Da Nang is the sixth largest city in Vietnam, situated on the coast of the South China Sea, at the mouth of the Han River. It’s location on the path of National Route 1A and the North-South Railway, together with its busy port, make it an important hub for the country’s transportation. The city has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons, the typhoon prone wet season from September through to March, and the dry season lasting from April through to August. Temperatures average around 29 degrees, with humidity in the low 80’s.
Things to do
Da Nang offers a relaxed beachside lifestyle, with delightful mountain getaways to the North and West of the city centre. Tourism is an important industry for the region, and many visitors use Da Nang as a base to explore the fantastic attractions that surround the city. Within easy reach are several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Imperial City of Hue, the Old Town of Hoi An, and the My Son ruins.
Of course the city itself also has plenty to offer, with miles of uncrowded beaches, an excellent range of dining options, shopping centres, markets, bars and some good museums and parks. After dark there’s a lively entertainment scene , and a stroll along the promenade amongst the glistening lights and street vendors makes for a memorable evening out
Retiree & Long Stay Visitors
Da Nang is split in two by the Han River, across which four main bridges have been built. To the West of the river, you will find the cosmopolitan side of the city, with brand new high rises sitting beside stunning tree lined streets. It’s hip, trendy and a great place to stay. On the West side, you’ll feel like you’re staying in a beach town (which many Aussie expats love). It’s more casual and totally gorgeous. Living in Da Nang is very affordable. Your actual cost of living will depend on whether you choose to maintain your ‘Western’ ways, or adopt a more local lifestyle, but accommodation can be found at every price point, and utilities are far cheaper than Australia. Many couples find they can live very comfortably on $1,250 to $1,500 per month.
Da Nang has a number of major hospitals, including the main Da Nang Hospital, C Hospital, and Women’s Hospital. These would normally be fine for most ailments, but for anything major, visitors will usually head to Ho Chih Minh City, or perhaps even fly to Singapore, Bangkok or KL.
Vietnam does not currently have a retirement visa, but many long stay visitors simply obtain a 3 month tourist visa, and extend it. This extension can be done from within Vietnam, and costs about $240. However many people prefer to do a ‘visa run’, and take the extension as an opportunity to visit another location in South East Asia. Flights are so cheap, this can often cost less than the $240 to do the extension within the country.
Initially obtaining a visa to visit Vietnam is a little more complex than other countries in the region, but generally for most people its usually fairly straightforward. Applications can be done directly through the Vietnamese embassy, or by using a visa agent. Care should be taken when using an agent as there have been the occasional mixed experience for some applicants. We’ll be doing a more detailed blog on Visa’s for Vietnam in the near future, but in the meantime, if you have any specific questions please send us an email.
The majority of visitors from Australia come by air (usually through Ho Chih Minh City), but as we have pointed out, the city also has very good road, rail and sea links. Da Nang International Airport is Vietnams third busiest, and offers regular domestic flights to Hanoi, HCMC, Hai Phong, Vinh, Buon Ma Thout, Da Lat, Nha Trang, and Pleiku. It’s international links include Guangzhou, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, KL and Phnom Penh.
The airport is only 2 kms from the city centre, making it highly accessible. Transport to and from airport is cheap and plentiful.
Living the Dream
The popularity of Vietnam seems to grow substantially every year, and with more direct flights between Australia and Vietnam than ever before, the country is becoming a perfect location to settle for 3, 6 or 12 months for many Aussies. And for those who choose Da Nang as their home base, you’ll often hear them say that they’re living the dream, and we couldn’t agree more.
If you’d like to find out more about retirement or long stay visits overseas please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.