Danang is a city of bright lights and glinting bridges hemmed in by sweeping bays and jungle-topped mountains. It is regularly referred to as Vietnam’s most liveable city, and it’s easy to see why. The food scene is booming, the energy is youthful and a dip in the ocean is never more than a few minutes away.
The emerging neighbourhood of An Thuong on the east bank of the Han River best reflects the city’s dynamism. Quiet, tree-lined streets and a low-rise skyline sets this pocket apart, and has made it an appealing spot for creative local entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.
1. 43 Factory
This bright, airy café transcends the east-west coffee divide, with creamy cappuccinos that hold their own against the signature ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk). Unlike traditional coffee shops, 43 Factory changes the beans used for its Vietnamese coffee every few months, so you’re always in for a limited-edition experience – a treat not lost on the young, hip local clientele.
2. Com Nha Linh
Head chef and owner Hoang Van Linh lends his name to this cosy Vietnamese restaurant set in a traditional wooden house surrounded by a leafy courtyard. Expect delicious Vietnamese staples such as stewed pork ribs, clear crab soup, hearty tofu options and Hanoian nem, fried spring rolls from Hoang’s northern hometown.
This one-year-old co-working space draws from traditional Vietnamese architecture with a tiled roof and wooden columns. There’s a calming coffee lounge, office spaces and a small travel agency; Space A also hosts a range of events, from yoga classes and blockchain seminars to themed socials connecting travellers, expats and locals. If you’re a nomadic worker new to the city, then this should be one of your first ports of call.
4. Chu Hotel
Among an over-abundance of accommodation choices, Chu Hotel breaks the mould with its beachside Mediterranean vibes and comfortable, gently lit rooms. There’s a restaurant offering both local and international dishes, regular live music at the bar and a leafy streetside terrace to while away an evening. A short distance from My Khe beach, it promises a refreshing breeze plus views of the sea to the east and mountains to the west.
Breakdancer by day and mixologist by night, Ho Anh Tuan set up this space in January to blend Danang’s best cocktails with classic hip-hop and funk. “I wouldn’t say that we have signature cocktails,” says Ho, who is originally from Vinh but moved to Danang seven years ago. “Instead, we take classics and give them a Vietnamese twist.” That includes a touch of lemongrass here, a little kumquat there. Bespoke cocktails are crafted from customer preferences, but Ho’s favourite from the menu is Sour By The Bay, made with Sampan Rhum from Hoi An, soursop smoothie, homemade coconut syrup, fresh lime and chocolate bitters. Certain nights bring live music too.
SilkAir flies daily between Singapore and Danang. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the December 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine