After the unforgettable, adventure-filled week in Ha Noi it was time to fly down to Da Nang. It’s a major city situated in the middle of the country on the east coast, and closest airport to Hoi An. It only took about an hour flying down but it was honestly the WORST plane ride of my life – no amount of heart-stopping turbulence or vomit-peppered long haul flights could’ve topped it. There was some kind of angry baby convention on board.. when disembarking I counted about a dozen of them! They were all screaming, not just crying but SCREAMING their little lungs out, for the ENTIRE duration of the flight. Very close to me. The Vietnamese passengers were very patient and trying to soothe them but I was in hell.. if there was an option to parachute out of the plane I’d be the first one at the door. Hyperacusis much..;;
Once on ground I caught a taxi to a park nearby the hostel (which I booked online very last minute in the departure area at Ha Noi) and got some sound-healing with wind and water. It’s so much greener down in Da Nang! Felt sub-tropical with all the flora and relaxed atmosphere of the city and locals, and definitely warm enough for summer clothes unlike the still-chilly north. It’s a port city that’s also cleaner and much more developed than Ha Noi, and there are larger buildings and shopping centres as well as industrial complexes by the Han River that flows out through the city to the sea.
I had no set itinerary for Da Nang and no idea what it was famous for, but no problemo when you’re backpacking and at a hostel for the night. After asking around I narrowed it down to:
- Monkey Mountain
- Marble Mountains
- Hai Van Pass
I’ll post about those 3 places with plenty of photos and tips! I was told to spend more time in Hoi An than Da Nang, and I definitely agree so I only stayed one full day (you can see a lot in just 1 day), but we’ll get to that later. One thing I wish I got to do was see and ride across the Dragon Bridge at night, everyone told me it’s gorgeous!
Oh and one of the few random acts of kindness I was on the receiving end of was when I was walking back to the hostel after dinner and was lost and unknowingly going in the wrong direction. I’d found myself in a progressively unlit, empty, and shady-looking area.. it didn’t look right but I thought I just didn’t recognise it because it was night. This sweet person pulled up asked me if I needed help and offered me a lift on his scooter in pretty good English. He recognised me as a Korean and he was studying the language, so we chatted and ended up going to a popular Vietnamese dessert cafe 😀 He recommended the rau cau dua (coconut jelly in coconut milk and coffee syrup) and tau hu da sau rieng (pandan-flavoured tofu with durian and coconut milk), and I think it only cost $2AUD or less for both! Such a small price to pay for such a blessed night.
Of course, DON’T go on rides with any random person simply if they offer. I didn’t even stop walking when he first talked to me. But I trust my judgement with people and I realised that I was so protected by God/angels on this trip from my prayers and friends who also prayed for me, so thank you guys so much. I hitch-hiked several times with locals and foreigners during my trip (mainly out of need, a couple times out of laziness lol), and each time I was as sure as I could be that they were decent people before I went along with them.
But I felt happy recalling all the times I’d helped lost foreigners in Sydney, not that I believe in karma but I’m glad I received the same honest and friendly assistance! Pay the unexpected kindnesses in your life forward 🙂
Da Nang 02:17 – 03:04