open air seating and reliable wifi.
Thanh Tam Bakery: This isn’t my favourite spot to work as the tables can get crowded and hot, but it’s popular with expats. The price is also more affordable than some of the most westernized options.
Coffee Trinh: Local spot, but also good for getting some work done. Try their avocado coffee drink!
Bros Cafe: Less of a work spot and more of a hip cafe to chill out with friends or a good book. Amazing vibe and smoothies.
Gozar Coffee: You can’t sit here and work all day as it’s quite small, but they still have some of the best (and cheapest) coffee in Da Nang!
Grab/Uber are widely available in Da Nang and extremely cheap, with a cash payment option. Taxis are also available (just make sure they use the meter). If you’re feeling a little more daring, you can rent a motorbike and get around the local way for $3-6 USD a day (or even cheaper if you rent weekly or monthly).
We are used to riding motorbikes and both rented our own bikes on a monthly basis for about $25 USD. We use our bikes daily to go to cafes, out to eat, to the grocery store, and on the weekends for adventures. However, I will warn you that driving in Vietnam is CRAZY! If you are not used to driving a motorbike please be smart and get driving lessons, and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
The food in Vietnam is amazing – not to mention that you can have the best meal of your life for under $2. Check out some typical prices below:
Since the food is so cheap (and delicious), we ate out much more often than we stayed in. If you want to try some cooking yourself, there are plenty of food markets and cooking classes.
One of the best parts of living in Asia is the AH-MAZING fresh fruit. Our favourite place was Fruit Empire, where a fresh fruit smoothie will run you about 15k dong (65 cents). This is pretty much the standard price across the city.
On the off chance you get tired of Vietnamese food, there are also lots of great western options. Jeremy’s Kitchen has the best gluten free cheesecake in the world (no joke).
Vegan and vegetarian options are also available in Da Nang (look for “ăn chay”, the Vietnamese word for vegetarian).
The night life in Da Nang isn’t too wild compared to some cities, but there are still lots of options for a fun Saturday night. Checkout the bars along the riverfront on the An Thoung side of town. Wanderlust is one bar that we frequently visited that has a great drink selection and is always poppin’.
Overall, we don’t drink alcohol very often and I have celiac disease (meaning I can’t drink beer) so we would buy bottles of wine to drink at home occasionally. Wine in Vietnam is pretty affordable compared to other Southeast Asian countries at about $10-12 USD per bottle and some of the wine is actually from Vietnam.
There are plenty of digital nomad meetups in Da Nang (check Facebook groups like Expats in Da Nang), whether you want to hit the bars or join a yoga class. Or unwind with a massage (usually around $9 USD an hour). There is also a large mall, Lotte Mart, in Da Nang with groceries, household items and even a movie theater, bowling alley, and arcade.
However for most of our entertainment we would go outside on weekend trips to explore or just relax at the beach.
One thing you must see in Da Nang is the famous Dragon Bridge. If you go to the bridge around 9pm on the weekends, the dragon will blow fire and water and put on a little show.
Gym memberships available can run anywhere from $8-45 USD. We used My An Sports Center, which was a bit more upscale, but we found it totally worth paying extra for the AC. Open air gyms are a great option for those looking for a cheaper option.
One of the top things to do in Da Nang is rent a motorbike and explore the breathtaking High Van Pass, an epic stretch of coastline that is perfect for a long motorbike ride. Also nearby are the Marble Mountains, the ancient city of Hoi An, My Son, and Hue.
For a weekend away, you could visit Hanoi or Ha Long Bay in the north, or head south to Saigon. You can easily get there by airplane or train.
You need a visa to visit Vietnam, but the process is pretty straightforward. The best way is to apply online in advance on the Vietnam Immigration site for a 30 day e-visa ($25 USD). Longer visas are also available.
If you decide you want to stay longer than you originally planned, it’s better to leave the country on a visa run and apply for a new visa than to extend your existing one, which can cost up to $300 USD.
The weather in Da Nang is warm all year round, with the rainy season running from September to February. Summer is peak tourist season, so the city may be more crowded than usual during those months.
Note: I must warn you that the rainy season in Da Nang is bad. It pours every day all day and is often gloomy and cloudy and even gets quite chilly (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius). If you have ever experienced the Chiang Mai rainy season (which I personally don’t think is too bad), the Da Nang rainy season is not something I would choose to endure again if I didn’t have to.
The tap water in Vietnam is not drinkable–however you can buy a large jug for under $1 USD.
Remember to dress respectfully (shoulders and knees covered) when visiting temples. It’s fine to wear a bathing suit to the beach, not in the city.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Chiang Mai or Bali, Da Nang is a great option. The food and coffee are incredible, rent is cheap, and there’s plenty to see and do. This up and coming destination won’t stay undiscovered for long.
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You can also join the Facebook group to connect with other globetrotting entrepreneurs.
Have questions about life in Da Nang or becoming a digital nomad? Leave a comment below!