Danang is increasingly becoming known as one of the most livable cities in the world. The city has everything you could possibly need or want, from great food and culture to a wide variety of entertainment and activities. Stunning beaches, good food, plus a world class travel destination just a few minutes away. What’s not to like? Whether you’re looking for a place to retire or just to escape the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese city life, Danang is definitely worth considering. I’ve only had the opportunity to live there for 7 months, but I’m already plotting to get myself back up there. Rose tinted glasses be damned, here are a few reasons why Danang is better than Saigon (or Hanoi for that matter!)
Before we begin though, have to note that this list is for people who want to live somewhere long term, and are therefore comparing the pros and cons as they apply to residents. Sure, it’s nice to have a place to visit for a few weeks where everything is shiny and new, but that novelty wears off pretty quickly.
Want to compare Saigon vs Danang? Get more info here:Reasons Why Saigon is Better than Danang
So, we’re not going to list Insta-destinations like Bana Hills, or the Dragon Bridge (though, those do deserve their own post). Let’s focus on the day-to-day things that make Danang such a great place to live. Is Danang a good city to live in? What makes Da Nang a good city to live in? Read on.
Danang is a great place to live or visit for most of the year because of its temperate climate. Sure, it still rains, but unlike the climate in the north, which can be hot, cold, or cool depending on the season, Danang’s climate is mild and comfortable for the majority of the year. And unlike the climate in the south, which can be unbearably humid, Danang’s humidity is manageable thanks to a nice, constant ocean breeze. When it’s good, it’s great. The average temperature stays around 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, which makes it perfect for enjoying outdoor activities (of which there are many). As this is in the typhoon belt, there will be some heavy rains for a part of the year, but nothing that completely stops the city from functioning (unlike Saigon). Sure a few neighborhoods might have a few inches of flooding, but it’s not going to be in areas that you’d generally want to stay in anyway. So when it’s bad, it’s still better… than Saigon at least.
Danang is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. My personal favorite is My Khe Beach, but only because it was literally 5 minutes away from my apartment. Having said that, there are also great beaches like Non Nuoc Beach which is further south, or An Bang Beach, which is closer to Hoi An. Speaking of which…
Hoi An is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam, and for good reason. This UNESCO listed ancient city is absolutely stunning, and its proximity to Danang (it’s only about 30 minutes away) makes it the perfect day trip. There are also a ton of great shops and restaurants, so you can easily spend a day or two there, but it’s also got a lot of green space and a more relaxed vibe. If you live in Danang, and looking for something even less hectic, Hoi An is the perfect weekend getaway. As a bonus, your friends will also have to fly to Danang, to get to Hoi An.
Cost of Living
Danang is definitely more expensive if you compare it to other, smaller Vietnamese cities, but it’s still relatively affordable compared to Saigon, or Hanoi, without having to sacrifice any of the amenities of a modern city. A meal at a nice restaurant will cost you around $5-10, and a decent apartment will run you about $300-500 per month. Of course, this all depends on your lifestyle, but overall, the cost of living in Danang is very reasonable. You can have a comfortable lifestyle on a 1000USD monthly budget.
Like pizza? Of course you do. Read here for some awesome homegrown restos in Danang!Restaurants in Danang That You Should Not Miss
Traffic (or the lack of it!)
If you hate traffic as much as I do, this is definitely one of the best things about living in Danang. The traffic is nowhere near as bad as it is in Saigon or Hanoi, so you can actually get around without wanting to pull your hair out. The city planners really did a great job with the infrastructure, and it shows. Wide highways, a clean grid pattern to many parts of the city, and a heavy emphasis on roundabouts all come together in making sure trucks, cars, and bikes flow through.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Danang is a coastal city, so the air is definitely cleaner than it is in Hanoi or Saigon. You can actually see the stars at night, and breathe in without feeling like you’re going to choke on smog. Big selling point for anyone who’s into outdoor activities, or just doesn’t want to die of lung cancer. I clocked in more KM’s here, then any other place I’ve lived in. The treelined roads, sea side walkways, and the crisp, fresh air just work together for some good running.
Whilst we’re on the topic of running, let’s also talk about the other great outdoor activities that Danang has to offer. There’s rock climbing, hiking, and world class golf courses! There’s also kitesurfing, surfing, and a whole bunch of other water related activities.. The city is surrounded by nature, so there’s always something to do. Moreover, since it’s in the middle of the country, it’s the perfect jumping off point for road trips, with awesome places like Dalat, or Phong Nha only a few hours away.
It’s a Modern City
Just because Danang is smaller, and more manageable, doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in any of the modern amenities that you’d expect from a city. The airport is well connected, and it’s got a bunch of international schools, and international medical facilities. There are plenty of great restaurants, bars, and cafes. The nightlife is definitely more subdued than in Saigon or Hanoi, but there are still places to go and have a good time. You’re also not going to have any trouble finding a gym, or getting your retail fix. Basically, all the things that you love about city living, but in a smaller, more manageable package.
These are just some of the reasons why I think Danang is a great city to live in. It’s got all the amenities of a modern city, without the traffic and pollution of a place like Saigon or Hanoi. The cost of living is very reasonable, and there’s always something to do, whether you’re into outdoor activities, or just want to relax on the beach.
If you’re thinking of making the move to Vietnam, I would definitely recommend giving Danang a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!