Living the Dream in Da Nang

Andrew Leeson


Danang City Vietnam
Nowhere in Vietnam is changing faster than Da Nang. The once sleepy provincial city has sprung to life, with an ever changing skyline, a beautiful riverfront, a host of new hotels, resorts and restaurants, which are attracting an increasing number of visitors and expats. The largest city on the central coast may now have over 1 million residents, but the atmosphere remains ‘chilled out’ and informal. No wonder it’s regarded as Vietnam’s most liveable city.


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.

Danang City
Danang City

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.

Getting there

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.

Sunset Vietnam

Sunset Vietnam

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 more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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